Growing up, I always enjoyed everything about the Christmas season. The events, the music, the people and of course the presents. My parents worked hard every year to ensure we had unforgettable moments during the holidays.
The build up to the big day got better each year, but it was nothing compared to the feeling of Christmas Eve. That feeling as a child (and now as an adult at times) of what was to come the next day lead to many sleepless Christmas Eve nights.
The anticipation was too much. My brothers and I hoped we’d get that new toy we’ve been begging my parents for for months. Just the thought of it kept us awake late into the night, guessing who would get what.
Life tends to be more enjoyable when there’s something to look forward to. Which is exactly why most people love Fridays and loath Sunday nights. The former gives you the gift of the weekend while the latter gives you….well, Monday.
And we all hate Mondays right? I would assume that is the popular opinion to a large degree. That is, unless the greatest gift giving day of the year happens to fall on it. Like earlier this week. Then that Monday wouldn’t be so bad right? Turns out that this past Monday was pretty awesome if you ask around.
So what’s the unofficial census here? Mondays suck unless they hold something to look forward to?
This is an important discussion to have because it will help you realize the main key to job satisfaction and overall life fulfilment.
On Christmas Eve something interesting took place. I didn’t see any depressing “Oh no Monday is coming” type memes as I usually do. Not even one. Why? Because most of us were looking forward to spending time with friends and family, and all the individual Christmas traditions we all have. For me as a parent, I couldn’t wait to see my kid’s faces when they opened their gifts.
Our expectation of enjoying the first day of the work week will be low if our job satisfaction is equally as low.
This past Monday, December 25, did not suck because of one thing: EXPECTATION.
Why is that? First off, although you may know what that means, for discussion purposes lets define expectation:
“A strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future.”
And there you have it. The simple truth on why we loved Christmas, but hate Mondays overall. What we believe, think or expect will happen in the near future has a direct impact on how we emotionally process that reality. To simplify, if we anticipate a positive life experience to happen tomorrow (e.g. starting a vacation, your child’s graduation, etc.) chances are we’ll be in a really good mood.
That said, the obvious happens when we don’t love our jobs. We come down with a case of Sunday night blues, thinking about suffering through the first day of a long week in a career we may not have considered choosing for ourselves, but through many life circumstances just fell into to survive. Our expectation of actually enjoying the first day of the work week is low if our job satisfaction is equally as low.
What can we do to change this? Last week I wrote a piece on why it’s important to love your job again and provided practical ideas on how to make that happen. Though that idea is related to the topic of this article, the solutions for shifting our Monday mindset are not as black and white, because the approach to solving it needs to be more holistic centric and not just career focused.
Here’s where you can start: What do you love and how can you make that experience happen on Monday every week?
If you work full or part time what can you do before you head to work that will give you a positive outlook for that Monday? Physical activity, reading, having a coffee with a friend, working on a side creative project, taking a cooking or dance class are all ideas to start with or at least get your thoughts stirred in the right direction.
How about at work? What routines do you have control to change in order to start off your week right? Are there any committees you can be a part of and use your skills to add value to that team? Having a mindset like this allows us to handle our ‘not ideal’ current job situation while we work on a potential career transition, if necessary.
Situations and experiences that make us happy will look different for everyone. The only right answer here is the one that leads us to wake up each day with an appreciation for being alive, even if that day is Monday.