Pretty much everyone hates Mondays but there is an excellent reason to feel a little less hostile towards the first day of the week. According to research from the University of Pennsylvania, Mondays are the perfect day to tackle a new goal because you are more naturally motivated at the beginning of a new week to make a positive change.
People are more likely to visit the gym, to think about their health, to commit to pursue a new goal like quitting smoking and to Google the word “diet” on Mondays. Of course there are dozens of new beginnings throughout the year – New Year’s, birthdays, the first day of the month, and a new semester when aspirational behavior peaks—but Mondays are weekly opportunities to start anew and harness the motivation that accompanies a new beginning. Even if you cannot sustain the “new you” this week, opportunities to try again abound.
Psychologists call this “the fresh start effect.” Every Monday is an opportunity to leave the past behind and to start over. It’s the psychological equivalent of pressing the refresh button. Researchers believe these “turn the page” days have a positive effect because they provide perspective and take us off autopilot. As the researchers explain, Mondays are:
…temporal landmarks [that] interrupt attention to day-to-day minutiae, causing people to take a big-picture view of their lives and thus focus more on achieving their goals.
Psychologically, Mondays are a blank slate, a brand new start. When you reframe Monday as an opportunity to adopt a new habit and initiate a positive change rather than repetition of the same old stuff, you no longer need to dread them quite as much.