Monday. The word itself conjures up feelings of resentment, exhaustion, and frustration. For many, it has become the worst day of the week. People all around the world dread the 52 Mondays every year – they drag themselves out of bed and suffer through a workday that signifies the start of “five days of Hell.”
It’s gotten so bad that most of us spend our Sundays with anxiety, trying to “relax” as much as possible while mentally scrambling to find ways to avoid what lies ahead. This condition has become so common; we now have well-known terms to describe our feelings – the “Sunday Scaries” or “Sunday Sadness” and the “Monday Blues.”
We have all been conditioned to hate Mondays as if it’s normal.
This indoctrination has created a thought that magnifies and spreads to our assumptions of every other day of the week. It’s a subconscious cycle that we live, week after week, for our entire lives, starting with our school years and moving into our careers – always looking forward to the weekend, or freedom, and avoiding Mondays, or the start of a new week of stress.
What’s so wrong with hating Mondays?
Aside from funny jokes and time to commiserate with our coworkers and friends, does it really matter that we all hate Mondays? Let me put it a different way – what impact does it have on you to automatically hate 52 days out of the year?
Have you ever stopped to think about how you are committing to being miserable at least one day of your week and often more?
If you consider it that way, chances are you might find it unacceptable. Our days are not supposed to be miserable. Accepting so is a disservice to yourself. The thought of laying down and accepting 52 automatically miserable days makes no sense.
The truth is that you can’t actually hate a day. A day is nothing more than a social construct created to impart order. It doesn’t have any power beyond that. When you remove the idea of Monday as the source of your unhappiness, the harsh reality of what remains may be that you just don’t like your life.
I don’t mean this in a dark, sinister way, but rather in an “I am unhappy in my day to day activities” way. Friday night, Saturday, and Sunday let us hide from our “real” life most of the time. Mondays just signify the restart of that life, and sometimes we don’t really like what that means.
Creating a new mindset
I have spent the last seven years training my mind and my attitude to be amazing. What does this mean exactly? It means I am always amazing – no matter how bad of a day I may be having. Every day is amazing.
That mindset has worked to make me reconsider what happens around me and my relationship to it. If I’m amazing, then the things that I do and the things that I experience are amazing as well.
I have spent equally as much time working on my relationship with Monday. I’ve learned how to love it, look forward to it and make it extremely productive. I’ve worked at changing my mindset from dreading Monday to longing for it. I get into bed on Sunday night, excited for the start of my work week.
This was not an easy shift. It takes practice and effort to change your mindset. I typically hear all kinds of pushback – from the benign “no one loves Monday” to the more negative “you are lying, Mondays suck.”
I don’t mind these interactions because it allows me to share what I feel is something that has helped change my life, with someone whose life I may change. You see, there really are only two options to consider, and they are both life-changing. You can either:
- change your life or
- change the way you think about your life
Most people are too afraid to leave their relationship, change their job, move across the country, or go back to school. Sometimes a change in perspective is all it takes to see the light. The best way to live a happier life is to train your mind to attack Monday with complete happiness.
So how do you do that? Here are a few ideas.
Acknowledge why you hate Mondays in the first place
For many people, the answer seems obvious – I’d rather do what I enjoy doing on the weekends than what I have to do during the workweek. I would ask you to look a little deeper.
Do you not enjoy your line of work? Do you not like the environment or the company you are forced to keep during the week? Are these part of what is contributing to the stress?
If you can’t change your circumstances, can you change your perspective of them?
What DO you like about your work? Can you save one of your favorite tasks for Mondays or move a dreaded task to a different day? What can you change about what you don’t like? Start small and try and work up from there.
Be realistic with your worries
The habit of hating Mondays has become so ingrained that we’re often not even fully aware of what it is we’re dreading.
- Do you have a big report due on Monday that you haven’t started?
- Do you have a weekly call with a client or colleague that causes you anxiety?
- Is your Monday schedule truly more challenging than any other day of the week?
If we’re honest with ourselves, chances are Mondays aren’t that different from any other day of the week. Yet, we have done such a fantastic job of convincing ourselves that Mondays are more stressful, more demanding, and more unfair than any other day.
Take the time to walk through your Monday and be realistic with your expectations or concerns.
Stop chasing the end result and find excitement for the progress
The saying “find joy in the journey” is a powerful one. We have been conditioned as a society to only acknowledge results. Think back to stories from when you were a baby – can your parents tell you about your first word or your first step? What about the progression of getting to those things?
Chances are they’ve forgotten all of the effort parts of it and instead heralded only the time of the accomplishment. And so it continued in school, in sports, in your career, in personal relationships. The end result is the celebration – we talk about the test grade rather than the prep work, the marriage proposal rather than the relationship building, the promotion rather than the job progression.
What does this have to do with our feelings about Mondays? We often see each week as a mini-sprint, with Monday finding us up against the starting blocks waiting for the gun to fire. That position fills us with anxiety and unnamed stress as we look ahead to all that has to be accomplished before the end of the week where we can hang our running shoes up.
Related: How To Stop Beating Yourself Up
Instead of thinking of the week ahead like something we have to “accomplish” before we can be “done,” why not instead go into it with the mindset that each day is a building block to the next one?
Monday is no different than a Wednesday or a Saturday. It’s simply a building block in your journey, and it signifies neither a beginning nor an end.
Set your own goals and ignore the naysayers
It’s easy to jump on the bandwagon when everyone else is complaining. If you speak to a coworker first thing on Monday who complains about having to work, talks about exhaustion, or stresses about the day ahead, chances are you’re going to start to feel the same way.
This is why you must be very purposeful with who you allow to influence you. In your new Monday mindset, you want to stay in control, stay focused, and stay jazzed for what’s ahead. You can’t be waylaid by the woe-is-me crowd.
Why it works
I have tried this strategy for the last nine years of my life, and I’m here to tell you it works. I can almost guarantee in any situation to be happier and more positive than anyone I come in contact with – at a minimum of 52 days out of the year.
In fact, my focus on feeling excited for Mondays impacts my Sundays and rolls into my Tuesdays. That means nearly half of my year is spent mentally in a significantly happier place than everyone else.
This mindset has led to improved interactions, increased productivity, higher demand for my involvement, and, generally speaking, the odds stacked in my favor.
Others have attributed luck to the success I’ve experienced, but I know firsthand it’s my mindset.
I’m not immune to hard times. 2020 was hard on everyone, myself included. I own a gym just outside of New York City, which has not been able to operate at full capacity for most of the year. In fact, it’s hard to say when business might ever return to “normal” and if clients will want to come back. It would have been easy to focus on the revenue loss and the uncertainty of the future.
But I doubled down on my Monday mindset and channeled my efforts into building an AI-platform that helps individuals stay accountable through texting with certified health coaches. It’s proven a perfect way for people to try and maintain their fitness and health goals, especially when their usual methods and schedules weren’t available.
The success of Verb has been encouraging but, if I’m honest, not unexpected. My Monday mindset taught me a long time ago that I can prepare to win.
You don’t have to do what I do, but I implore you to try. Love Mondays so much, until people are weirded out by you. Love it so much that you can’t wait for the weekend to end. Love your Fridays because they are the last day of the workweek before another Monday. Love Mondays so much, it makes going to bed on Sunday an amazing experience, and it makes Hump Day feel like a non-event.
Don’t just take my word for it, though. Give it a try, and I promise you’ll find Mondays the best part of your week.