Successful people know that the week starts the moment their alarm sounds on Monday – and they’re ready to get after it. It’s not hard to realize that elite performers, and the people who live full lives, maximize all the different moments that compose a week. Whether it’s business or life, these people are intentional in how they expend their energy and use their time.
In my experience, winning the first half of Monday sets a great tone for the week. Yet, if you wait until Monday morning to plan for the week, you’re already behind. The best time to set intentions is over the weekend. Naturally, Sunday is a great day, or night, to set the tone just before the week starts.
Here’s a look at five easy, yet powerful, habits you can maintain on Sundays that will help you have a great week. And if you have enough great weeks, you’ll have a great year. If you have many great years, you’ll enjoy a full life.
1. Prioritize yourself
You likely sacrifice a great deal of time and energy for your business or others during the week. Sunday is the perfect day to enjoy the moments that you like most.
When you think of what makes you feel good, let go of any judgments. It doesn’t matter if this time is spent playing with your kids, going to yoga, reading a book or finding a quiet corner to sit in silence. This time is whatever you need it to be in order to regroup, feel fulfilled and carry great energy into the week.
2. Write out your goals for the week
It’s hard to win the week if you wake up Monday without a clear sense of what you want to create or accomplish. Use Sunday night to think about the previous week, think about your short and mid-term goals and define the objectives for the week ahead.
I’ve started taking this practice to another level. Instead of focusing only on productivity and business objectives, I also focus on how I want to feel that week. This causes me to use my awareness to sense how I feel in the moment, and determine if it’s congruent with how I want to feel. If it’s not, I can set a new intention for the week.
By doing both the pragmatic and the feeling intentions, you’re combining advantages from the head space and the feeling body. Together, you gain from the intuition and guidance of emotions and the creativity and execution of the mind.
3. Take inventory of your life
Too many of us focus only on our work. Collectively, we are reaching near epidemic levels of stress at work and obsession over society’s definitions for success. We’re chasing milestones, raises and titles while sacrificing the things that make us happy on a personal level.
Avoid that trap by checking in on how your life is unfolding. Are you making time for the things, people or experiences that make you happy? Are you planning the trip you’ve wanted to take, or are you putting it off? Are you setting intentions in your personal life and investing energy into realizing them? Are you aligned with the career path that makes you fulfilled?
Your work is not your life. Use every Sunday as a moment to remember that.
4. Disconnect the tech
Too many of us spend nearly every moment of the workday in front of a computer or some type of LED back-lit screen. Not only does this have physical effects on our bodies, it also creates disconnection to ourselves and to others. This divide is only exacerbated by social media.
Give your body, mind and soul a rest by taking a break from social media and putting the devices aside. Feel what it’s like to experience life through your eyes and senses, and spend time connecting to real-life human beings.
The world is a beautiful place and life is an incredible experience when you step back and live in real life.
5. Turn your phone into black and white mode
If you’re up for it, consider changing your phone’s display from color to black and white before you go to bed on Sunday night. My brother told about this and it’s made a fast impact on my mood and physiology.
By turning my phone to black and white during the week, I find that it reduces the visual stimulus that tires my brain and triggers my nervous system and it reduces the time I spend on social media. It reminds me that my phone is just a tool and not my life. I now only use the color on my phone during the weekends.
Our habits have a big impact on the ways we experience life – often without us noticing. It’s imperative to establish healthy habits that allow you to sustain a higher baseline of happiness, health and fulfillment. Consider adding just one of these actions or habits to your Sunday until it sticks. Then move to the next one. Over time, you’ll sustain all of them and you’ll be happier and healthier for it.