A few months back, I decided I was ready to stop being such a nut on Mondays. The fact was, as soon as Monday morning rolled around, the negative voices in my head went on full blast. All my worries would flood in. Everything I was scared about would loom much larger. I was not staring those fears down and dealing with them right away (like my coach pointed out I should). Instead, I got very involved in all my email and to dos. My approach to Mondays was taking a real toll on my life, but I had noble excuses for not dealing with it, such as “but I still get so much done.” I reasoned, “at least I am good at getting my mind to quiet on the weekends.” The fact remained however, at the time of the week that was most important for me to be present, to be a “designer of life,” instead I went into my too-busy/overwhelmed trait, trying to keep my real feelings at bay.
I asked myself, why was this happening to me? Here were my knee-jerk answers: “there’s something wrong with me.” That’s not very helpful. “Well, maybe I got it from my parents; they worry, too.” That didn’t give me power either. “Ahhh, there is something wrong with my life, I asked for too much responsibility!” Nope. Because when I consider making my life less exciting and challenging, that just depresses me. So it turned out, none of the knee-jerk answers really fit the bill.
I am assuming many of you have this dilemma, too. So I kept pondering on behalf of all of us. Here is what I have come up with as the real reasons why it’s so hard to get present to your dreams and stay there (especially on Mondays!):
1) You haven’t called those voices in your head what they are: BS!
On Monday morning, something clicks over and all the negative voices, the I don’t want to’s, I shouldn’t have to’s, I don’t think I can’s, just start flowing. At Handel, we call those the voices of the chicken and the brat, and you have your own special brand of them. Calling those voices BS does quiet them. I need reminders, though. I am usually pretty good at “talking back” to these voices (a method we use) but I had been letting Mondays slide! I’ve decided Mondays set the tone for the week, so they are the most important day to win the battle of the voices. How’d you do yesterday?
2) You haven’t replaced them with something new.
My plan for Monday morning was always- catch up! That’s not a very smart plan for replacing what my brain generally likes to do on a Monday morning, which was worry. Now, I have a cleansing (physical and mental) ritual on Monday mornings as well as an awesome teleseminar: Wake Up Your Week, designed to ensure neither you nor I get to stay in any kind of funk on a Monday. Without a structure in place, along with accountability and a support community, good luck keeping any new idea thriving. It’s just not possible. After you have done the hard work of ousting your old tired mental and physical rituals, you have to replace them with brand-spanking new ones! And then get yourself to stick to them.
I’d love for you to join us for our weekly pep talk/teleconference on Mondays (or you can listen later), followed by targeted assignments and follow up/interaction on our private social network. Each month we tackle new areas of life. This coming month is all about relationships with others and how to communicate. Turns out everyone needs a structured kick in the butt on Mondays.
If you can’t join us, here is what I recommend for you on Mondays (or any day you are feeling “off”):
- 1) Recognize negative emotions; don’t stuff ’em. Start your day with a spiritual cleanse: meditate or journal to get yourself balanced and present.
- 2) Drink tons of water and avoid sugar, duh.
- 3) Design your day. Write a little paragraph about how your day is going to go and send it to yourself and a friend.
- 4) Read dreams you’ve written in the past, update if necessary.
- 5) Make a plan for what you are going to do and do the hardest, scariest things first. Leave unplanned time, too. Stick to the plan. Extra credit: come up with a creative consequence when you DON’T stick to your plan to keep you present to your plan.
- 6) Publicly commit to having great Mondays (see how I am doing that?) or whatever day or time of day you need to tackle, and get a buddy you can call when you are slipping. Make sure your buddy has your dream on hand as well, to remind you what you’re up to.
Structure is everything, folks. Technically, we humans can’t remember a good idea any longer than we can remember a phone number (14 seconds), so we need all kinds of help!
Time to decide. Do you want to start your week numb or scared? Or do you want to start your week present to your dreams? Write a comment and tell me what you’re taking on from this list.
P.S.- Ready for even more support? Register today for Wake Up Your Week, and ensure a great week every week.
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Laurie Gerber is President of Handel Group® Life Coaching, an international coaching company, which specializes in teaching individuals to take focused and powerful action in every area of their lives. You can connect with Laurie on Facebook at HG Life Coaching.