If you’re like me, you love Sundays. Why? Because every Sunday I tell myself that this next week will be different. This next week, I will be productive. This next week I will finish that assignment. This next week I will workout every day for at least 30 minutes. This next week…
Disclaimer: I’m assuming that your week starts on Monday here. But you get the point.
And Monday comes. With the arrival of Monday, comes the inevitable pain of having to take action. The pain that you know you have to suffer in order to achieve your goals. Suddenly, the bed feels so much better. The bed, that represents your comfort zone, gives you everything you need: instant gratification and safety. You are getting something you enjoy (warmness, good feelings and comfort) by doing literally nothing. This feels so good. Why would I wake up and go do the run I planned to do yesterday? What is the point?
And that week passes, and Sunday comes again. Same expectations, same motivation, but no action to follow through. You might even find yourself saying, in the middle of the week, “This week I failed to achieve my goals because X happened, but next week I’ll do things better and I’ll take action”. And this cycle repeats itself again and again.
So, why do we love Sundays? Because we don’t take any action right away. You might be sitting at your computer on a Sunday night preparing the next week, filling a big sheet of activities you want to do that week. You have bursts of motivation and big ideas. We feel good and we tell ourselves that we are productive people by doing this. We feel good because we don’t have to act immediately on these things. That’s why we love Sundays.
How do we fight this? It’s pretty god damn simple: you take action, immediately. If, on Sunday night, you’re writing your next big goal for your week, which could be something like “This week I’ll journal every night and write down my thoughts”, why don’t you start doing that right now? Pick up a pen and paper and immediately complete one of your goals. You could also say something like “This week I won’t forget to revise for my classes every night for 20 minutes”. Instead of starting tomorrow, start now. Get your momentum rolling. Get in the habit of taking action.
The motivation that Sunday gives you is like a candle in a birthday cake. It shines bright, but Monday comes and “blows” it’s fire and wipes your willpower and motivation. What you have left is discipline. And discipline does not shine brightly. At all.
I’ve suffered from this for a long time. Every Sunday I would think big about the upcoming week: what I would do, how I would accomplish those things, plans of action, etc. By the end of the week, or in the middle, all my motivation and willpower to do those things would extinguish and I wouldn’t cross that week’s goal on my “To-do” list. The truth is I love the idea of a fresh start. I loved the idea of turning a new week into a new chapter of my life. A chapter where I would do the things I love, stick to them and not get distracted. We all know that that’s really hard to do. It’s especially hard if you tell yourself that tomorrow is the time to start. You’re setting yourself up to failure.
Stop treating a new week as a “fresh start”. Your “fresh start” should begin right now. Don’t think about time, think about action. Don’t think how long it will take to achieve X, think of what you need to start working towards X right now. Think of the next week just as one more along the road: one more week to continuously work on your goals. One more week of achievements.
So my question to you is: What can you do right now to work towards your goals?