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Why you should never pick Monday to start a new habit

Why you should never pick Monday to start a new habit
Photo by Marissa Grootes / Unsplash

If there is one thing I am good at, it's picking up new habits like writing 750 words consecutively for over 500 days.

The trick? I never pick Monday as a start date.

I never pick any of the usual times to start. Not on the 1st of January. Not on the first day of any month. Never at the start of a quarter.

The more obscure the day, the better.

Why has this worked so well? Here's why.

Striking while the iron is hot

If I decide to do something, I always start ASAP.

Usually, it's today or, at most, tomorrow.

I don't wait a few days—and never till Monday—because I know my momentum will die down.

Removing the pressure of a clean start

Starting on Mondays feels like a proper way to begin anything.

It's a "perfect" start date.

The downside is that there's a lot of pressure to maintain that kind of perfection.

It's similar to how I approach streaks, wherein I tend to break them earlier to get it done and over with. Then, once the pressure is off, I'm much calmer approaching it the second time around.

Removing that clean start pressure means I'm always aiming for an imperfect start. My most successful starts are on Thursdays, the 2nd of January, and in the middle of a quarter like November.

So, next time you want to start a habit, don't wait till Monday.