Happy Monday to you all! It’s time to start another week – more opportunities, more chances, more new starts, more challenges, more failures and more successes ahead of us all.
I used to be the kind of girl who dreaded Monday mornings – the type that only lived for the weekend. But then I realised how precious EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. is and I decided that Monday was always going to be the day I made plans, made progress and set intentions for the week ahead.
So here are my top 5 tips for starting your week off right!
1. Keep a calendar
Whether it’s a weekly spread, or the full month ahead – keeping your calendar properly updated (and preferably off your phone or computer), can really help you visually see the week that’s ahead of you.
You’ll be able to better plan chances for movement, for downtime, for uptime and not suddenly get to Sunday without taking care of yourself and the things important to you.
I have bought a $10 Monthly Magentic Board from Kmart (not sponsored) which sits out in the kitchen so the whole family can see what’s coming up. There’s no surprises, no guesswork – just update the calendar and check over it 😉
(You can also use it to block out days – like no laundry day, no spending days, 10,000 step day, clean up days — use your planner to your advantage as a family for everyone’s self care and awareness of how your household and family works together).
2. Clean & tidy on a Sunday
This is something that I’ve come to enjoy – I mean, who loves to wake up on a Monday morning (or any day really) to a piles of stuff everywhere – dishes, clothes, blankets (it’s winter!) and just general disarray.
Taking 1 hour (or not even that sometimes, 20 minutes will do!) to go room to room and tidy up the high traffic areas on a Sunday evening might be boring but trust me, come Monday morning you will LOVE IT.
3. Early to bed on Sunday night
So on that Sunday evening after you’ve tidied up the best you can – it’s time to take a warm bath or shower and get into bed early. Early for me means 8pm (so I can wake up at 5am, refreshed) – and it’s actually glorious to know that things have been put away and there’s nothing left to do but get some sleep.
Adults need between 7-8 hours of sleep a night, even if you dip to 6 hours a night you will start to feel the effects of not resting your mind & body enough. I try to get to bed by 9pm most nights a week (which means lights off, no electronics, just a podcast on a sleep timer!) and I know I feel better once I make sleep a priority.
4. Plan out your meals as best you can
In the past, I have been really bad with my nutrition and meal planning – I always put it aside as something that didn’t matter. But once I started to meal plan a little bit, I could see how much better I felt AND how easy it was to do.
For me, I will plan to make my lunch for 2-3 days a time, which means I only need to make lunch twice a week (the other day can be a ‘whatever’ day). Usually because I’m putting together a sushi bowl, it only takes about 20 minutes max to put together – sushi rice might take 12 minutes so while that cooks I’ll wash and chop a variety of veggies to go with it (usually carrots, cucumber, coriander) and open a can of tuna & mash that with some kewpie mayo. Double it and tomorrow’s lunch is done. You don’t need to go all Masterchef – you just need to find out what you like to eat, could you throw in some veggies and what days of the week can do you do this for yourself.
And heck, if it’s pizza then it’s pizza. I would rather that you be mindful with your food intake and actually eat, than scramble last minute like you don’t matter. Because you matter and your mind & body will thank you for it.
5. Set good habits and block off time for important things
Here’s the thing about motivation – it doesn’t last. It’s never the same every day and you WILL get tired.
So switch to forming GOOD HABITS and teach yourself to prioritise the most important things to you and JUST GET IT DONE. It took alot for me to form better habits around working from home – before I became a carer for my daughter, I actually worked for 11 years from home in web development. At the start, it was all fun to be home AND be at work – but I learnt the hard way that you need to have boundaries and sometimes those boundaries suck, but they give you structure and discipline to get things done.
These days, as a mum & carer who is trying to grow her own small businesses – structure allows me to know when I have time to work, around the times I need to be a parent. Once that window opens up where I can work, I get to it and I switch off the other distractions. I like to make sure that I’m back in my ‘office’ by 10am (from school drop off, grocery run, errands etc) so that I can work between 10-12, take a break, and then I do another solid session in my car at school pick up (lol) from 2-3pm. It’s 3 hours, but if I can do that 3-4 times a week, that’s 9-12 hours ahead of where I used to be.
You get what you work for.
Take a look back at your last week and think whether you were able to move forward with your own goals and projects – could you have prioritised better? On a Sunday, could you sit infront of your lovely new monthly calendar and block out time on certain days to just work on your own stuff?
BONUS number 6 – be mindful!
Okay, so a bonus tip for starting your week off right – is to be mindful (and be mindful of being mindful!).
I think it’s so important to be aware of where you are, the things and people around you – and no better time to do that, than a Monday morning. Taking 60 seconds to open up your eyes and really look around you, or to stop and really listen to your children or your partner. To breathe in the morning air. To really taste your breakfast.
Tune into where you are today, because today is already pretty spectacular.