The Key To a Successful Week: SUNDAY

If you've followed me on Instagram for a little while you've heard me talk about Sunday being my most productive day. For quite a while now, and without even realizing it, I created this well-thought-out Sunday routine. I can safely say I wouldn't be the same person without it. I've found that my most successful weeks begin with a well planned and intentional Sunday.

Whether you love your job or hate it, I think everyone feels some form of the Sunday Blues once in a while. I know I did. I remember waking up on Sunday feeling the pressure that the weekend was almost over and I always felt sad. I wanted to pretend that it wasn't happening and I wanted to hang on to the relaxed, weekend feeling for as long as possible. I would sit on the couch watching movies, getting nothing done, only to crawl into bed on Sunday night feeling worse. I felt lazy, bad about myself, unprepared for what was to come, and no matter how hard I had tried Monday was still inevitably coming and I would have go to work tomorrow. That's how the world works.

In short, I knew something had to change in my Sunday to not only make me feel prepared for the week but to help me combat those horrible feelings I was having. For me, this routine made those sad feelings practically disappear. Going through this routine got me feeling motivated to start my week and instead I was excited to wake up Monday morning to begin working towards my goals. I realize everyone is unique and everyone's schedules are very different. However, for me, Sunday was the perfect day for this routine because I was guaranteed to have the day off. Typically I got errands, family time, and fun events out of the way on Saturday. For the most part, I was guaranteed an entire day of uninterrupted time.

So what did my routine look like? I thought about the areas I wanted to improve and tasks that I felt I needed to get done to put less stress on me throughout the work week. Here's what it looked like:

T H E P L A N

1. Wake up slowly

Don't be too quick to rush into the day and try to get tons done. You'll crash and burn, feel like the weekend is over and those Sunday blues will hit you quickly. Instead, grab a coffee or your favourite morning beverage and slowly ease into the day. Read a book, the newspaper, anything. Watch a favourite movie or show. This is your time to relax and do whatever you like doing on the weekends to take care of yourself and bring a little bit of comfort to the day.

2. Tidy

We usually devote a bit of time on Sundays to get the house tidy and ready for the week. Now, I'm not saying spend 3 hours deep cleaning the whole house. If you have some spare time and it needs getting done, that's fine, but put less focus on cleaning and more on taking care of yourself and prepping for what's ahead. This might mean doing a bit of decluttering, organizing, putting items back in their place, and cleaning off surfaces where everything has piled up over the last week. Reset your space.

3. Laundry

It has to be done! Grab those sheets off the bed and do at least one to two loads of laundry. This makes sure your bedroom will be fresh and you'll have some nice, clean clothes to conquer the week in.

4. Stock up on Supplies

Okay, I know I said that Saturday is a good day for errands but consider a quick grocery shop early in the day on Sunday to make sure you've got all you need for a good, healthy week. You don't want to be staring, half asleep, at an empty fridge the next morning. Trust me. Before you head out, make a quick meal plan for the week that you'll stick to.

5.Meal Prep

With delicious, fresh groceries stocked you'll likely be at least a little inspired to whip up some lunches for the week. Before you even put the groceries away, start making some easy and healthy lunches. You're more likely to make good choices when it comes to food if you're prepared than if you leave it up to chance. I like a little variety so I try to make 3 different meals for the work week. I include one recipe that involves a little bit of cooking like a buddha bowl, soup, or protein dish. I'll always include a sandwich and then to keep it easy I'll create a mediterranean mezze plate of hard boiled eggs, olives, fruit, veggies, nuts, crackers and hummus. Even if this is the only task you tackle on Sundays and forget the rest, you're setting yourself up to make healthier, better choices and giving yourself less stress in the mornings.

6. Outfit Prep

Laundry done? Great. As you're folding it and putting it away come up with 5 outfits for the week. Think about the events and tasks you'll have to complete. Consider the weather. This part can actually be a lot of fun. I always found I enjoyed putting a lot of thought into my outfits, even thinking about the accessories and details. I always felt like I looked so much more put together and stylish when I had devoted the time to do this. Instead of running out of time in the morning and picking the first thing I see, or picking the same thing I wear all the time, I was able to be more creative with my outfits.

