Ok, so here we are. It’s the first Monday of 2011. Did you greet it with your “typical Monday” attitude? Maybe even a tad worse because you may be coming back to work after a few days off for the holidays? Sometimes the excitement of the New Year is hard to hold onto after the champagne headache wears off. Here are a few thoughts on this first Monday of the new year:
Monday is not the enemy. Mornings are not the enemy. Here’s why…
“Emptiness is a symptom that you are not living creatively. You either have no goal that is important enough to you, or you are not using your talents and efforts in a striving toward an important goal.” –Maxwell Maltz
Don’t make your New Year’s resolutions about the same things you know you want, in a generic sort of way, but don’t want enough to make the changes necessary to get them. You know… like, “This year I will lose 20 pounds!” Make them about living creatively. What needs to change in your life, externally and internally, so that Mondays are not about that empty, I-hate-Monday-mornings feeling? What will it take for Mondays to be the bringers of opportunity, promise, ideas and energy? It’s possible, even for those who are not “morning people,” to love Monday mornings. Well, maybe not love… but at least to greet Monday with a welcoming smile instead of a growl.
For me, Monday mornings are best when I take thirty minutes sometime Sunday evening and get ready for Monday. I make some notes, one of my ubiquitous lists, and go through emails, calendar appointments, etc. so I can start off Monday on pace, on schedule, prepared. It’s sometimes the only time the whole week I feel ready, prepared, in control of my day. I happen to love Monday mornings…. true story, that.
Another way to think of “living creatively” is to just live an examined life. Stop rolling through your days one after another without introspection and that crucial inner dialogue that keeps us true to our beliefs, our values, our very selves.
- Take some time to tune into the thoughts and needs of others, whether they’re family or strangers.
- Connect to your larger world.
- Connect to your inner world.
- Think about why you care about what you care about.
The busyness and business of our daily lives (I have 4 kids, remember? Busyness is something I understand!) makes real introspection something that rarely happens without allowing it some time and space. So provide some… a few minutes a week devoted to just checking in with your inner self. I almost always drive with the radio off when I’m alone in the car… I use the time for thinking. Not daydreaming, but giving that inner voice an opportunity to speak. Find your moments. Now, if I could only find the necessary moments for physical exercise… that would be my “I hate Mondays!” equivalent.
This year, let’s resolve to welcome Mondays for the opportunities they are, and to stop blaming a day or a time for our dissatisfaction with who we are or what we’re doing. And I’ll see about that whole exercise thing.
And, uh, Happy New Year!