If you’ve ever decided to start a new habit, it’s likely you started on a Monday. The beginning of a new week is the perfect opportunity for a fresh start. No matter what day you start, consistency is key to habit building. So, how important is it to never miss a Monday?
No matter what habit or goal you’re tackling, all new behaviors rely on consistency and repetition. The more you repeat a behavior, the more it sticks. It becomes ingrained in your routine. When that happens, it’s become a habit – something you do without thinking instead of consciously choosing it.
Until a new habit becomes automatic, however, repetition is key. Research tells us that health related habits take longer to build (spoiler alert: it takes longer than 21 days to build a habit!). Some can take as long as 254 days (or more) to build. This is the intention behind the phrase never miss a Monday. If repetition works in your favor, it’s better to stack the deck in your favor by not skipping a day of habit building.
Here are some tips to help you never miss a Monday.
Aim for practice over perfection
“Practice makes perfect” is another phrase often paired with “never miss a Monday.” But, in the case of habits, perfection isn’t the goal. Practice is. It’s better to do half a workout than it is to do none. It’s better to eat a single vegetable each day than it is to eat zero. You get the picture. Your goal with habit building is to do something instead of nothing. These small strides forward make a big difference in building healthier habits.
Life happens. Sometimes you will miss a Monday. When this happens, get back to your new habit as soon as possible. Make it your goal to not go more than two days between workouts, healthy meals, or any other new commitment. The more time that passes between “practice sessions” the harder it is to return to it. Remember that your greatest ally in habit building is repetition, so momentum works to your advantage if you never miss a Monday.
Reinforce your identity
You are more likely to repeat a behavior that rewards you. This reward can be an external reward, like praise from a friend or family member, or it can be an internal one, like feeling proud of yourself for doing something hard. If you begin to make “never miss a Monday” your goal, you begin to develop that internal motivation to continue your streak – which leads to longer lasting change. You shift your identity to “I’m the kind of person who _____.” With each Monday, you reinforce the identity you are creating for yourself and you are more likely to repeat behaviors that are consistent with who you think (or know!) you are. Suddenly you ARE the kind of person who never misses a Monday!
The encouragement to never miss a Monday is about consistency. It’s about starting your week well and building momentum for the week to come. Use practice to your advantage, build sustained momentum, and reinforce your identity while you’re at it.
Start today, even if it’s not Monday!