So now you've ensured that two typical morning activities, making lunches and deciding what to wear, are already done for the entire week. Can you feel the stress slipping away yet?

7. Seek Inspiration

Okay, if you've reached this point you've worked really hard and you deserve to relax a bit. It's important to not only take care of your food and physical space, but also your mind. This can be personal to you so interpret it any way you want to. Interested in crime documentaries lately and know your colleagues will be talking about it tomorrow at work? Great, grab a snack and enjoy a bit of time on Netflix. Trying out a new hobby? Spend some time scrolling through Pinterest to get some ideas. Love fashion? Flip through the latest magazines. Whatever it may be, delve into the activities that make your soul sing. Take time to feed your passions.

8. Plan & Goals Review

You've probably been waiting for me to get to this part. Of course, it's a favourite. This isn't just any planner time. Grab all of your favourite stickers, washi tape, and pens. Write down all of your to dos, goals, planned events, calls, meetings. All of it. Get it on paper and take some time to decorate. Review your goals, add action steps to the coming week, get motivated and determined to be your best self this week.

9. Beauty Routine

Sundays are the day of the week that I take a bit more time to do those things I just don't have the energy or brain capacity to do during the week. Remember those face masks you always forget to use? Grab a favourite and slather it on. Whiten your teeth, put in a hair mask, dry brush, moisturize, self tan, give yourself a mani and pedi. Whatever it is you like to do to pamper and take care of yourself, do it.

10. Me Time

It's probably almost time for bed at this point. Just like we started our day with ease, end it slowly too. Again, take time to read, catch up on shows, have a bath, a glass of wine; Whatever you need to unwind from the day.

You may be feeling a bunch of things at this point: motivated, determined, inspired, prepared, proud, accomplished.... all those good things, but most of all, No Sunday Blues! Or at least they're not looming over you like they used to. If they're still there staring back at you, say "bring it on" because you're ready for everything your week could throw at you. That's really the secret; If you're intentional with your time on Sunday you allow yourself more time during the week to focus on what is really important to you and you can accomplish your goals without having to waste time thinking about menial tasks and chores.

I developed this routine when I was working a full-time Monday to Friday job. My evenings and weekends were precious to me and that is why my time became more intentional. However, now I work from home and dictate my own schedule. A few things have changed. For one, I don't necessarily meal prep as intensely as I did before. My kitchen is a few steps away from my home office. Instead, I roughly meal plan and make sure I have healthy ingredients ready to go. I find it harder to step away from my desk at home, probably because I completely love what I do, so forcing myself to take time to make my lunch has become a nice break in the day for me and I look forward to it. It allows me to step away from things, nourish myself, and come back to work after with a clear head. Also, I work by myself so those perfectly planned outfits aren't quite necessary. I'll be honest, I've gotten into a bad habit of just working in my pyjamas - not very classy I know. I'd like to outfit prep again, however, I'll have to adjust my outfits to be a bit more leisure friendly.

Last but not least, I want to point out that not every Sunday was perfect for me. Some weeks I was sick, had plans, something came up, or I just wasn't feeling it. What's important is that I recognized that I was better with the routine so more often than not I stuck to it.

Like they say, stop living for the weekend. Stop feeling those Sunday blues each week when the weekend draws to a close. Every single day is an equal and exciting opportunity in the direction to your success. Start looking at Monday as a fresh start and a new beginning. Take control and live each day with intention.

And that's it! Your perfect planning Sunday might look different than mine. That's why I've created the Sunday Docket so you can plan out a routine that works best for you. Laminate it and keep it in your planner to remind yourself what needs to get done each week. Download it for free in A5 and Personal. Don't worry, Pocket and A6 are coming soon!

-Emilee

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