What is it about Sundays?
Ever since I was a child, Sunday has been special and different. Sunday was the day of roast dinners and family television sessions. We’d sit around, bellies full, and watch hour after hour of TV before homework and bed.
I’ve written about Sunday routines thousands of times, and the chances are you’ve read about them thousands of times, too. The perfect Sunday gets you ready for Monday. The perfect Sunday, apparently, sets you up for success.
The perfect Sunday helps you get sh*t done.
But is there really such a thing as the perfect Sunday? Why are we all so obsessed with it? Why does spending your Sunday right actually make you feel like you’ve got it together on Monday? And what is the best way to spend your Sunday?
Maybe I’m a little obsessed but I’m always looking for ways to simplify the way I do things and improve results. Every week I try a new ‘time theming’ method and adjust as I go, seeing which tasks I spend too much time on and which tasks I can tick off in an hour or so. Every Sunday I follow the same routine, preparing, planning, and relaxing.
But is there a way to make sure that the way I spend my Sunday will set me up for success on Monday? If I track it, will I know for sure what works?
The psychology behind the perfect Sunday
I wanted to get some scientific facts, or at least to hear the psychology behind perfect Sunday routines. So I asked Psychotherapeutic counselor Chanelle Snowdon. If anyone can understand how routines and rituals can affect our brain and goals, she can.
She explained that from a psychological point of view, Sunday is a significant day of the week as it concludes the week passed and prepares you for the week ahead. To make it the best it can possibly be, there are only two things you need to include. Reflection and planning.
“Goal-setting is a great practice for growth and self-esteem,” She told me. “By creating a habit of setting goals each Sunday, you will get into a pattern of taking time to review and celebrate what you’ve accomplished over each week and set clear intentions for what you will focus on during the next week.”
Goal-setting ticks both the reflection and planning boxes. You reflect on the goals you set yourself last week and plan your goals for the week to come. It should take you around an hour to do this.
Your secret weapon
The best way to do both is to have a planner or a diary that you add to every single Sunday. This way, you’re already prepared for the week ahead.
While you can use the Goals 2019 Diary to plan your month ahead, it’s also important to go into the details of every day. One thing you can do that will make a huge difference is filling out your daily plans in advance.
The Getting Stuff Done planner is designed primarily to help you plan a really in-depth day and stay on track even when it gets busy, but spending an hour or so on Sunday actually going through a week’s worth of pages, outlining your top goal, planning your meals in advance and penciling in your workouts and appointments for the week will save you so much time.
Chanelle agrees, adding: “Taking time to check in with yourself is so important for your emotional well-being. Sunday is an ideal opportunity for filling your tank back up so you feel ready to give your best to the week ahead. Making a point of saying no to anything that may ‘take’ your energy rather than restore it may feel uncomfortable at first, but you will benefit in the long run mastering this.”
Take away the small decisions
If reflection and planning are the two essentials for a perfect Sunday, everything else is just an added extra. This means that if you want to skip into work tomorrow on top of everything before you’ve even begun, you need to grab a pen and start doing both now.
What went well last week? What could you improve on?
What are your goals for this week and how are you going to make them happen? What’s your top action point for every single day of the week? What are you wearing? What are you eating? The fewer small decisions you have to make, the more room you have in your mind for bigger things. For thinking outside the box and making tough decisions.
What if I told you that no matter what you fill your Sunday with, whether it’s a walk in the countryside or a bubble bath, as long as you make time for these two essential things you’ll be setting yourself up for success?
To make sure, keep track of how you feel every Monday and how productive you are after preparing ahead the night before. With the right amount of planning, you should feel as though you’re walking into work with a portion of your tasks already ticked off, three steps ahead of everything you have to do.
So, what does your perfect Sunday look like and how does it help set you up for success on Monday? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to compare Sunday routines and find out how yours helps you get stuff done.
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