We tend to start our Mondays with a plan.  A new schedule, a new diet, a new workout program.  I don’t know why Monday is the magical day, is it because we then spend our weekend doing all of the things that we are no longer allowed to do on Monday?  In our mind, Monday is the beginning of a new dawn.

So, let’s go with that, Monday/A New Dawn.  Before Monday arrives, there is some groundwork to be done, some steps to take.  Let’s make that new dawn a bright one!

Start with a positive image or thought, “it will feel good to move my body, eat wholesome, clean food, have an organized day”.  Think about who you are ten years out, how do you want to “be”, WHO do you want to be?  Really spend some time on this one.  Then bring that picture into your plan as it will be your lighthouse. 

Our brains operate well from a positive perspective rather than a negative.  “I AM healthy, fit, strong, successful” goes along way.  “I am going to the gym” is so much better than “I am going to the gym because I have to lose 60lbs.”  The prior is a statement with potential, the latter is a punishment.

Take yourself into the future, write down who you want to be, how you want to feel?  Really get clear and be very specific.  What are you wearing?  What does your hair look like, what shoes do you have on?  Where are you, where are you standing, what’s around you in this future picture? 

From that perspective of your future self, turn around and tell your current self how to get there and how it will feel when you arrive.   Write out your plan, all the while keeping that future picture in your mind.  Be specific with your plan, a schedule, a shopping list, a meal plan, an exercise regime, whatever tools you need to start.

Begin to breathe in the excitement of a new venture.  Always being pulled toward the lighthouse.  Monday is the day!  The excitement is building, and you are ready to go.  Step by step move toward the future you; when you feel off course then sit down and bring that happy perspective back and go again.

You can do this!  Monday is a New Dawn!

It’s time to put on your button-up pants for a reality check!

We’re a month in, perhaps you’ve learned how to be a teacher, set up a home office and bake French bread. But what about your fitness routine? You’ve given yourself all the excuses or have decided that a short break won’t hurt. Well, the short break is turning into your new normal and it’s time to get back to it.

Set your Alarm — no matter what your day entails, set your alarm and establish a morning routine. Grab your coffee, set the timer on your phone and write literally anything and everything for 10 minutes. Empty your brain by starting to write and keep that pen to paper for the entire time. When you are finished — walk yourself to a quiet place (it could be the bathroom with the noisy fan on), light a candle and meditate. Start with 5 minutes of breathing — in and out, follow your breath. There! Now you have created a nice routine that only takes 15 minutes (17 counting the coffee pour).

What’s next? Are your kids awake, do you have to be at your workstation? Take an hour on the weekend to look at your calendar and plan your week. If you have always worked out in the morning, get back to that. If you were an after-work athlete, then start there. Kids can join and call it PE, or perhaps it’s their one hour of “screen time”. Using kids and family as an excuse is just that, an excuse.

You don’t need an hour. The CrossFit class you used to take filled an hour but at-home workouts with lighter weight or body weight do not require the same warm up. You can warm up for 7 minutes and then get to it. Fitness is created in workouts that are a very intense 8–15 minutes. Choose your movements, create your strategy and get too it. You can be finished in 30 minutes.

Finally, and the most important step, let’s talk about what you are eating. You’ve tried the latest recipes, used cooking as your latest form of entertainment. It’s time to get back to basics. Eat to nourish your body. Find your routine of healthy, clean eating with a cheat meal a week. Your children will benefit too. Kids sleep better, focus better and generally feel better when they eat well. Let them help you in the kitchen. (If you can then you are a better mom than I was, but that is for another article.)

You don’t want to re-enter the world having gained the COVID 19lbs and frustrated!

Originally published on Medium.