Episode 31: Four Hacks to Help You Own Monday

Good morning, this is Jimmy Williams coming to you this morning with a smile on my face so wide, I could eat a banana sideways! Hey, this is Live a Life by Design. Thank you for joining me this morning to get you started on your Monday with that morning motivation that’s necessary for you to be the best you, you can be at the start of the week.

Have you ever heard people say how you start your day is how your day will end? I’ve heard this quite a bit in my life, and I’ve gotta tell you I don’t necessarily buy that in its entirety, but I do want you to know that I do believe that the first one minute of your day as far as your mental and physical capability could determine the rest of your days outlook.

This is Jimmy Williams with Live a Life by Design, you know this entire episode we’re gonna talk about four simple life hacks that have had me owning Mondays for many years. I have been around people in my life that say to me, Oh! it’s Monday again, I can’t believe Monday came so quickly, I don’t even want to go to work, what happened to the weekend. And I look at them and I’m like, you’ve got to be kidding me. You know what a Monday is to me? Monday to me is another week of opportunities. You see it’s all in that mindset. If you think about life as a glass half empty, well that’s exactly what you’re gonna reap from the day.

You know, too often we make life harder than it has to be. Our success is driven not only by our actions, more so, I believe our success in life is determined by our mindset, our thoughts. And that regard, I’m gonna share with you my powerful 4 simple life hacks that help me feel more excited, and yes I said excited, about Mondays! The key to any life hack is in its simplicity and transformative nature. You know, making things complex is easy. Making things easy is complex.

1. Change Your Thoughts By Building Confidence Through Routines

So let’s get going with the first hack so you can get started on your next Monday to be the way you desire it to be, and not how the world wants it to be. So life hack #1: Change your thoughts by building confidence through routines. If you have to think about which foot you put in the pants first, every morning, you’re already going to have decision fatigue before you get started. I want you to build some routines. These routines can be as simple as you wish, or as detailed as you wish. But create a routine that takes the decisions of the day off your plate and allows you just to conduct business in the manner you wish it to be.

So I’m gonna visit with you in just a second with how I set up my Mondays for success with a secret. So listen, the secret is this, I start tackling my Monday challenge on Sunday night. You heard me, I start Sunday nights. I have an evening routine that I only started on Sundays. And I enjoyed the feeling I got after about three weeks of Sundays, just simply doing this on Sunday night only that I was so pumped with the outcomes of Mondays when I did this that I implement it now seven nights a week.

Think about this, if you could take one small function and it becomes a powerful outcome for you in life, wouldn’t you do it everyday. You know, it’s like breathing after a while, it just becomes such a routine it’s just subconsciously done. So I’m gonna share with you, and you’re gonna laugh, I promise, of how simple this is. But I’m gonna share with you a step by step routine that I unfold every night prior to lying down in bed.

This routine, if you’ll just follow it until you define your own, will give you a powerful feeling when you awake on Monday morning. I do want you to know one thing. I actually use a planner that I have found about two years ago that has been very very helpful in me keeping organized, the planner is one that I just enjoy. It’s gotta nice leather cover, it’s got information that allows me to plan my week, my day, my quarter. It gives me the opportunity to write down my goals and prioritize those goals this quarter, what’s most important. What can I now tackle the next quarter. So it gives you more control of life. And isn’t that really what we’re all about? How many of us are merely getting by on simply life’s waves of where they blow us. You know, Jim Rohn, I’ve said this many times before in the episodes of this podcast that Jim Rohn says, “You know it’s not so much the blowing of the wind that determines where we go, it’s the setting of the sail”.

