In the past when I didn’t do something perfectly or, frankly, I really didn’t want to do something – I’d tell myself I’d just start again on Monday.
But WHY Monday? Why do we do this?!
Monday makes sense to our subconscious mind, but in the grand scheme of things putting things off until Monday makes it super difficult to get things that matter to us. Most likely in ways we don’t realize.
In today’s episode, I share why we do this and more importantly how to STOP doing this. Because the truth is, there isn’t anything magical about Monday.
I’ll see you inside! xo, Janeen
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Oh and! I’m teaching a free, LIVE workshop next week called The 5 Productivity Mistakes Busy Moms Can’t Afford to Make – Especially if They’re Feeling Burned out and Behind. To register, head over to workshop.janeenalley.com and I’ll see you there!
[00:00:00] Janeen: Well, hey, they’re my friend. Welcome back to the podcast. We are talking about why Monday today. Why do we tell ourselves we are going to start again on Monday? And how this plays out in our lives. I used to do this exact same thing. I was the queen of starting again on Monday. So if you do this to yourself, you’re not alone.
[00:00:21] But we’re gonna get into all of the things about why we tell ourselves that and why we think it works and why it doesn’t work on the podcast today. But before I dive in, I wanna tell you that I am doing another workshop this next week. So I had a lot of tech issues this week, which are inevitable anytime that you are starting a business and you are doing a launch, just letting you know if you’ve launched something out there in the big wide world, you know that there are lots of things that can go wrong and they did this week.
[00:00:50] So I’m doing another workshop this next week. It’s all about the five productivity mistakes busy moms can’t afford to make, especially if they’re feeling burned out [00:01:00] and behind. If that sounds like something you are interested in, I would love for you to join me live. It’s going to be on Wednesday. All you need to do to register is head over to my website, janeenalley.com, click on any of the calls to action over there, or you can head straight to the registration page at workshop.janeenalley.com. So hopefully I will see you there. I would love to be able to interact with you and answer your questions and go a little bit deeper on some of the things that we talk about on the podcast.
[00:01:31] Okay, so why Monday? So let’s just say we have a goal.
[00:01:35] I know this is super relatable to just about everybody. Because we have a tendency to procrastinate things, right? So if we have a goal to wake up early or get to the gym, Or eat clean and we don’t do it perfectly, which is inevitable. Just like when you’re launching something with tech and things go wrong, , that’s inevitable.
[00:01:56] It’s also inevitable that we’re not perfect at reaching our [00:02:00] goals and we tell ourselves, "oh, I’ll just start again on Monday." And what this does is it gives us permission to do whatever it is that we want to for the four or five days, maybe two or three. But if you’re like me, it’s four or five days until Monday
[00:02:17] And what I used to do was I would eat all the goodies, or I would just let myself off the hook between now and then because I told myself. , "I’m gonna start again on Monday" it’s like I have this plan and my brain just buys into it. It’s like, oh, that’s a good idea. Let’s just start again on Monday. On Monday, we’re gonna feel super motivated to get things done.
[00:02:35] And usually on Monday we are. On Monday, we often do something. We start, and then on Tuesday we’re like, no, no. And things start to unravel. And by Wednesday we have fallen off the wagon again and we tell ourselves, "okay, we’re just gonna start again on Monday." So I have done this many, many times in my life.
[00:02:55] I am much better at not doing this now, but when I was in high school, I ran [00:03:00] cross-country. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not a runner. I would go out and run some miles, but I was mostly on the cross-country team just because I love to be social and we had a huge cross-country team. We had, like, a hundred girls on our cross country team, and it was super fun. I had a lot of friends that were on the team and we would run, and of course I would love to talk and make jokes the whole time, but not because I necessarily loved to run . I was out there just to have a good time. But each summer my coach really encouraged us to run and be in shape before the season started.
[00:03:36] That sounds like a great idea, right? To be in shape before the cross-country season started so that you go out and win, right? . He wanted us to run a certain number of miles during the summer in order for us to be ready. And if you ran a certain amount of miles, you got a certificate and a t-shirt or something.
[00:03:52] It was a really big deal, but he wanted us to be fit and I really wanted to be fit. I was heading into my senior year this year and at [00:04:00] this point I had a cross country season or two underneath my belt, and I had some experience of sucking wind at the start of each season because I was outta shape. So I really wanted to be in shape.
[00:04:11] And even with this experience, of sucking wind and not being in shape, I was surprisingly fast. I’m not gonna lie. This year I wanted to be really fast. I really wanted to be fast my senior year. And I wanted to make varsity. That was my goal. And out of a team of a hundred girls, , that’s a pretty big deal.
