There's nothing better than wrapping up a successful week and having something fun to look forward to on the weekend. The only problem is that eventually the weekend ends, Monday begins, and we're back to the grind.
In today's article, I'm going to share some of my favorite Monday Motivation techniques. I'll vary the mediums so that no matter what your preferences are, there will be something for you. I'm also going to vary the strategies because not everyone appreciates being talked at. By the end, there will be something that catches your eye. It will then be up to you to implement it.
#1. Encouraging Quotes
Sometimes all it takes is a quote to put yourself in the proper mindset to get back into your work week. Quotes help frame our perspective: things are never that bad, the unknown isn't that scary, and the hard work may actually help you feel more fulfilled.
Where to find them
There are hundreds of sites with motivational or inspirational quotes. Many will send you a quote of the day or an email with a particular theme. One I like is Insight of the Day.
There are also specific sites for women and men, various ages, religious-themed, etc. Find your cup of tea and take a drink. Don't be that person that signs up for the daily email and then never reads it. You may want to set a daily calendar reminder, even if it's for only two minutes/day, to help you get into a consistent practice.
Some of my favorites
Here are some of my favorite motivational quotes that apply whether you're at the gym or at the office:
“Whatever you are, be a good one.” ―Abraham Lincoln
“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” ―Dalai Lama XIV
“One day or day one. You decide.” —Unknown
“Work like there is someone working 24 hours a day to take it away from you.” ―Mark Cuban
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” ―Aristotle
“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.” ―Lou Holtz
“You can waste your lives drawing lines. Or you can live your life crossing them.” ―Shonda Rhimes
“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” ―Kurt Cobain
“Work hard in silence, let your success be the noise.” ―Frank Ocean
#2. Get Up and Work Out
Exercise changes both your body and your brain, that's a fact. One of the best ways to start a week is with a workout. You don't need to kill yourself; just get up and get moving. Not only will this help kick-start your week, but it will make you feel better if you didn't make the best nutrition decisions over the weekend.
According to Frontiers, intrinsic motivation is defined as the doing of an activity for its inherent satisfaction rather than for some separable consequence. Think about that for a second: if you can actually enjoy your workout and then receive unintended benefits, most of which you don't actually realize, that's a win/win.
I'm not going to go into detail about all of the cool things you could do, but here are few ideas if you need some inspiration.
*Go running outside
*Pick a random YouTube video and complete the class
*Invite a friend to your gym (or go to theirs)
*Ride your bike
*Do the Murph workout: a one-mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 squats, and another one-mile run
*Find a hill in your neighborhood: run 10 hill sprints. Sprint up, walk down, and at the bottom, do either push ups, sit ups, or leg lifts. Mix it up after each sprint.
#3. Spend Some Time In Thought
If this sounds like legendary North Carolina State basketball coach, Jim Valvano, good! It should!
Whether you pray, meditate, read, journal, etc., block out time each Monday morning to set some intentions for the week. Think beyond yourself and be grateful for what you have. According to Psych Central, meditation has measurable effects on four areas of your brain:
Gray matter — involved in muscle control and sensory perception, including emotions, memory, speech, seeing, hearing, and decision making
The prefrontal cortex — responsible for decision making
Amygdala — controls emotional response
Hippocampus — responsible for memory and learning.
How many of you think of the word "training" and automatically associate it to training our physical bodies? If you can train your brain to be more aware, be more calm, and ultimately, make better decisions, this is something all of us should be signing up for.
Simply showing up to work in a more self-aware state is a huge boost, and your co-workers will thank you later.
#4. Introduce Something Thought Provoking
By this, I mean: tune into a podcast you've never listened to before. Pick a topic you're interested in and watch a YouTube video. Schedule a call with a mentor or someone you don't know on a Monday morning. Show your brain something new, not to distract yourself from the week's work ahead, but to fire it up so you're thinking in a new way.
Habits are good things. But, listening to the same people talk about the same things week after week will only get you so far. If you already dedicate time to this, think about how you can introduce new material, voices, and opinions into your routine.
#5. When All Else Fails
Turn to a motivational speaker and let them motivate you. There are some tremendous videos on YouTube, for free, that will make you want to run through a wall. Better yet, put one on during your workout, run, or bike ride. Here are my favorites.
For More Motivation
If you've made it this far, hopefully you have an idea or two to help make this the best Monday yet. Remember, you can't control what happens around you. All you can control is how you react.
If you're a reader, you might also enjoy our page with our list of Best Motivational Books.
John Willkom is the author of Amazon best-selling basketball books: Walk-On Warrior and No Fear In The Arena. John is an avid reader, sports fan, and father to two incredible little girls.
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