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  • mariasylvesterterr

9 ways to start fresh on monday– without the diet mindset

Updated: Jun 8, 2023

why we feel the need to start over


it is not uncommon to live in the pendulum swing of a structured weekday routine to nebulous weekend living. after-all, our work or family schedules may drive the force of the swing. When does it start to feel all-or-nothing?


we feel the need to “start over” on Monday for a few reasons:

A dog wrapped in a blanket staring off into the distance
The face of the monday scaries

  • guilt over food, drink, and/or behaviors from the weekend

  • feeling like we need to “reign it in” or get back on track

  • fear that if we don’t course-correct, we will stay “out of control” with routine

  • simply feeling out of sorts, hoping an overcorrection will help get us back to baseline


one of the pillars of my work with clients is getting off the “back on track” hamster wheel. you know what I’m talking about: eat clean and “be good” all week, reward yourself on the weekend for being disciplined, feel guilty or yuck about, rinse and repeat.


the downside


the feeling of being stuck or off-track can lead us to jumping into all-or-nothing approaches to nutrition/fitness in order to find routine again. how many times have you told yourself you just need a “jumpstart” or a “reset” to get back to baseline? unfortunately, an all-or-nothing, unsustainable plan often leads us back where we started: stuck and off-track.


try a check-in approach:

A coffee, mug, journal. and laptop getting ready to plan out the week


  • what went well last week?

what behaviors or habits supported you last week? What would you like to replicate this week, if feasible?


  • what didn’t go well?

how are you feeling now, after the weekend? are there behaviors or habits that haven’t been serving you?



  • what’s your one small thing?

yep, one small thing, what is one habit or behavior that you’d like to implement or bring back into your routine this week to support your overall well-being?


ways to start fresh on monday– without the diet mindset


  1. Pick out a new recipe to prep

  2. Review the week ahead

  3. Stream a new podcast

  4. Schedule your active days

  5. Make a plan for rest days

  6. Commit to a bedtime routine

  7. Set a realistic hydration goal

  8. Invite a friend to walk-talk

  9. Schedule time for your joy


shame is not a lasting motivator for change–no matter how badly you want to “make up” for what you ate this weekend. health promoting behaviors can be attainable and happy things. they can feel supportive and energizing!


enjoy a fresh start without the pendulum swing.


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