Monday Really Is the Best Day to Start a New Goal

#MotivationMonday isn't just a hashtag after all.

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If you're someone who has the best intentions every Monday — "I'm cutting out white carbs;" "I'm waking up 15 minutes earlier;" "I'm updating my résumé" — you may be on to something.

According to November 2015 research published in the journal Psychological Science, Monday is the ideal day to begin working toward a new goal because you're more likely to follow through with it, as opposed to starting a new chapter in your life on a random Tuesday. Or Wednesday. Or Thursday.

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After conducting five separate studies, researchers found that people are more motivated to pursue their goals on specific days that feel more meaningful because they signal the start of a new period ahead, a phenomenon the researchers dubbed "the fresh start effect."

Those special days include: Monday (which most people consider the beginning of a new week), a birthday, a holiday, the first day of spring, and the first day of a new financial quarter.

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The Three Steps to Success

But let's face it — most of us need a little more than a Monday morning and a handful of #MotivationMonday sayings to keep us chugging along until we reach our goals. Well, we're in luck: Researchers in a May 2015 study found that there are three things that can help keep that motivation motor running long past Monday:

  1. Write the goal down.
  2. Share the goal with a friend.
  3. Send weekly progress reports to the friend.

Why We Get Ahead With a Little Help From Our Friends

There are a couple reasons why including a buddy on your journey can help you with personal achievements.

"Sharing your goals with someone else gives you what I call an 'accountability partner,'" says Stacy Kaiser, licensed psychotherapist and editor-at-large for Live Happy. "It's someone who's checking up on you, who can be your cheerleader or your shoulder to lean or cry on when things get tough. And it's always easier to have someone on your team when you're trying to accomplish something."

When it comes to the weekly check-in sessions, Kaiser explains this also ties into the accountability factor.

"Knowing that you need to report to someone almost becomes a case where you don't want to disappoint this person," she says. "In those moments, when you feel you can't do it for yourself — because you're tired, it's too hard — you want to do it for them. So it's the cheerleader-motivational component mixed with the I-don't-want-you-to-look-down-on-me component that makes this strategy work."

So prepare yourself for a #HappyMonday: Grab a buddy and get started on those goals!

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