Ready, Set, Goals…Monday!

Posted March 11, 2013 by Monica O'Connell in On the Ladder


This week we’re tackling “The crazy amounts of stuff we tell ourselves we are going to start doing on Monday.” For short: “The way we set ourselves up for failure.” Maybe that wasn’t shorter but you know what I mean.  Starting on Monday I’m going to get up earlier to go to the gym. I’m going to stop eating sugar, start a juice cleanse, and eliminate processed foods on Monday.  I’ll start that new organizing system on Monday.  I’ll walk to work every day starting on Monday. Iron man triathlon training starts Monday, now where do you buy goggles?  I’ll become a vegan on Monday. I’ll save $500 out of every paycheck starting on Monday. Are you puking Monday yet? No wonder we have a case of the Mondays.  It’s the day our perfectionism is supposed to kick into high gear and we are going to become the best version of ourselves.

Or… we start this great new plan and as the day unfolds, make a mistake in our plan and then beat the ever-loving daylights out of ourselves. Ever done this?  It’s usually really innocent too.  We forgot about that meeting so we thought we could do the salad bar but we had to grab a sandwich.  Our kid puked all night so getting up at 5am when we were up at 4 doesn’t make any sense.  The water heater broke and that $500 is what stands between you and hot showers going forward.

I’m all about setting goals and all of the things I listed really could be a part of your goals.  Becoming a better version of you is the best ever! And the best way to do it is to set yourself up to be successful.  For many lovely perfectionists, we often expect that we should be able to do it just so, perfectly perfect in fact.  And that’s usually when our shame or our fear or our schedule blocks us.  It would make so much sense to start training for the Iron man if we regularly ran marathons, biked miles and knew how to swim.  Not so much if we don’t own running shoes.

Go big or go home on your goals.  And start where you can and love yourself from there.  Enroll friends to support you.  Sign up with lovely trainers or coaches who align with your values and elevate you.  Find a therapist who can help you turn down the volume on your shame talk so that you aren’t stuck.  Since Monday is here today, soften those super high expectations and just do one thing.  And then try to do it again tomorrow.  And if by Wednesday you can’t do it, understand why and forgive yourself.  And try again on Thursday.  This gets to be a journey so that you never have to start again on Monday.

About the Author

Monica O'Connell

Monica O’Connell is a Licensed Marriage and Family therapist in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In her practice, she spends her career cheering on “Career Girls” as they learn how to get the most out of life. Monica works with arguably some of the most successful, intelligent, inspiring women in the Twin Cities who tackle self-discovery, career success, and what’s getting in the way of their true desires. She shares her favorite moments as those “best described not by words but by the stomach aching, face soreness that comes from spending an entire day laughing with loved ones.”