We were recently fortunate to spend a week down in the Virgin Islands. While we were there, we noticed the sailing ships as they would come into the harbor. Some of them very small, some of them having multiple sails. And I noticed the wind was blowing against the movement of the ship. Now when I was in the boy scouts, and before you snicker too loudly, I really enjoyed the boy scouts as a kid. It was a great time of adventure and growth. And it taught me a lot of life skills that I use today. But I noticed that wind blowing against the ship as it was sailing forward against the wind. And what it is is basically called tacking. He was tacking against the wind to move in the direction the captain desired. You see he didn’t allow the ship to be blown whichever way the wind blows. He set his sail for his destination, i.e. his goal, of getting to the harbor. And getting there safely. So now our life hack #1, is create an evening routine.

Your Sunday Evening Routine

Now this routine does not include such things as most people might have in their routine. For example, you don’t see anywhere in my evening routine that I list I watch TV for 3 hours. Don’t do that. That’s not an empowering movement on your part. That has nothing to do to enhance your capabilities to be a better person tomorrow than they did today. And I also didn’t write down feed my body on chips and soda pop instead of a nice meal. And I put on there that I didn’t want to basically have any activity, instead I want to just sit there and let the fat accumulate on my body.

I’m having a little fun with this, but what I’m trying to say to you is I’m setting this up for success by those things most import to me. So my evening ritual goes something like this. First thing I do within the last 45 minutes of my day, this is the last 45 minutes before I lie down in bed. I select the clothing I wish to wear tomorrow, and I have it hanging up in the front of my closet. My walk-in closet, I have it hanging there. Everything from suit, tie, jacket, shirts, vest, shoes, socks, everything. Down to the pocket square if I want to use on the next day. This is something I have started doing and it has been powerful for me. Now I know what you’re doing, you’re snickering now thinking, hey, you know, my mother did that for me when I was a kid and I did not like what she picked out. Well, I’ve got news for you, you are now your own person. You don’t have to lay clothes out. You can hang them up, do whatever you wish, but pick out something that’s going to keep your in the morning in control. That’s the whole purpose of this.

2, I pack my exercise bag for tomorrow. I mean, everything from the towel to my workout clothes, to the shoes. Whatever I need to have a successful and accomplished workout the next day. If I’m going to go running I pack a different set of clothes, if I’m going to crossfit I pack another set of clothes that are different in nature. The third thing on my list, my routine, is I place a towel and washcloth in the shower. Now this sounds a little bit crazy, I’m sure. But this is the same shower in which I have laminated my goals, my if you will, 24 life attributes that I desire to emulate, I have those in there, so I put my towel and washcloth in there the night before. Literally, I can jump in the shower, have my clothing on in less than 20 minutes, have been shaved, showered, and clothed, and headed the door.

Again that gives me confidence. And that’s what you need to own Monday. The 4th thing, I brush my teeth and floss. How important is it to simply floss your teeth every night? It is so important that cardiologists say that most heart disease in patients they see today, has entered their body through the gums. Because of a lack of hygiene through flossing. Now I’m not a dentist. I don’t claim to be a dentist. I do claim to be one that has a great dentist, and my dentist tells me that flossing is good for me and it takes less than a minute. Why wouldn’t we do something that could give our body an opportunity for greater health and it takes less than one minute a day. Then the 5th thing, I kiss my family goodnight and facetime my daughters. Now I know you’re a family member. You’ve got a mom and dad, perhaps you’ve got siblings. I believe in a close knit family as one of the greatest assets that a man could ever claim on this earth. Those assets of relationship, direction, sharing creative moments with my kids, and with technology capable now of allowing me to see my two daughters, which now live outside our home. Now you’ve heard me say that with a giggle a little bit, but my wife and I are empty nesters. We facetime our children just so we want them to know how much we love them, we’re proud of them, and they are doing what we asked them to do. And that is go out and make the world a better place.

