For most of us, weekday mornings are terrible.
We’re groggy, we’re rushed, and we’re tasked to prepare for an entire day. It’s in these moments that we often set ourselves up for failure. We try on four outfits, and none of them work. We settle for a dress that itches every time we move. Now we’re late. We opt for a donut instead of cutting fresh fruit. We pack our briefcase and, in our rush, forget last week’s time-sheet – which is already late. We don’t have time to pack a lunch, so we opt to waste money and calories on pizza.
In twenty minutes, we’ve managed to start off our day feeling scattered and overwhelmed.
What if we could do it all better?
Here are eight things you can do every Sunday to prepare for a smoother, happier, and more successful week:
This is the day to get your body back in working order after a rough weekend. Work out. Eat nutritious food. Drink lots of water. Most importantly, when the time comes, go to sleep! It can be tempting to cherish those last few hours of weekend with a Netflix marathon. Resist this urge! Go to bed early on Sunday nights. Wake up rested and ready for the week.
This doesn’t have to last all day. Even just an hour or two dedicated to a digital detox will refresh you for the week ahead. Your brain, eyes, and psyche will all thank you.
3. Set SMART Goals.
SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-based. Focus your week by identifying three SMART goals that support your long-term goals. For example, consider you have a long term goal of losing ten pounds. Your SMART goal could be to work out three times during the upcoming week.
4. Align your goals with your calendar.
Map out your week. Make sure that everything important to you is represented in your schedule. Your itinerary should include work, play, and downtime. Then, plan for your goals. Do you have all the resources you need to achieve them? Remember, it always helps to over-plan. For example, the three workouts mentioned above? Plan for four. Then you won’t be letting yourself down if you have to bail on one of them.
5. Plan your outfits.
At first this may sound silly, or even self-indulgent. Try it for a week though – you’ll be shocked at the difference it makes! Look at your week and choose an appropriate outfit for each day. Try them on to make sure you feel confident and comfortable. This will set you up to glide through your mornings with ease. Plus, you’ll look and feel fantastic all day long!
6. Meal prep – or at least meal plan.
Planning for your meals in advance encourages healthy choices. It also saves money on take-out food, and keeps you from needing to run to the store all week. Do weekday-you a favor. Plan all three meals for each day, and prep them as much as possible. Indulge in some overnight oats for breakfast rather than a bagel. You’ll thank yourself later.
7. Make it shine.
Don’t you just feel better when your home sparkles? It’s not in your head. Clutter has been proven to negatively impact our ability to focus and process new information. Set aside some time on Sunday to clean, fix, and organize. Shape your space into somewhere you want to be. Your whole week will run more smoothly.
8. Engage Spiritually.
Some people go to church on Sunday mornings. Others find spirituality in a nature walk, a yoga session, musical immersion, or some inspired reading. Do what feels right to you. Your spiritual time should leave your soul renewed. You should feel at one with yourself and at peace with the world around you. Of every item on this list, this one is the most crucial to a successful week.
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail,” wrote Benjamin Franklin.
Don’t set yourself up for a rough week right out the gate. Practice these eight exercises to start off your week with focus and enthusiasm. You’ll reap the rewards well into Friday night.