[00:04:28] And I was like 10th or something on the team the previous years. And so I knew I could do it if I just trained. But each week I’d do amazing on Monday, I’d run five miles on Monday. And on Tuesday it was hard, maybe a four mile run on Tuesdays, and I’d cut some corners and I run on Tuesday while I was out there, and I’d turn that four or five mile run into a three mile run, instead. I’d talk myself out of going further, and I would turn around early and I’d head back home. And on Wednesday I was really dragging my feet. So maybe I’d get in a mile and a half or maybe two [00:05:00] miles, and then on Thursday I didn’t run. It was really hard and I believed all my excuses and I told myself, well, "I didn’t run today so I guess I’ll just start again on Monday," and I didn’t run on Friday or Saturday . I felt guilty about that. So Friday I really didn’t want to even think about running because there was that guilt that was there. But I felt some relief when I told myself, "oh, but you told yourself you’ll start again on Monday and you will."
[00:05:25] So why do we do this? Why do we do this to ourselves? What’s so special about Monday? Well, Monday lets us off the hook for a couple days, right? Your primitive brain has three goals. It wants to seek pleasure, it wants to avoid pain, and it wants to conserve energy. And so starting Monday sounds great for all three of these reasons, right?
[00:05:48] If we stick with our running example, of course we’re going to avoid pain. if we tell ourselves we’re just gonna start again on Monday, right? There’s this sense of relief because we don’t have to do it now, and you’ve created a [00:06:00] plan for when you think you’re going to get to it. In your mind it’s kind of like this balance restored kind of concept. And I am referencing, I think, a cartoon or a comedy sketch or something about balanced restored .
[00:06:14] In your mind you have restored balance, you’re like, okay, I don’t have to do it today, which seems to make sense in the moment, right? But now that I’m saying it, it really doesn’t make any sense. , you’re like, okay, so you missed your run up Thursday. Like get back at it on Friday, but. , there is this huge sense of relief when we can put it off. Because then we don’t have to go through that whole conversation of, well, you should get your run done, but I don’t want to, but you should get out there and get it done.
[00:06:43] But I don’t want to , like that whole thing can be avoided if we just tell ourselves, okay, we’ll start again on Monday. And even when we look at this objectively, Monday is a really bad idea, right? It like puts off that run for four or five days. It [00:07:00] puts your dream off for several days and there’s no need to do that.
[00:07:04] But it seems like such a good idea because you remove the discomfort of doing it now. Being disciplined right now. There is no struggle, like I said, on Friday or Saturday or Sunday, cuz you told yourself, "I already messed up for the week. We’ll just start again on Monday." Right, and of course, putting things off until Monday totally checks the Seeking Pleasure box as well, because that thing you wanted, the results sound amazing, but the process is really hard.
[00:07:31] So instead of going further run, we tell ourselves, okay, well just starting it on Monday. It gives us permission, like I said before, to just do whatever we want right now. It seems like an instant gratification, guilt-free win. Where binging Netflix is fair game or scrolling on the Instagram’s sounds like a perfect idea.
[00:07:50] Or maybe even going out for dinner. That sounds great. We’re in vacation mode when we tell ourselves that we are gonna start again on Monday. And of course it [00:08:00] also conserves energy cuz we’re not running right. A hundred percent conserving energy, . We’re not out there doing the hard work and we just gave ourselves permission to just relax.
[00:08:11] okay. So let’s do another example. Let’s talk about getting stuff done. This is another place we just love to procrastinate because again, seeking pleasure. Start on Monday. Heck yeah, I’m off for the rest of the week. If it’s Wednesday and you’ve tried multiple times to get to a project that you haven’t been getting to, you’ve been dragging your feet, or you’ve been procrastinating all together on getting it done, Monday sounds like a great idea because we’re just putting it off, taking a vacation, resting for the rest of the week, and sometimes it’s a little sneakier than that.
[00:08:48] Like sometimes what we do in order to seek pleasure is we work on all the little things first. and then we run out of time, right? Or we work on our favorite things. We work on the things that is [00:09:00] work. It’s work like for me and my business, I love graphic design. I love building sales pages. Once I have the copy and once I have the pictures, it is so much fun for me to put that up there.