After we have facetimed our daughters, we spend about 15 minutes in this process. And the last 15 minutes of my day is reading. There’s no tv, there’s no Facebook, there’s no electronics. Just a great book. A nice lamp by the bed, and I am ready to sleep a wonderful 8 hours for the night. So this routine may seem simple. It is simple. What makes it hard is your lack of wanting to take the opportunity to improve yourself by implementing these simple steps. I’ve got six steps that take a total 44 minutes for me. 44 minutes of my evening to start me off on the right foot for the next day, a Monday, so that I can own Monday and make it what I want it to be. So hack #1 is build your confidence by owning Mondays by starting on Sunday night with your routine.

2. Plan Ahead

Hack #2: Plan your Monday on Sunday nights. Before I go into my end of day routine that I just described, I actually had my planner out. I’ve looked at my goals for the week. I’ve looked at my calendar for the week. I have done a preview, in other words I have set up my week in the way I wish it to become and develop. I didn’t say, Oh goodness, wait til Monday morning, as soon as I get up, I get on my iphone and I start looking at voicemails and emails. No! You’re allowing then someone else to take the driver’s seat of your life. I actually don’t allow any of that to occur. We’re going to talk about that in a few moments. I set the tone for my week on Sunday night by previewing my week. So in my planner, you can see that I pick out three large projects/goals that I need to cover this week. And these big three that we call them. These big three are items that I know if I get these three done by Wednesday that my entire week is going to be ex-cell-ante. So I work on these three big items and set them up on Sunday night, and as soon as I wake Monday morning I tackle the very first one. So plan your Monday on Sunday is my second life hack.

Now how many of us have gotten up on a Monday morning. Oh the alarm clock didn’t sound when I thought. I’ve got to be at the office at 8 o’clock, or I’ve gotta be at school at 7:30. You know, and I get up and I am in a harried frenetic pace before I ever leave the home. This is not the way to start a successful week. By the way, the more harried that your pace is on a Monday, multiply that by 3 when you get to Friday. You see you didn’t start out on the right foot, you were behind from day one, hour one, of the week. Don’t do this. Don’t be like everyone else. You are a unique person. You are capable, you’re a champion for good, and the best way to be that champion is to do these simple things to set the tone and structure for the week. So hack #2, plan your Monday on Sunday night.

3. Make Your Bed

Now hack #3, I’m certain you’re gonna laugh when I tell you this, but this is how it works for me. I was doing this before I realized there’s an actual New York Times bestseller on this subject. Now, I don’t want to take credit for any of that, that’s not what I’m saying. I’m only taking credit from my boy scout training from back in my teens. This is something that allows me to own Mondays. Now here it is, and I hope you write this down because this is integral to a great week. Make your bed. Make your bed. There’s a book called Make Your Bed, by Admiral William H. McRaven, a retired Admiral of the Navy. This book has been instrumental to giving me the mindset that I didn’t know I already had a portion of. But Admiral McRaven takes it to the next level in this book. His first chapter of this book is one that is outstanding. This small book can be read in about two hours or less. This is a weekend read that I want you to pick up.

You can find it on our website at livealifeby.design as one of my recommended reads. This book simply says this, if you want to change the world, start off by making your bed. You see how important is it to you to feel like you can accomplish something. I’m not asking you, on your to do list to write make you bed everyday, but if that’s what it takes. That simple little step, to build your confidence to take on bigger chunks of danger out in the world, then write it down. Check it off. Make your bed. Now if you don’t accomplish any of your other goals for Monday, you have the ability to see one completed task when you arrive back home that evening. And who doesn’t appreciate the image of a well kept, tidy room when your day of battling the world has been rather tough. So simple things, make your bed shows that you have tackled one of the topics of the day for your Monday. Make your bed, hack #3.

