Have you noticed how many people choose Monday as the day to plan all the changes they want to make? Do you ever find yourself doing that?
Whether it’s changes in your diet or small changes in your daily routine, I always hear people say, “I’m going to start on Monday.”
Why is that? Is it a tentative attempt to procrastinate? After all, it might buy me a few more days until it’s time to “get out of my comfort zone.”
Or is this the first step in the famous escape movement we know from Cannon’s Emergency Response? According to W.B. Cannon, an American physiologist, we have several instinctive responses to dangerous situations. Cannon’s main ones are “flight” and “fight.” These are two neuroendocrine reactions of the organism that Cannon studied, based on animal behavior, and then applied to humans. According to him, Stone Age humans already showed both reactions when danger was imminent. The best-known example of this is the sudden appearance of a saber-toothed tiger outside an inhabited cave, threatening and frightening the people inside.
Since then, this theory has been further explored, and Jeffrey Alan Gray has added two more reaction patterns: “freeze” and “fear” accompanied by a motionlessness like “playing dead.”
Perhaps Monday has a special meaning because it is the first workday of the week. Many people use Sunday to relax, to switch off, to take a break. They always know that they want to get in the mood for the new week – for Monday – and to start the new work week refreshed. So, of course, Sunday becomes very important, with Monday right on its heels.
Well, as you see, I don’t have a conclusive explanation for the “always on Monday” phenomenon.
However, it brings to mind the fact that we should build in periods of relaxation every day. Before a change that we initiate ourselves and which is mostly beneficial for our health (e.g., change of diet, new workout routine), we should neither feel the need to flee, nor to play dead, nor to freeze. In fact, there should be no danger in the change.
Or could it be that we’re less willing to change than we’d like to admit, and that any prospective change makes us uncomfortable, even if only subconsciously?
This could also be the reason why we procrastinate.
So, what’s my conclusion here? That any change we’re deeply convinced we want to make, we’ll make right away. The changes we tend to put off are those that come from reason alone or that are suggested to us by others. Because if we put them off, it means that we’re not 100% convinced of them. Our subconscious processes put up resistance.
In this sense, my conclusion is that the change you want to make should be re-examined. Do we really want it? Are you fully behind it? Is the first step simply too big? Could it perhaps be broken down into smaller steps with a step you could take right away?
I’m very curious to hear your thoughts on this topic and welcome any comments you might have.
Have a great start to your week next Monday.
Your Crisis Manager