WELLNESS
01/24/2016 10:05 am ET Updated Jan 24, 2017

How to Love Your Mondays

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Mondays.

People seem to either love them or hate them.

I used to spend the second half of Sunday dreading Monday morning -- what a waste of a perfectly good evening! Over the years, little tweaks to my routine and shifts in my intention have changed things to the point that I am definitely in the "I Love Mondays" camp.

Here's what I've found that works:

1. Start Monday morning with your Sunday night routine.

When you get ready to exercise, you warm up first. Consider Sunday nights your warm up for Monday. Get everything you need for the morning (and for your kids, if necessary) ready to go. Locate everything you need to get out the door or get started with your day on Monday, and have them in clean, working order and a convenient location. For some people, this is second nature; they do it daily. If mornings are a struggle...give it a try at least for Mondays and see if it makes a difference.

Once that's done, consider a special "Sunday Night Only" winding down ritual. It might be tea and a favorite TV show (We almost always watch Once Upon a Time on Sundays!), or it might be a long hot bath and reading until you're ready for sleep. Whatever it is, savor this Monday morning warm up, and consider turning in a little earlier than you're used to, in order to help with #2.

2. Get up early enough to start slowly, and extend the weekend feeling a little bit more.

One of my favorite parts of the weekend is sleeping in and waking up when I'm ready instead of fighting with the alarm for "just five more minutes!" Turning in a little early Sunday night can help with getting up a little early Monday morning--not to pack more into your morning to-do list, but to give yourself time to take it slowly. When you have a little extra time in the morning, you can gently settle into the day and keep that weekend feeling of ease as you start your new week. Even an extra 10 minutes to sit quietly with your tea or coffee before you have to get everything going can make a huge difference in how you approach the rest of the day.

3. Find a theme for the week.

Every Monday, I post an inspiring quote or saying with the tag, "Monday Mantra." These are intentional! It can become a knee-jerk reaction to click "like" on cutesy Pinterest-worthy quotes without even stopping to consider what they're really saying. Each week, as part of my Sunday night winding down time, I consider what I'd like to focus on in the coming week, and look for a quote that's a good fit to reinforce it. It can be a word, a quote, a scripture, a song lyric...whatever encourages you to be your best and inspires you for the week ahead.

4. Look at the week's tasks as opportunities instead of problems.

What are you excited about for the new week? What problem-solving opportunities do you have? What's been hanging over your head undone from last week? During your prep time Sunday night, take a peek at the week ahead and highlight a few things that you want to get done and can reasonably accomplish. If possible, schedule at least one of them for Monday, so you've started your week off feeling triumphant, instead of feeling like there's a mountain of tasks ahead of you. The work is the same either way, but our attitudes are always within our control.

5. Make Monday night dinner something special.

It's easy to make a special Sunday dinner, or go out somewhere fun later in the week, but Monday dinners often get short-changed. It doesn't have to be a fancy meal, but sitting down for it, getting out special dishes, lighting a candle...anything that feels special to you can become a wonderful thing to look forward to and to close out a well-spent Monday.

When you are intentionally creating a life you love, Mondays begin to feel less like drudgery, and more like a beautiful new start!