4. No News or Email Before 11am

Hack #4: I alluded to this a little earlier in hack #2. Don’t read the newspaper, email, or any other communication from clients, team members or the public until 11 AM. Now I know what you’re already saying, Oh my goodness I can’t survive. Many of you have your cellphones on the nightstand. I’ll bet if you’re listening to this while you’re shaving or getting ready for your Monday and you’re listening to this, or in your car on your way to work Monday. You’re going, well I could never survive without my phone being right by my bed. I mean, what if somebody has something they need to let me know. I can assure you that if someone had an emergency situation they could contact someone in your household that may have their phone available and they could get in touch with you. But by allowing these tools to take over your life, you’re doing the greatest disservice to your capability to realize the greatness of your week. You see, we use many tools within our organization to communicate. We use Slack, we use email, we use texting, we use hearsay, we have all these tools that allow us to communicate and deliver the highest quality of services to our clients and to share the creative projects with our teammates. But those things do not start off my day.

As a matter of fact, I believe that you would have fewer, and I content fewer, emergencies in your life if you’d turn off the Facebook, the email, all the social media, and all the communication tools and go start your day with a mindset of tackling Monday the way you wish. You see, however, if you aren’t very careful, your day can become quickly hijacked by meaningless tasks, and your big three are simply lost in the wind before your day is even unfolded. Don’t allow others to set your agenda. Remember my credo. People laugh at me when I tell them this. I am as happy on a Monday as I am on a Friday. And here’s what I tell them, I’ll say listen, Monday’s are nothing more than a Friday that got left behind. It’s the framing of those thoughts in your mind that allow you to create the best that you can to start our day with positivity and start your day with what is your highest priority. Don’t allow someone else to set your priorities.

The thing I want to focus mostly on is implementation. I’ve given you the details of my evening shut down ritual, is what I call it. I just call it shutting down for the day, it’s my shutdown ritual. My hack is life hack #1, setting down and writing down that evening ritual. I take 44 minutes of the evening. Number 2, plan your Monday on Saturday night, don’t wake up Monday morning then feel pressured with the time of getting to work and so forth. If you want to throw in an extra one, get up 30 minutes earlier than you normally do. This gives you even more time to think and get your plan in order for the day. And hack #3, make your bed that morning. Make your bed and accomplish one task before you even leave the house. And hack #4, don’t read newspapers, email or any other communication from anyone until 11 AM. This is critical for you to have the mindset of distraction free thinking, your creative edge is much more sharp in the morning, you’re fresh from having that 8 hours of rest that evening, you’re rejuvenated. Now you can take on the world.

You see this is what makes a person own a Monday. Too often I talk to people when I go get a cup of coffee or I see them Monday afternoon and boy they look like they have been rode hard and put up wet as my friends that own horses say. They look as if the road to success has been paved with walls instead of bricks for roads. People do not allow themselves the opportunity to find their way in their own terms. But allow others to push them in a direction they don’t wish to go. Just like that sailing ship, too many of us have set our sails in the wrong direction. We have merely let the wind blow in whichever direction that day takes us, whatever chaos is already started before your day has even begun at the office. Don’t allow the next Monday to do that to you. You can own Monday, these four simple hacks are your way to create positive, powerful, prospective message in your mind that Mondays from this point forward will be owned by you.

So do me a favor. This week, go to our Facebook page, simply titled Live a Life by Design on Facebook, and leave a comment about acceptance of the Make Your Bed challenge. Now your honesty is going to come into play here. I’m not going to inspect you, or ask you to send photos of your bed made, obviously. I just want to see a comment from anyone listening to this podcast this week about making your bed and how that made you feel that morning, before you ever leave for work. And while on the Facebook page, please like the page and we will be giving some excellent gifts in the near future to one of our followers. So to participate in the giveaway you must have liked the page.

Get a Bonus Hack!

Thank you for joining me today, and I hope you gained extraordinary clarity about your Mondays going forward. You are the captain of your ship. Don’t allow others to derail your dreams, goals, and ambitions by stealing your focus on Monday morning. If you want to know my secret ingredient, or as I call it hack #5, go to our Facebook page, by liking our page you will be revealed a secret ingredient that is the spice, the secret sauce, if you will, that is the key to take on Mondays head on conquer them. You can do this. Join us next week when we share about living a bold life.

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