#FruitfulMondays: How I set the pace for my week

Ok, here we are. End of October. By my count, there are 70 days left in 2017, which means we’ve barely made a dent in the #last90days Challenge. In case you’re out of the loop, this challenge is meant set you on an upward trajectory for 2018 by helping you to establish the habits you need. (It’s not too late to sign up)! I outlined my intended habits in this Insta post ⬇⬇⬇

Front porch sitting and reflecting on my #last90days goals. I'm using this time to refine habits that I've dabbled in, setting the lifestyle that I want to maintain for all of 2018 and to infinity and beyond. . . . 1. Publish one blog post each week. (Keep me accountable, please!) 👌🏼 . 2. Only drink alcohol in social situations, like book club or date night. Not alone in bed with my book. 😇 . 3. Eat grains at only one meal each day. (I'll eat more vegetables AND this will help me control my 3 PM stress-snacking.) #dailygrain . 4. Exercise daily 🏃🏻‍♀️💃🏻🚴🏻‍♀️ . 5. Speak kindly to my husband❣️In times of stress (hello, holiday season), I snap at G over little, meaningless things. 🙈 No. More. . . . What are your goals for #last90days?

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So how are my goals going?

  1. I have published a blog post each week, including this one (which is posting while I return from 😍honeymooning😍).
  2. Success! The bottles in our liquor cabinet are collecting dust.
  3. I have been about 75% successful at eating grains only once each day. Which is pretty damn good, I think. Basically, I’m encouraging myself to go for veggies and protein before I reach for a popcorn/pretzel/leftover plain pasta.
  4. Besides one on-purpose rest day, I have kept this up! Each week, I’ve been zumba-ing once or twice, going on runs with Grant, and spinning. I can definitely tell a difference in my energy levels during the day: I’m staying more alert with less coffee, but I fall asleep HARD come 9:30 p.m.
  5. I’m working my hardest to take deep breaths, speak calmly and honestly, and be affectionate instead of snappy. Is it working? You can ask my husband 😌.

One realization I’ve come to while doing this challenge is that Mondays set the tone for the entire week. In the past, I’ve definitely fallen into the trap of thinking that Mondays are like a post-weekend warmup day. Yes, I’ve got to get stuff done, but I should ease myself into the week. This is b.s.

Come Monday, I should be exercising harder, making time for my husband, snacking smarter, and getting up early to write. I’ve been aware of the fitness mantra “Never miss a Monday” for a while, but I’m using it now to frame my whole week: never miss a Monday for any healthy habit.

Having a fruitful Monday means that you’re on track for a “perfect” week. You won’t want to ruin your good efforts with 10:30 a.m. Cheetos on Tuesday after you stuck to raw almonds Monday morning. Springing out of bed for a still-dark-outside run will be easier if you’re adding on to the efforts you made Monday.

*HUGE, MONSTER CAVEAT* “Perfect” is in quotes up there because it should be taken with an enormous grain of salt. Perfect isn’t an achievable standard. Stuff is going to come up, you’re going to get stuck in traffic and miss that 6 p.m. spin class, and there will be a baby shower at work the same day you’re abstaining from sugar. Shit happens. That doesn’t mean that you (1) give into temptation, or (2) beat yourself up if you do succumb. Failing to meet one goal is too often an excuse to shelve the other goals and start over again on Monday. This version of “Never miss a Monday” is NOT THAT. *OKAY CAVEAT OVER BYE*

If you live your Monday like your ideal day, it makes it that much easier for each and every day to be an ideal day. Jump out of bed when your alarm goes off, sip your coffee while you write in your gratitude journal, give it your all at the gym, make that protein smoothie when you really want waffles, and on and on.

Live your Monday the way you want to live the rest of your week. For me, this means checking all the Five to Thrive boxes ⬇⬇⬇ and sticking to the schedule and to-do list I set for myself. I should earn that downtime in the evening.

