Monday Morning Motivation: It’s an INside job


How To Get Pumped On Monday Morning: It’s an INside Job.

Want to get pumped for a Monday morning workout? Looking for Monday morning motivation? Google has almost 20,000,000 answers for you.  List after list of the best ways to get motivated on Monday, how to start your week off great and Monday morning inspiration fill magazine pages, websites and general social media posts.

I began counting the lists of ideas that well-meaning fitness and motivational “experts” have published and lost track in the hundreds of “eat a healthy breakfast,” “gather your clothes the night before,” “get a good night’s sleep,” “make a list of the reasons why a Monday morning workout is good for you,” “make a date,” and my favorite – “set your alarm clock.”

OK. So Nearly 20,000,000 articles of lists of hundreds and hundreds of often repetitive ideas just stated differently, and STILL, we have trouble getting going for #mondaymotivation ? What’s up America? Is Monday so really different than any other day? Really?

I know why a Monday workout is healthy for you.  You create a “get the ball rolling” mentality, you start your week off with some good endorphins pumping your smile/self-esteem/happiness muscles and reduce your cortisol induced dread factor as you look ahead to the week of work facing you, you’ll love the feeling of increased GABA–a neurotransmitter that propels your feeling of self-control. You feel more productive, optimistic, creative, more enjoyable to be around and put out better work. What a great way to begin a new week, right?

So, what’s the difficulty? You’ve set a date with your group ex buddies, prepared for Monday on Sunday night, have a great post-workout breakfast planned, got your music set and a terrific reward planned…and you still don’t have that Monday get up and have an awesome week mindset. Ugh. There’s that word. Mindset.

Aristotle called self-control, “the hardest victory.” I suggest the problem is that we’ve been sold on self-control, or WILLpower.  It’s time to stop, that’s right, STOP, focusing on WILLpower.  “But if I stop focusing on building WILLpower, what’s left? I’ll never be motivated without WILLpower,” says everyone I coach who erroneously believes they need one of the hundreds of tricks to build their WILLpower.

Want the best tip to get motivated when you wake up on Monday morning and carry your motivation throughout the week? I call it “DOpower.”  Instead of focusing your mind on what you WILL do, a future focus that leaves room to wiggle out of with all kinds of rationalizations, focus on DO.  Here’s the top 5 ways you stop yourself from DOing:

  1. “I can’t do it.”
  1. “It’s too hard with everything else I have to do.”
  1. “I WILL do it tomorrow, I promise.”
  1. “I’m not a good planner.”
  1. “It really doesn’t matter.”

Until you talk yourself out of these types of irrational thoughts, all of the 20,000,000 ideas to get you going on Monday morning mean zero. In other words, Michael Mantell says, “Monday Morning Motivation is all in your Mind.” MMMMMM. You see, the finest medicine, the ultimate cuisine, the most glamorous clothing—all mean nothing unless you swallow it, eat it or put it on. Pack your clothes the night before? Make it a social connection to work out with a group? Sure it works – IF you are mentally ready for it to work. Otherwise it’s just another in a long line of articles that you skim through and think, “Not for me.”

So, let’s honestly catch your stumbling block thoughts. Here’s the hard part: peep a list of these “How I talk myself out of Monday morning workouts.” Be honest and unafraid to hear your thoughts. No self-criticism, no put-downs, just “OK world, this is what I’m really telling myself.”  What’s that you say, “I don’t like to have to make lists.” Then perhaps you just aren’t ready. What do you think it’d take to become ready? Imagine what’d happen if you simply don’t make this list, or if you don’t begin your week on a Monday high? And then visualize what’d happen if you do.

Ready? Next, let’s challenge these thoughts. Maybe you are thinking in black and white terms – “Either I get up with a perfect attitude and hit the gym or my Total Gym in my basement, or I’m a loser.” Perhaps you are “shoulding” on yourself, “I know I should, or have to, work out today, but…(finish with one of the five thoughts above.” Maybe you’ve got a mental filter in front of you that only let’s you see the negative and not anything positive about workout out on a Monday morning. These types of thinking styles will surely keep you from DOing. It’s that “I WILL,” instead of “I AM” that’s stopping you.

Lastly let’s replace these rationalizations with healthier and more accurate types of thoughts. “Of course I can” “Who says it must be easy?” “Tomorrow doesn’t count.” These thoughts are grounded in a self-image of “I’m like that person who does get it going on Monday morning,” and are anchored in only seeing what you want, and never seeing those things you don’t want.

Mindset is everything. Perhaps spending some time slowing it down on Sunday, mindfully seeing yourself being “like that person who…” instead of even entertaining those derailing thoughts of why you can’t.

Mondays are for fresh starts, certainly. That’s true only if your mindset sees that clearly. Monday may be the beginning of a healthy, beautiful week, but only if your mindset sees that clearly. Nothing outside of your mindset will inspire you. It’s an INside job. INspire.  Think mINd.

Once your mind is set, then and only then will the alarm clock, the cool music, the great gym clothing laid out the evening before, the terrific friends counting on you to show up, the planned healthy reward afterward and so on (up to 20,000,000 other little tips), be of help.

To be fearless in the pursuit of a great start to a week ahead of working out starting on Monday, you need to be fearless. And that’s all in your mind.

Dr. Michael Mantell

Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has been providing psychological and coaching services for nearly 5 decades and continues to empower positive change among his global clients to enhance life in every way. He is a highly sought-after healthcare professional coach, an executive and team building consultant, and a longtime specialist in cognitive behavioral coaching.

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