Starting Monday

The weekend before starting a diet or beginning a new workout routine, sound familiar? If your experiences are like mine, emotions can be all over the place, from excitement to dread. What I’ve learned, albeit the hard way, is that our mindset throughout the weekend leading up to Monday is just as important as our mindset come Monday. It can be the difference between sticking to our new commitments or letting another week go by.

Here are two classic pitfalls that I have grappled with over the years and some solutions that have helped me.

  1. The psych-out. It is common to focus on how challenging a new routine will be or how far we must travel to reach a goal. Our future workouts might be tough, but that is what we want. And we must not dwell over how long our goals will take to reach. We’ll arrive when we arrive. Anticipation is usual, but we can not allow ourselves to become psyched-out.
    Solution: Set your intention for Monday and visualize your success. Construct the scene in your mind. Your outfit, the music you’ll listen to, the time of day or night you will be working out. All these details are like seeds being planted, which come Monday will have sprouted, making your new routine more familiar.
  2. The good times. Recreating carefree party vibes on a Sunday night is very tempting. But remember, extremes beget extremes. The more we overindulge, the more difficult the new routine will feel. This period does not need to feel like a loss. You are not saying goodbye to your favorite food and beverages forever. I like to say, “it’s not a never thing, it’s a not right now thing.”
    Solution: Lookout for your future self and go easy on the decadence. Going into the new routine with a clean system and a clear head is the best advantage you can give yourself on Monday. Also, consider doing some meal planning. Adding some “celebration meals” to the calendar will provide you with something to look forward to. Consider 4–6 week increments between celebration meals.

Weekends are meant for enjoyment, recovery, and preparation. The weekend before starting a diet or beginning a new workout routine does not need to be any different. Keep it simple, care for your future self, and don’t miss the moment you are in.

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