“I’ll Start Monday.”

We have all heard someone say it. In fact, many of us have said it ourselves. Especially in the world of health and fitness, everyone is waiting until Monday. Regardless the objective: improving nutrition, beginning an at-home fitness regimen, or finally dropping-in at the local CrossFit affiliate, the plan is to start on Monday.

The question becomes, why? Why are you waiting until Monday? If I had to guess, you are waiting until Monday for one, if not all of the following reasons:

  1. You want a “fresh start”
  2. The weekend is coming up
  3. You’re too busy this week; you don’t have the time
  4. Your friend or spouse cannot start until next week, so you want to wait for him/her
  5. You don’t want to waste the food you already have at home

Do any of these sound familiar? Perhaps, it’s as if I’m reading your mind. Unfortunately, I do not have the ability to read minds (although that would be awesome, and terrible all at the same time), but I have spoken to hundreds, if not thousands of people over the last seven years, and you all say the same thing. The problem with these justifications is that they are really excuses:

  1. The “Fresh Start”
    • What does that even mean? Would starting on Thursday be considered a “stale start”?
  2. The Weekend
    • Do you have plans over the weekend that would require you to disregard all aspects of health and fitness? Or, do you really just want a few more days to binge watch Netflix and chow-down on your favorite pint of Ben and Jerry’s?
  3. Too Busy / No Time
    • Do you truly have no time? Really think about that question. Are you truly so busy that you can’t wake up an hour early, stay-up an hour later, or squeeze it in during lunch?
  4. The Partner
    • Why do you need to wait for your parter? Will starting a few days early make you so much fitter and healthier that the other person will no longer be able to keep up?
  5. Wasting Food
    • Were you really planning on eating that frozen, processed garbage in your freezer? How long have those chips and crackers been in the pantry, and now all of the sudden you need to eat them?

You’re simply delaying change for as long as possible. As humans, we are creatures of habit, and anything that threatens to disturb our routine is not welcomed. So, what do you do? You wait until Monday.

The real problem with starting on Monday, is that there is always another Monday. If you planned to start on Monday, June 10th, but you miss it, there is always Monday, June 17th. If you miss the 17th, there is always the 24th. Typically, this process continues for weeks, months, and years until you finally hit your breaking point. Before you know it, three, five, seven, possibly 10 years have gone by since you ate well or exercised. You may think I’m exaggerating for dramatic effect, but unfortunately this is more common than you realize. Let me paint you a picture:

Jack the accountant, and Sally the sales rep live in the two-story colonial at the end of your street. They have a dog, three kids, all of whom play different sports, so the family is always on-the-go. Jack was an athlete in high school, and he remained active through college and his early years as a professional. Sally was a collegiate soccer player, and after graduating, she fell in love with triathlons. Fifteen years and three kids later, Jack hasn’t exercised since God knows when, and Sally has been so busy taking care of the kids that she has completely neglected her own health for the past 10 years. Every Sunday night, while enjoying the final few bites of Ben and Jerry’s, Jack and Sally look at each other and say, “Okay! Enough is enough. We are starting tomorrow!”. They high-five, chest bump, and head off to bed feeling excited and motivated. Monday morning rolls around and the alarm clock sounds at 5:00am. Jack slams the snooze button, he and Sally oversleep, and the entire process begins again.

Stop waiting! There is no better time to start then right now. Call the local gym, take advantage of the free trial classes, stop at the grocery store on the way home from work, purge your pantry and fridge; it is time to take action. Starting on Monday isn’t the solution, it’s the problem.

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