Happy Sunday everyone! Can you even believe tomorrow is the first day of fall? I hope you can spend at least some time today or tomorrow thinking back on your summer and set some goals for the new season ahead. I love new beginnings, whether it’s the start of a season, a new year, or even a new week (hence why these posts go out at the start of each week!). It’s a new chance to define yourself, your goals, and start working towards all you’ve ever wanted.
Unfortunately, I think my feelings on this are uncommon. I mean, how often do you hear people complaining about Mondays – how often do you complain about Mondays? I’ll answer this for you: it’s a lot. It’s easy to see the pain in Mondays; the weekend is over, time to head back to work, time to send the kids back off to school, back to the daily grind. But are any of those things ever really that bad? Plus what about all the good things that happen during the week? We tend to think about the worst as we head into the week, but what if we focused on the best?
What if we looked forward to the week just as much as we looked forward to the weekends?
Radical thinking, right? But it’s possible.
STOP COMPLAINING TO YOURSELF, YOU’RE TIRED OF HEARING IT
What comes to mind when you think about your week ahead? If it’s your crappy commute or how you’ll be working late because of a 5pm meeting someone put on your calendar, stop right there. Push the complaints aside. Your brain is tired of hearing about waking up early, busy commutes, and long days. Forget the dentist appointment and really look at what else is happening this week.
Are you taking your little one to t-ball practice or having a date night with your spouse? Maybe it’s something even smaller, like wearing those new shoes you bought over the weekend. Think of anything upcoming that’s going to make you feel good, excited. Focus on those activities when you feel the Sunday Scaries setting in & remind yourself that there is good in the week ahead. Save the complaints for Jerry in the break room on Monday morning, or really change things up and tell Jerry what you’re excited about instead. Chances are you’ll be in a better mood, and so will Jerry after hearing your excitement.
FIND OPPORTUNITY FOR POSITIVITY
Let’s be real, it’s easy to find the pain in new beginnings. Mondays can be a tough dose of reality, New Year resolutions can be overwhelming, and who doesn’t miss summer once it’s over? Plus, suffering (even on a small level) is super relatable so not only are you feeling this way, but it’s easy to commiserate with your friends and coworkers about feeling this way. And ta-da – welcome the soul-crushing cycle of negativity!
It’s so easy to fall into negative thought patterns because we’ve trained ourselves to do so by endlessly complaining to ourselves (see above). But if you work to focus on the fun, exciting, positive aspects of everything then you can work your way out of the negativity cycle. This isn’t positive thinking I’m talking about here, it’s truly finding positive things and living into them instead of turning our focus to the negative things.
For example, think of Monday morning in your work break room. It’s full of strong coffee and breathy sighs. Complaints to coworkers about the traffic, sarcastic jokes of “hanging in there” or “being pretty good for a Monday” are plentiful. Jerry’s probably going on about how long this week is going to be. It’s easy to join in – that 5pm meeting you have tonight is going to suck, and the traffic really was bad this morning. Stop yourself.
Now imagine you walk into the break room and Jerry has a big ol’ smile on his face. You ask him why he looks so chipper and he goes on about how Fall is his favorite season – did you see the leaves turning outside?? – oh and he tried this new pumpkin coffee, delicious! – and he yells “have a good day!” as he runs off to his first meeting. How are you feeling after that encounter? You probably start thinking about how much you love fall and how you really want to try that pumpkin coffee.
Point is, negativity breeds negativity and positivity breeds positivity. Be the Jerry that is excited and wants to share with the world. Like him, you can recognize all the positive and exciting things about your day and treat them with the emphasis that they deserve. That amazing cup of coffee, the weather outside, or plans with your family after work. Be excited!
IF YOU’RE STILL STRUGGLING, IT’S TIME FOR A CHANGE
If you find yourself searching everywhere and still can’t find any good in Monday, then it’s time for a change. I’m not suggesting you up and quit your job because you have to stay late, but introduce an aspect to your day/week/life that gets your excited.
Plan a date night with your spouse or some one on one time with a friend you haven’t seen in a while. Sometimes I have to drive to another site for work and while I hate the longer commute, I use it as an opportunity to visit old co-workers or explore the town while I’m there. Even when your week is looking pretty normal or you don’t have time to plan something, you can do something that gets you excited, like:
Brew a new cup of coffee in the morning. Bonus points if you can enjoy it while reading a book or listening to your favorite podcast.
Spruce up your work attire and wear something new or creative; we always feel good when we look good so hop into that closet and find something fun!
Bring your favorite mug to work and enjoy the compliments you get on it’s fun/silliness.
We can’t escape new beginnings, but we can learn to embrace them. We can’t get out of Mondays, but we can make them enjoyable! Use some time today to think about how your life would change if you decided to focus on the all the opportunities ahead of you instead of the complaints.
Our weekend might be over, but our week is just starting.
Have a great week!