Courtesy of the Chic Site and its #last90days challenge
I make sure to meet all five goals above and prioritize the goals below. There’s some overlap, and that’s on purpose. Those goals are just extra-important.

Get up on time. Oversleeping on a Monday is the worst thing I can do for my week. If I rush into work and leave no “me” time in the morning, I will be a cranky ass, guaranteed. If I miss my Monday morning workout and know all day long that I’m going to have to exercise after sitting in traffic for an hour after work… let’s just say the rest of my day pays dearly for that realization. Waking up at an ungodly hour and allowing myself time to read, write, and exercise before I clock in makes me a better person. This is not hyperbole, as I’m sure my coworkers, friends, and family can attest.

Eat healthfully. To me, this means prioritizing vegetables and protein. Listen, I love food. Love it. By Friday, my beloved cucumbers and hummus taste like nothing and also disgusting. Which is why I try my best to eat 80/20: 80% healthfully and 20% whatever I want. This leaves room for pizza and wine with my book club while also encouraging me to stick to salad and tuna more often than not.

#tbt to last night's #dailygrain, pepperoni pizza. Get honey and red pepper flakes on the side, trust me. #🍕 #🍷

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Be PRODUCTIVE. I try to get the most dreaded task of the whole week done on Monday, or at least a huge chunk of it. If there are freelance calls I don’t want to make, or a nasty task at work I’m not looking forward to, tackling it on Monday means it’s over, and I can have a much more positive outlook for the rest of my workweek.

Notice that I said I “try” to do this. I suck at doing this consistently, but I have seen a real difference between the weeks where I make this a priority and the weeks where I don’t.

Exercise. Each and every day. Sweat, ache, breathe heavily. If I still look cute when I’m done, I didn’t go hard enough. This isn’t about being skinny. It’s about being strong and healthy, so I can outrun a zombie and keep up with my future kids.

Laying everything out the night before is my best tip (but it’s usually a pile and not a flat lay 😜).
Keep it low key. Ok, I am all about a Monday happy hour. Decompressing with friends and having that to look forward to can be a great motivator to get through the work day. But the last thing I need is to wake up with foggy wine head and dry dehydrated mouth on Tuesday morning. So I limit my drinks to two and up my water intake if I’ll be drinking.

Go to bed on time. Similarly, going into Tuesday with a sleep deficit is just punishing my tomorrow self. So, unless it is a really special occasion (which can totally be just a girls night movie), I try to be asleep by 9:30. It takes me less than 10 minutes to fall asleep because I’m so tired from all the exercising 💥


I would love for all of this not to be true. I’d love to be able to phone Monday in and treat it like extended Sunday (so I still exercise and eat healthfully, but maybe I also watch TV for five hours). But I’ve seen the way giving Mondays my all has changed my whole life. So now ✨Monday Funday✨ is my favorite day (even if I’m just telling myself that). Hey, they say seeing is believing, and I have seen the results.

What do you do to have a #FruitfulMonday?

Caitlin

Caitlin

Hi, I’m Caitlin! Thanks for reading. If you're new, here's a little about me: I'm a writer, editor, eater, and reader living in the Kansas City area. When I'm not working my 9-to-5, I'm cooking without a recipe, exploring the city, and probably procrastinating. I start from scratch each morning: progress is way more important to me than perfection.

Connect with me on Instagram and Pinterest, and subscribe to The Fruitful Blog for tips on intentional living, meal planning, and more.
Caitlin

Author: Caitlin

Hi, I’m Caitlin! Thanks for reading. If you're new, here's a little about me: I'm a writer, editor, eater, and reader living in the Kansas City area. When I'm not working my 9-to-5, I'm cooking without a recipe, exploring the city, and probably procrastinating. I start from scratch each morning: progress is way more important to me than perfection. Connect with me on Instagram and Pinterest, and subscribe to The Fruitful Blog for tips on intentional living, meal planning, and more.

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