I'll start Monday, I promise!*

Monday, 4 April 2016, By Chris Masina

"I'll start Monday, I promise!" We've heard this a thousand times before…at least. Because it's easier to start on Monday, right? Because we've got so much on this week or weekend, it's impossible to start a diet/healthy lifestyle or good habit today. It will have to be Monday. Monday is a better day. Fresh start. Clean slate. I don't have anything on Monday. I will start Monday, I promise. Let me share a secret with you that you probably already know; you will most likely have something on next weekend or something will come up unexpectedly. Then there is that special event coming up. Oh, and the weekend away you have been planning for months. Then it's your child's birthday. After that it's your birthday and then suddenly summer season is upon you and the Mondays have come and gone. You probably did get started on a few Mondays, but then something happened, you slipped, fell off the horse and felt like everything was ruined, so better just to wait 'til next Monday to start over again.

What is it about Mondays that is so good? It's really just another day of the week. Why do all the new and healthy habits have to start on a Monday? If you plan on changing your life on a Monday, take all your bad habits out and replace them with fantastic, healthy habits all in one day, you are likely setting yourself up for failure. Many people I know, don't even like Mondays for starters and they choose to make them into that sad, woeful day when they will never eat sugar again, they will get up at 5am every weekday morning to exercise and they will only have salad for lunch. 

Picture yourself after a great weekend. You had a lovely three course dinner on Friday night (and probably half a bottle of wine by the end of the night). On Saturday you had brunch with a girlfriend (the muffin you had afterwards just looked too good not to have!). Then your partner surprises you with homemade dinner and dessert (can't say no when they have cooked, right?). Sunday lunch with the family and your favourite TV show Sunday night with a last little sweet treat before your new life starts on Monday morning!

Then BANG! Monday morning hits and you drag yourself out of bed when the alarm goes off at 5am - you promised yourself you would do it! Off to the gym, an hour of hard cardio to start off the week. You eat an apple on your way to work and skip your usual latte (because you should really not drink that much coffee, so you start that today too, because it is Monday after all!) and have a lovely (not so filling and satisfying though) salad for lunch. Ah, that feels good.

You update social media about how good you have been. Post a picture of your lunch on Instagram with hashtags #healthyeating, #diet, #feelinggood and #day1. Then 3 o'clock comes along and your stomach is growling at you, because it's hungry. You're tired and those sweets in your drawer in case of emergency are looking better and better. You stay strong, because you started today and you are on a diet. You can do this! 5pm ticks and you rush out of the office, giving yourself a pat on the back for not having those chocolates. Traffic home is terrible, you are frustrated and holding back the road rage.
You finally walk through the door at home, hungrier than ever, franticly going through the pantry and the fridge. There is nothing healthy there you can eat! Nothing! You ask your husband what he wants for dinner. He suggests pizza. "Pizza? I can't have pizza! I'm on a diet! I'm so hungry. I want something now! There's nothing here. Pizza? Mm, pizza sounds great, if we order now, I will be eating in 15 minutes. I really shouldn't, but oh my God, yes! I want pizza! Can you please order darling?

Soon after you're enjoying your tasty pizza, thinking to yourself "Oh well, I'll just start again next Monday. I have so much on this week anyway, it would have been impractical to start this week". Tuesday morning 6:30am, you drag yourself out of bed, slice of toast for breakfast and go straight to work with a nice big latte in your hand, have your usual toasted sandwich with chips on the side for lunch and a sneaky chocolate bar at 3 o'clock with your third coffee for the day, thinking that Monday will be good. I'll start Monday, I promise! 

Does this sound somehow like you or at least at some stage? Maybe you're currently on your way to improving your habits and making better food choices? Maybe you're waiting for Monday? A really good idea to consider would be to do one good thing at the time. Take baby steps. One habit at a time. Today, is a great day to make one good choice towards a healthier lifestyle.
Pick just one thing! Not two or three, and stick to that one thing for two weeks. If you forget one day, keep going the next day. Don't wait until Monday to restart. Then after two weeks, when this new healthy thing is starting to become a habit and doesn't feel that hard anymore, pick one other new thing and repeat.

Soon all these small things will add up in the long run and you will be well on your way to achieving a healthier and happier lifestyle, without ever having to wait for another Monday again!

Don't delay, start today!

*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.

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