9 People On The Monday-Morning Ritual That Makes A Tangible Difference In Their Week

I’m about to say something kind of annoying, so buckle up:

I really like Mondays.

I also know why I personally love them, though, and I also completely understand why a lot of people don’t.

Mondays generally suck. Weekends are so beautiful and perfect, and I look forward to them all week — and Mondays are particularly hard when you have a job you don’t like that is starting up again after your two blissful days off, or if you’re a student who is dreading dragging your sleepy ass out of bed and into a boring lecture on Monday at 8 AM. 

Personally, I love all the work I’m doing at the moment. Monday mornings are exciting to me because, although I love doing all those fun relaxing weekend things, I quickly get bored of free time. That is just a personality trait — maybe I’m just a boring person deep down inside, but I genuinely don’t like having nothing to do for too long. One day off is nice, but two sometimes feels like too much downtime to me. So however much fun I have going out on Friday night, or sleeping in on Saturday morning, or enjoying a Sunday of lounging and brunch-ing, I am usually itching to get back to some sort of real routine by Sunday night. I’m lucky that I’m in a place right now where I don’t experience Monday blues, but they are definitely real — I’ve experienced them before, and I’m sure I will again, so I’m always on the hunt for tips from people on what exactly they do that gets them so fired up for a full week of the #grind when their alarm goes off on Monday morning.

My personal tip: every Monday right after I wake up, I pour a cup of coffee, fix a bowl of cereal (my current favorite thing to eat for breakfast), and listen to music while I put on a full face of makeup. I don’t rock a full face every day, but something about getting myself extra chic and done-up on a Monday morning gets me amped, and kickstarts a week of good days. Aside from the fact that applying makeup is fun for me, in general, I feel better if I’ve really done my hair and paid a lot of attention to my makeup application. Being that “extra” definitely isn’t for everyone, but it is a small thing that always makes me feel like my best self, and that’s all I hope for any day — especially on Mondays.

To get an idea of what other people’s Monday rituals are, I decided to ask around and see what other people do on Monday mornings to get them motivated for the week ahead. Here is what they had to say.

1. “Every Monday, I buy my breakfast out at a cafe near my office that I really love. It sounds kind of just fun and frivolous, but it gives me this weird sense that the week has started to have a well-made cup of coffee in my hand and a good sandwich to eat when I get to my desk. If I’m being honest, having a really good snack to eat at my desk in the morning is a game-changer for me in terms of productivity, because the food gives me energy and makes me happy, which makes me work harder and just feel more satisfied.” — Brendan

2. “I work out only two days a week — Monday and Wednesday — which I guess doesn’t seem like a lot, but it feels like enough for me. I have a pretty demanding job, and it was hard for the first few months I worked there to find time in my schedule to dedicate to exercise. It wasn’t a priority. But two days a week is something I can handle, and when I first started, I decided Monday was a good day for me to do it because it would, in theory, kickstart my week by making me feel excited and motivated and proud of myself. I always feel like a better person when I can be smug and say ‘I went to kickboxing this morning,’ so now I’ve made it so that I always feel that awesome on Monday mornings.” — Allison

3. “The morning is my little time of day where I only allow positive thoughts to enter my mind, so that means no time to watch the news. (Its Monday, can’t let the President rain on my parade. Sorry, noob.)” — Cara

4. “My fiance and I live together but work opposite schedules right now, so a lot of what we see of each other is in passing. On Monday mornings, we make it a point to have breakfast together, because it puts us in a better mood before we start our weeks — plus it is one of the only days where we both have a free block of time in the morning.” — Jennie

5. “I take the weekends ‘off’ from bringing my dogs on actual walks — I am lazy and just let them outside to do their business. On Monday morning I have to get back into my weekday routine of a morning walk before I have to start working because, if I try to be lazy and skip out on it, they will just stare at me looking devastated, and it is too much for me to handle. But the walk actually puts me in a great mood, de-stresses me before my day of work, and gives me some time to reflect on the weekend or mentally prepare for my day.” — Jessica

6. “I seriously start working the second I get out of bed. It sounds weird, but it works for me. I work from home most days, and I know you are supposed to create some routine for yourself — wake up, get ready, eat, then have a hard start-and-stop time for your work. But I wake up, roll over, grab my computer, open my email, and quickly knock out two or three things that I can accomplish quickly and easily, or sometimes the most annoying thing that I know I won’t want to do later and will procrastinate on all day if I let myself. After I’ve done a few bits of work, I get out of bed and shower, have some food, and just ease into the day from there, but I feel really good knowing that I’ve actually accomplished something tangible before I’ve even brushed my teeth.” — Taylor

7. “Monday mornings are a catch-up for me. Not that I don’t strive to accomplish all I possibly can every day, but I definitely like to ease into the week and go a little harder Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, then have Mon and Fri be a little more mellow. I try to keep the pressure off Monday mornings, or I will get a bad case of blues and feel unmotivated. I always try to give myself a little time in the morning for pleasure, like a bit of reading or some tv or even just watching the news while having a sit-down breakfast before heading to work. In-office, I keep Monday as mostly a planning and preparation day. I schedule my week, knock out easier tasks, respond to emails and do more housekeeping/coordination, then really throw myself into the difficult work the next day. I like to bookend the work week with some relaxation, because for me, keeping the pressure off is key to productivity. I need to get there on my own, not wake up Monday morning feeling like I have to perform at the highest level.” — Anneliese

8. “This isn’t a Monday morning thing, but I always plan a fun activity for Monday afternoon/evening. That way, I don’t get the pit in my stomach I usually get on Sunday night because I’m excited about something I’ll be doing on Monday at the end of my school/work day.” — Meghan 

9. “I look at my phone the second I get up. I know people say that is bad. For me, it feels good. It is a way to ease into the day, see what news I missed overnight, see what people in my life are up to. I zone out on Instagram for a few, quickly check email and see if I got anything important, check weather, etc. It is something I do for 10 minutes in bed to wake myself up and feel awake and prepared for the rest of the day.” — Chrissy

Mary writes every day for TFD, and tweets every day for her own personal fulfillment. Talk to her about money and life at mary@thefinancialdiet.com

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  • HL

    I kind of “like” Mondays, too – I usually have a lot of meetings on Monday so the workday goes by quickly, and I’m most productive and energetic at the beginning of the week because I’m feeling fresh from a weekend of unwinding.

    As a non-morning person myself, my “tip” actually takes place on Sunday night, and it’s to make a list of all the things I really need to get done/prioritize, both on Monday and for the whole week. A to-do list sounds like common sense, but there’s something about seeing everything written out that makes it seem so much more manageable and less daunting. In the process of listing my priorities I find that I also intrinsically develop a plan of action. When I’m dreading the week ahead on Sunday evening, this practice really makes me feel like, “okay, I got this, it won’t be so bad”

  • Daniela

    I love Anneliese’s comment about starting off with a moment of pleasure & not putting too much pressure on achieving on Mondays! I think I subconsciously felt that way, too, that Mondays are for assessing and planning rather than *doing* a ton and hearing it named by someone else makes me feel less lazy and more strategic. 😉