Really? Is Monday really the best day of the week to start a new lifestyle change? It could be a workout plan, or a nutrition plan (not a “diet”), or a change in how we live or work or do something that seriously affects our lives. The Google search for “why Monday is the best day to start a diet” (there’s that “diet” word again) turns up a massively long list of articles proclaiming just that.
But I’m not sure that’s a great idea, to tell you the truth.
As the adage goes: “The best exercise for you is the one that you’re actually going to do.” I think the same thing applies to making a life change. The best day of the week to get started is the day on which you’re actually going to be motivated to start, and to navigate the inevitable rough patches, especially in the early going.
That’s why, when I decided it was time to lose weight once and for all, I started on a Saturday. That’s the beginning of my work weekend, so it’s a day when I have time to concentrate on non-work-related things. At the time (February 2009) I was consulting for a company where I had to be on site most days of the week. So, one of my challenges was going to be this: How do I pack healthy meals with me, or otherwise eat healthfully during the work day, when I’m on site at a client facility?
That took a couple of days to figure out. It involved some nice new food containers, an ice pack, and a cute little cooler—as well as a fairly significant grocery store run to stock up on the good stuff. That first week, there was also a social event to navigate on Tuesday evening, so starting on Saturday instead of the following Monday gave me a two-day head start on figuring out how to best deal with it.
But that’s just me. It worked to start something big on a weekend, because that weekend, I could concentrate on the task at hand. If you don’t work on Mondays, or if your schedule just works better for you when you begin a new “thing” on the first day of the traditional work week, then coolio—go for it. Just know that those first days and weeks can be, well, interesting, so give yourself the best possible chance to succeed by starting at a time when you’re most likely to have the energy to keep going if you hit a small roadblock on the path.