“Monday Motivation”

#MondayMotivation – I highly doubt I’m the only person who sees this hashtag consistently every single Monday on Instagram. To be honest, I hate it. Don’t get me wrong: I’m all about us empowering one another, but I have a problem with Monday being the Holy Grail of days in the week. What did Monday do to get such praise?

Black-or-white thinking

Using Monday, the first day of the week, as a “fresh starting point for goals” automatically sets us up to feel like a failure if Monday doesn’t go “perfectly.” Let’s rewind back to my little binging period at the end of my anorexia recovery. I found myself feeling super motivated on Sunday evening to “restart” the next day.

At the time, I characterized everything as ‘good’ versus ‘bad,’ which that most Sunday nights, I had a weekend of ‘bad’ behaviors. Sunday evening, I felt a combination of regret and guilt, while simultaneously feeling a sense of motivation and renewal. I felt excited to “start over” on Monday.

And then Monday came. And something about my day went less than perfect. Rather than learning how to accept and move forward, I would dwell on the fuck-up, and then continue to “fuck up” for the rest of the week. The thought was: if Monday was already screwed over, then the whole week must be as well. See what this can create?

When we use a starting point for goals, then it can quickly turn into perfectionistic or all-or-nothing thinking. Reminder: progress doesn’t always happen linearly! Which also means: what happens or doesn’t happen on Monday doesn’t have to affect what happens (or doesn’t happen) on Tuesday, Wednesday, and so on.

Motivation doesn’t have to be limited to Monday

Progress and motivation is not just isolated to one day of the week. Progress also certainly doesn’t “start over” just because it’s Monday. Every single day is a chance to continue to move towards your goals. Refer to New Year’s Goals. I think we’re all pretty familiar with everyone around us (and perhaps even ourselves) saying something along the lines of, “new year new me!” Why do we become so fixated on a new starting point? We seem to love a reason to start fresh, to start over, or to feel like we have something to work towards.

And yet #MondayMotivation and #NewYearNewMe both seem to set ourselves up to feel like there is one and ONLY one time to feel such a heightened sense of empowerment over our lives. It also can make the excuse “I’m waiting till next week to get started” easy to use. I’ve heard multiple times that “I’ll just get started on Monday. Why start midweek when the weekend is only three days away?” Still trying to understand the logic behind that…

Every single day of the way can be reason enough to create a new goal for ourselves, or take some action that brings us closer to self-improvement. I wonder what our weeks would look like if we began to reframe every single weekday as an opportunity to achieve some sense of fulfillment.

Oh, and then there’s the opposite side of the spectrum…

Those who designate Monday as the day is automatically miserable because “it’s Monday.” A few Mondays ago, I was walking into a convenience store during my break at work and a woman was really struggling to open the door. Little did she know, it was a push-not-pull-door. As soon as she made this discovery, that she must push instead of pull, she walked in with a huff-and-a-puff, and very loudly reported: “welp, it MUST be a Monday!”

This negative mindset around the beginning of the week is clearly on the opposite end of the #MotivationalMonday preachers that we all see, and does us just as much harm. When we categorize Monday as the devil day of the week, we inevitably start to live out Mondays in a way that fulfill that categorization or prediction. AKA: the self-fulfilling prophecy.

In conclusion: Happy Monday.

 

 

Nicole

Nicole

Nicole works as a life and wellness coach through Nicole Leigh Coaching (www.nicolenessLPC.com) Nicole strives to empower women with similar struggles to redefine and re-identify themselves, separate from their eating disorder. Through her work, she empowers women to use balance in every aspect of life to maintain lifelong recovery. When Nicole isn't blogging or counseling, she loves spending her time traveling, eating burgers, and surrounding herself with positive people.