We're all guilty of it. Whether we want to admit it or not we’ve at one point said to ourselves, “I'll start my (insert diet or fitness plan here) on Monday.” For whatever unknown reason, Monday seems like the day on which we should begin our new healthy habits.
Is it because the weekend is behind us and we feel guilty about our choices and want to start anew on Monday morning? Whatever the reason, we need to loosen our grip on Monday and embrace the other days of the week. Instead of leaning on Mondays, why not try starting a new opportunity whenever it arises?
Why is it wrong to wait until Monday?
Say it’s Wednesday and your friend has invited you to start walking with her in the afternoons. Your first instinctive response might be, “Yes, I'll start walking with you next week.” What does that mean for you? Well, you could essentially be missing out on at least five days of exercise if you choose to wait until Monday. That’s a lot of exercise you're denying your body for the sake of waiting until Monday.
A 180-pound person who walked at an average of two miles per hour for 60 minutes would burn about 226 calories per day. That’s more than 1,100 potential calories burned, not to mention the other benefits you gain from exercising daily.
Another example: it’s Tuesday and you doctor asks you to start cutting back on sugar and fried foods and increasing the amount of fruit and vegetables you eat. Some may tell themselves that they will cut out unhealthy foods starting next week, instead of taking what the doctor said and implementing it into their diet immediately. There are a lot of unhealthy foods you could eat in that time, and even a handful of unhealthy meals may have a detrimental effect on your health.
It’s not all or nothing
The biggest problem we face in waiting for Monday may be this: if you start a new healthy habit on Monday, and happen to slip up on Thursday, you may be tempted to give up for the week and start again fresh on the next Monday. This can create a bad habit where you may eat healthy and exercise regularly all week, and when the weekend comes everything falls apart — but you tell yourself, "It’s OK, I'll start again on Monday."
This type of thinking doesn't do our bodies any good. Even if you slip up, it’s important to get back on track the next day and not wait for the start of a new week. We are human and mistakes happen, but it’s how we recover from those mistakes that helps us become stronger and healthier individuals.
Stop waiting and take charge
Challenge yourself to stop waiting until Monday. It’s not forbidden to start a new healthy habit over the weekend, or in the middle of the week. Remember, establishing a healthier lifestyle isn't a punishment. The rewards you'll gain will outweigh temptation if you let them.