Mondays are the default start day for new weight loss habits. Switch to starting your new habit on a Saturday instead. This simple tweak can make all the difference between a good intention and a successful new habit.
When I was in high school, I was in a band. Well, for one song at a talent show—Hazy Shade of Winter by the Bangles. We tore it up, although the cute boy in the YMCA lip sync didn’t ask me out.
The Bangles were a great band for a harmonizing girl band. They had great energy, but I just couldn’t understand some of their songs. What does it mean to Walk Like an Egyptian? If it does mean to walk with your hands at weird angles, why would you do that?
And then there was the song, Manic Monday. As a teenager, I wasn’t entirely sure what “Manic” meant. Once I learned what it meant, I didn’t know why a Monday would be manic. All days just seemed the same to me.
Fast forward, 29 years, four kids, and a job later— I get it. I really do wish my Manic Mondays “were Sunday.” Mondays used to be my super long health coaching day on the phone until 6:00 pm. Manic Monday— get up, get the kids to school, work all day, pick up kids from school, run kids to dance, then call patients late in the evening, then make dinner, clean up, get the kids to bed, then get ready to do it all again on Tuesday.
So once I understood Manic Mondays, deep within my soul, I started noticing something curious. Why were all my clients starting their new weight loss habits on Monday?
When to Start a New Habit
Most people want to start a new diet or exercise habit on Monday. Monday is like a mini new year. It’s full of promise, a new start--a blank slate. The perfect time to try something new.
But starting a new habit, takes effort. It takes brainpower. It takes lots of willpower. On a weekday, you’re using all your willpower just to get through the day.
And Monday mornings come especially early. It’s a job just to shift gears back to work and weekday responsibilities. There’s lots to do with lots of time constraints. Come to think of it, I don’t know how any of us get through Mondays at all.
Saturday is the New Monday
So, I began to think that Saturday should be the new Monday. Why is that? Well, Saturday and Sunday give us more flexibility. They’re usually more relaxed with less on our agendas. Less need for willpower.
Weekends are actually the perfect time to practice new weight loss habits and get comfortable with them before transplanting them to our work weeks.
When I started encouraging my clients to practice their new habits on the weekends first, they began to have a ton more success. I’ve seen clients try and fail to do a new habit on Monday, and then turn it around by starting on Saturday instead.
Cindy was a client of mine who wanted to start doing a favorite exercise video on Mondays and Fridays. She told me that despite her best intentions, she couldn’t get herself to do the video. We talked about her switching her goal to Saturday and Sunday instead. This would allow her to get over the new habit hump in the less pressure environment of the weekend. She would have more time on her hands and more importantly more willpower.
This was the habit magic Cindy needed. After doing the video on a few weekends, she felt ready to add her video habit to her weekdays also.
You too can use your additional time and increased willpower reserves of the weekend to jumpstart your new habits.
Before you start your next weight loss habit, give yourself some practice on a weekend first. Then notice the ease with which your new habit comes. You will then feel comfortable moving it to your weekday--manic or not.
Until next time,
Coach's Tips is a short insight from being a health coach and working with my clients. I want to share them with you, so that you too can learn the secrets of losing weight the Real Healthy Habits way.
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What are the secrets of the most successful losers? After coaching hundreds of people, I found these 15 habits and mind shifts in my clients who lose weight and keep it off. Now I'm sharing the guide to losing weight without dieting with you. Get the guide here...
I'm a dietitian, personal trainer, and health coach who started asking all the tough health and weight loss questions-- like how do we get more willpower, why can’t we stay motivated, and why is getting healthy and losing weight so tough?
I discovered that the answer to all these questions is simply--Your Brain.
I help you stop the health and weight loss struggles by understanding your brain and then working with it—instead of against it. Then, I teach you how to put your personalized healthy habits on autopilot for results that last.
I believe that you deserve the health and energy to live your best life.