[00:09:11] on the interwebs, it’s just fun. I would so much rather do that than some of the other things in my business. So if that’s on the table, like even a little bit, even if it’s like two weeks out, this thing is due, I’m like, yes, let’s get to this first. Okay. We’re still working, but this is definitely seeking pleasure and putting off that other thing until the very last minute or until Monday.
[00:09:34] Okay. Along with procrastination, we definitely avoid pain when we tell ourselves Monday because oftentimes Creating something from scratch for the very first time that’s not out there in the world, is hard work. Because not only are we creating ideas from nothing, but we also have to live with the little voice in our head that says," this isn’t good enough," and we doubt ourselves and [00:10:00] we again, drag our feet.
[00:10:01] That painful conversation doesn’t even need to exist when we put something off until Monday.
[00:10:08] Postponing until Monday gets us out of pain right now. , and of course we’re gonna conserve energy, right? Hard work is not conserving energy. Hard work is doing a lot of energy output, even if you’re sitting in a chair to get it done. Even if you’re like me right now, sitting at my desk, there is a lot of energy output and creating this podcast. Creating anything creates energy output.
[00:10:31] And so when we tell ourselves we’ll start again a Monday, we don’t have to do any of that stuff. So, What this does, what Monday does, is it gives us permission to do whatever we want for the next few days, guilt free. But this is a bigger problem than most people realize. If you think about it, not eating on your protocol, not eating what you say you’re going to eat for the day for one meal [00:11:00] or even one day in the grand scheme of things, doesn’t really matter that much.
[00:11:05] It’s not gonna make a dent in your progress, for the most part. But if you’re not following your plan for three or four days each week because you’re telling yourself you’re gonna start again on Monday, this is going to be a super frustrating experience for you. You’re not stacking the odds in your favor.
[00:11:25] If you think about the math for a minute, let’s just stay with our food example for a second. Let’s just say for the sake of math, you’re eating 21 meals during your week. And let’s just say for one of those meals, you don’t eat on plan. But instead of just having 20 meals be on protocol and getting right back on your plan, the very next meal, the very next day, instead of doing that, you tell yourselves, ‘okay, I’ll just start again on Monday.’ If it’s Wednesday, if it happens sometime on Wednesday, you’re only getting half of those [00:12:00] meals as good meals for you and the rest of the week, you’re kind of sweeping under the rug because you’re gonna start again on Monday.
[00:12:08] Okay. And what we do when this happens is we get frustrated with ourselves, number one, but we start to draw conclusions about ourselves that just aren’t true. So we start to blame our genes, which isn’t necessarily the case, and you start to think to yourself that you just don’t have what it takes, that it’s impossible for you to stay consistent.
[00:12:31] you’re gonna think it’s you when it’s not really you. So not only that, but while you’re putting it off, you’re filled with dread cuz Monday is coming. You’re filled with guilt that you’re not getting to it now, even if it’s not on the forefront of your thoughts. I know when we tell ourselves we’ll start again on Monday, we do sort of let ourselves off the hook, but there is that naggy little voice that’s still there.
[00:12:52] It’s quiet. , it’s quiet. Monday has quieted that voice, but it’s not silenced. Okay? And so we do have this guilt that we’re not [00:13:00] getting to it, right? We also have some self hatred, as well. You can’t stand yourself sometimes for not following through, or you just get super frustrated with yourself that you’re not one of those kinds of people, that follows through on all the things, right?
[00:13:14] You’re not a perfect person, so you get frustrated with that, right? All of the good procrastinated feelings are the things that you’re feeling right now, and I say that sarcastically. Okay, but let me just tell you, you totally have what it takes. You’ve just got to stop thinking that Monday is magic.
[00:13:30] because Monday is not magic. It’s just like any other day of the week. The truth is, is you can start right now. You don’t have to wait until Monday. You don’t even have to wait until tomorrow. You can start this second. So if you ate something for lunch, for example, that wasn’t amazing and now it’s dinnertime, you have a chance at redemption right now, my friend, , you don’t have to put this off any longer.
[00:13:56] This is the one thing that I am super good at. I am not [00:14:00] great at being perfect, for sure, and I’m guessing a lot of you are right there with me. But I’m great at getting back on track right now and not waiting any longer until Monday.
[00:14:12] What we want to do is create larger gaps between the times that we feel like we fell off the wagon. So for example, if I ate off protocol on Sunday, for example, and I ate off protocol again on Monday, what I wanna do is create a larger gap so that next time that I’m eating off protocol, there may be three or four days between that time.
