How to Avoid the Monday "Diet" Trap
The new year is started and rolling! I know there’s a whole movement to forgo New Year’s resolutions and to just make changes all year long. I get that. But I love a fresh start. I love a full year to commit to a new habit or two or three for myself.
Whatever your goals are this year, I want you to try to let go of the “wagon” mentality. There is no wagon that you’re on or off. This year I want you to commit to always being “on the wagon” so you never have to “start over” on Monday.
That doesn’t mean you’ll be perfect every single day, you won’t be and that’s not the goal. The goal is consistency. To keep rolling, to hold on through the bumps, slow down at yellow lights, and sometimes even take a full stop at a red light. As long as you keep going. You don’t get off the wagon. When the light turns green again, you roll. It’s a lot easier to roll again when the light turns green if you never got off the wagon. But if you got off that wagon and the light turns green, it’ll take you a whole lot longer to get back on. Heck, you might never get back on. You may hop on a completely different train or just trudge along back home on foot.
Okay, hopefully, you’re following my analogy. Analogies work until they don’t so let’s use a real-life example too.
Your goal is to read 12 books in the new year. One book a month. You go hard for the first 3 months but April rolls around and you had such a busy few weeks, you didn’t get the chance to buy a book. By April 25th you say, “Ah screw it. I missed April, I won’t hit my yearly goal.” and you consciously “fall off the wagon.”
Your goal is to read 12 books in the new year. One book a month. You go hard for the first 3 months but April rolls around and you had such a busy few weeks, you didn’t get the chance to buy a book. By April 25th you say, “Ah man. I missed vital weeks this month. That’s okay, better late than never. There are 5 days left of April and plenty of time to get started on a new book, finish it by mid-May, and another one by the end of May, and still hit my goal.” You consciously stay on said “wagon.”
This concept applies to daily movement goals, mindful eating, balanced eating, water goals, etc. The “Starting Over on Monday” mindset is one that forces you to fully step off the wagon, and lose your motion, with no guarantee of starting up again. It’s a failure mindset. It doesn’t allow you to fully identify with the habits and behaviors you want to adopt. Every time you choose to give up and start over, you’re saying “this isn’t who I am anyways. I’ll take a break and be myself for a moment before I start behaving like someone I’m not again.”
When in reality, the key to building lasting healthy habits is truly identifying with those new habits. The mantra “this is who I am now,” is one I repeated for 2 years straight until I truly believed that I was someone who ate mindfully and cared for my body without beating it to the ground. When in doubt, this is who you are now. You could start over Monday. But why? You’re the same person Monday that you are on Saturday and Sunday. Your goals don’t change depending on the day of the week nor does your flexibility with yourself. This year try hanging onto the wagon.
With my clients, I focus on shifting habits without restricting or counting calories to achieve sustainable weight loss or weight maintenance. We use practical nutrition so we can live life and feel our best!
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