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This blog is purely informational and not meant to take the place of individual medical nutrition therapy (MNT). For serious medical conditions, ask your doctor for a referral to a dietitian. 

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Why I never "Start Monday"

Happy January! We are about halfway through the month. New Year's Resolutions are in full swing. Perhaps some of you are still ramping up to get started. I know for me, every week feels like a brand new struggle to find--and maintain--motivation to exercise. And this goes for the whole year, not just Resolution time. One tip that I have found works for me is to never "start Monday."

[Note: If Monday is your best day and it works for you, awesome. Keep it up. Perhaps the rest of the article might describe a different day of the week for you. Either way, if you struggle with motivation to stay active, read on.]

For many people, Monday is a tough day of the week. It's back to school or work. It's an early morning after a couple of days sleeping in. It's a mental effort just to face the day job, the daily grind, or whatever other obligation you have that supports the rest of your life. Just getting out of bed requires a mountain of motivation. In actuality, it's less motivation, and more lack of choice, right? The mortgage doesn't pay itself. Or the kids are too little to fend for themselves. Or my classes won't wait for me. I don't have a choice. I have to get up. Ugh, the very thought of Monday morning makes me want to kick off my walking shoes and crawl right back into bed.

That workout, though. The choice is all mine. Get up early, or tough it out after work? On Mondays, neither option is attractive. Starting the week is hard enough as it is.

For years, by intending to work out on Mondays, I set myself up for disappointment, guilt, and self-reproach. By failing to meet a Monday goal, my week would start with doubt and low self-confidence. And if there is anything I've learned over 40-some years, negativity begets negativity.

Fortunately, the opposite is also true. A positive mindset that includes self-love can also feed into itself. Instead of ending my Mondays upset with myself, I've learned to let myself off the hook. I start the day just proud to have shown up. In regard to that workout, Mondays are now my day off. Who needs the added pressure? In fact, I face the day knowing that I get to relax at the end, and that makes the transition into the week much softer.

Rest and relaxation is not only a reward, but a necessity to promote growth and healing. Without those breaks, you may overstress your body and increase risk for burnout or injury, which would only derail you longer. Thus, one or two days off a week is part of a healthy lifestyle, both physically and mentally.

So take Monday off! End the day with a book, a bath, or a blog.

But to make those breaks worthwhile, you have to make the rest of the week count. Read my next post where I will share more motivational mind games that keep me moving week to week.

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