[00:14:34] So that you are, you are broadening the gap between when you fall off the wagon. And I know that there’s not a wagon, but you hopefully know what I mean. So here are some of my tips to stop telling yourself you’ll start again on Monday. So the first tip that I have is you wanna be onto yourself.
[00:14:52] You want to be aware of what your brain is after, what your primitive brain is after with instant gratification [00:15:00] of something, whether it’s goodies, or whether it’s Netflix, or whether it’s Instagram, or whether you’re avoiding pain or you’re conserving energy, or you’re seeking pleasure, whatever it is you want to be onto yourself.
[00:15:10] and instead, you wanna focus on long-term gratification. What are you going to get? What are you after? If you can exercise consistently, or if you can eat on protocol consistently, or you follow through on your plan for the week, what do you want? What are the obstacles in your way to get there? And of course, your brain being the biggest, but what are your stories?
[00:15:33] What are some of the other obstacles that you have besides what you’re thinking. and every time you hear yourself saying that you’re gonna start again on Monday, I want you to remind yourself that there isn’t anything magic about Monday. You can start right now and notice I didn’t say start again. You’ve already started.
[00:15:50] Most likely you’ve already started. You’re in the middle of your journey. . One of the things I really want you to hear me say is that starting [00:16:00] again, If you tell yourself, oh, I just gotta start again, is as ridiculous as telling yourself that you’re only going to go to the store if you hit every single green light along the way.
[00:16:11] If you hit a red light, you’ve gotta turn around and start again hoping that this time you’ll hit every single green light in order to get to the store. Listen up, my friend . If you’re doing this, you’re never going to get to the store. Or you might get to the store once a month, but if you do that, you’re gonna starve.
[00:16:31] Okay? So don’t tell yourself you’re starting again. You’re just starting now. That’s it. I’m starting now. That’s it. We’re back on. We’re back on the wagon. That’s all you need to tell yourself. We’re not starting again. We’re not starting over. Okay. We’re just starting now. Okay. The second tip that I have for you is you need to be kind to yourself.
[00:16:50] You’re not perfect. Neither am I. So what? What you’re currently making it mean is that you won’t reach your goals. But [00:17:00] what I’m making it mean is that I’m a human being and humans aren’t perfect, but I know plenty of human beings who have what it is that I want. So I’m going for imperfect progress. I am showing up and I’m doing things imperfectly and I’m learning from my mistakes and I’m going to keep going.
[00:17:18] That is how anybody gets anything in life. Okay. My third tip is do the hard thing first When you’re most fresh, okay, your resolve is the highest you’re going to do it. Today is the day you’re going to get that run in. So when it comes to, when it comes to this, I actually heard this analogy, I think actually at church in a church talk , so if this resonates.
[00:17:44] This is probably because you may have heard it before as well, somewhere out there in the interwebs maybe. But this person was talking about making their bed okay. And the thing was, was this was a bed that was wedged into the corner of a room. And the woman who was sharing this analogy [00:18:00] was saying she hated making her bed when she was little because it was really easy for her to do the corners with the fitted sheet that of the mattress that were closest to her, right?
[00:18:09] The ones that were closest to her, not up against the wall, but what she realized was, In order to make her bed and make it easier for herself, she needed to fit the fitted sheet around the corner of the mattress that was in the corner of the room. Otherwise, y’all know what that is, like , how difficult it is for your fingers to get that fitted sheet around the edge of the mattress up against the wall.
[00:18:31] I mean, you’re knocking your forehead into the wall. It’s just like, it’s like kind of a junk show, right? , if you’re trying to do that. So make things easy for your. Do the hardest corner first, whatever that looks like in your life. Get it done first. It’s much easier to do it first and then all the other corners aren’t that hard.
[00:18:53] I want you following the 80 20 rule with this. 20% of what you do during the day gives you [00:19:00] 80% of your results. So in this case, again, it’s kind of working on the hardest corner first. Once you get that one thing done that you don’t wanna do, whether it’s a run or whatever, you have so much energy because you’re free.
[00:19:12] You don’t have this monkey on your back telling you you should go out for a run all day long. Okay, so you know what your hardest corner is. Do that hardest corner first. All right, my friends, that is what I have for you today as far as how to get things done. if this was a helpful podcast for you, I would love it if you shared it with your friends, I am so thankful for those of you who have done that, who have shared this podcast on your social media, or with just sharing it with a friend and letting them know that it’s here and that it’s been really helpful to you, that means the world to me. So I appreciate you doing that.
[00:19:50] I hope you guys have a beautiful rest of your week. We’ll catch you guys soon. Take care. See ya. Bye.