“Monday Vision is the key to Contagious Inspiration!” – J.D. Meier
The Monday Vision Habit is a powerful way to have better weeks. It’s a way to practice more mindfulness while achieving better results.
I’ve used Monday Vision for a coupled decades to unleash and empower myself and others, and large teams and orgs, too.
Long ago I wanted to create a simple way to have better Mondays. Not just for me, but the teams I was leading.
I wanted Monday to feel better.
I wanted Mondays to be a Fresh Start.
I wanted to turn my chores into chances.
I wanted to have a simple system to create a North Star for my week, that would lift me up and “pull me forward” through my week.
And so, my Monday Vision Habit was born.
What is The Monday Vision Habit?
The Monday Vision Habit is the simple routine of identifying your 3 Wins for This Week each Monday.
It’s a great way to set the stage for your success, rather than starting from where you feel defeated or deflated.
It’s a great way to start the week fresh, focused, and with amazing clarity around what matters most.
It’s far too easy to get bogged down in your backlog of seemingly endless things to do.
And it’s far too easy to start your Monday from a place of fear or anxiousness or, even exhaustion, and that’s not a great way to start.
A better way is to hit pause, take a step back, take a look from the balcony and identify your 3 most meaningful wins or victories or achievements or highlights for the week ahead.
(and it’s OK, if you do your Monday Vision on Sunday, as I most often do.)
The Power of the Monday Vision Habit
If you master the Monday Vision Habit, you inspire better days and better weeks for yourself and those around you.
The Monday Vision Habit is a way to wakeup possibilities and remind yourself that you create your future each week.
Even just a few minutes on Monday (or a Sunday night), is enough to really create a Vivid Vision for your week with a focus on your Vital Few Wins, to inspire yourself, and light the way.
By identify a few compelling outcomes or personal victories, you create a simple way to prioritize your focus, your energy, and your time in the direction of meaningful wins.
These wins will be the highlights that you look back on when Friday comes and you reflect back on your week.
As John Maxwell, leadership luminary might put it, “Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.”
And the beauty is each week, you get another chance to learn. Heck, you get 52 weeks a year to practice your Monday Vision
Imagine Getting a Fresh Start Each Monday
This is perhaps the most powerful idea is to treat each Monday as a “Fresh Start.” Remember the mantra:
“Mondays are for Fresh Starts.”
I know this is a big deal because as I’ve coached my Monday Vision Habit to teams and leaders over the years, I see the way the weary and the exhausted, look up with hope.
“I can get a Fresh Start?”
Yes, the future is all about opportunity. This is your chance to “put the bags down”, and create a compelling week, right here, right now.
What you are doing with the Monday Vision Habit is chunking your big, maybe scary week, down into 3 Wins or 3 Outcomes or 3 Highlights so you can lead yourself to victory.
This is your chance to look ahead with eyes forward and with a fresh perspective to create a compelling road to your Friday milestone.
With Monday Vision, you look to the week that lies before you and wake up your ability to create and do great things.
Use Monday Vision to get intentional about your achievements, and decide how you will spend your best time, energy, and effort on the areas of focus that matter the most.
Create Clarity, Generate Energy, and Inspire Better Results with the Monday Vision Habit
When you use the Monday Vision Habit, you create clarity by identifying 3 compelling outcomes for this week. Remember this mantra:
“3 Wins for This Week!”
When you create clarity, you create confidence. You slay confusion and chaos down to size. Your Monday Vision is bigger than that.
You are bigger than that. Your Monday Vision becomes the backbone for unstoppable you.
Imagine if each Monday, you identified 3 Wins for the week ahead that inspire you and make your week more meaningful?
That is the whole idea behind Monday Vision.
I wanted to start Mondays from a place of inspiration, not a place of overwhelm or overload.
This is a simple way to create a Vision for your week each Monday, to empower yourself and inspire yourself.
Monday Vision is the Key to “Contagious Inspiration”
Inspiration is contagious when you breathe it in with ambition and purpose and when you connect it back to a meaningful mission, even if it’s just a meaningful mission for this week.
This is how you lead yourself with skill, and how you lead others in legendary ways, by tapping into the abundant well of hopes and dreams and aspirations.
No matter how big your dream is, you need to chunk it down into what you can do this week, and what you can do today, to bring it to fruition.
Your day takes on greater meaning when it’s part of a bigger picture, and that picture is your Monday Vision, where you envision your 3 highlights for this week in your mind’s eye.
The maker and the doer in you are strong if you give yourself worthy and meaningful outcomes to achieve.
You are the greatest meaning maker and this is your chance to get your inner-Bard on and make your soul sing with meaningful achievements and mastery of your mojo.
How To Do the Monday Vision Habit
The simplest way to do the Monday Vision Habit is to ask yourself, the following question:
“What are my 3 Wins for This Week?”
And write down your response so that you now have a simple set of 3 Wins that you would like to achieve for the week.
Let’s make this as actionable and as step by step as possible:
- Ask yourself: “What are my 3 Wins for This Week?”. To do this well, simply imagine it’s Friday and you are looking back at your week, what do you want your 3 Highlights or 3 Wins to be? Picture 3 simple victory scenes from the week. This is your chance to create clarity around what would a great week look like for you, given what’s important, what’s urgent, and what matter most. I like to think of my 3 Wins as 3 Headlines: “If I were telling the story of my week to a friend, what would be the 3 Headlines?” I find that thinking in terms of “Headlines” nudges me to make it more interesting, and the more interesting I make my 3 Headlines, the more inspirational they become.
- Make a map of your week for easy scanning. Review your calendar for the week ahead. Rapidly list out everything that is on your plate and on your mind. This is your chance to dump everything from your brain out onto paper (or virtual paper), so you can process it better. By clearing your mind this way, you create more space to process what’s on your plate, and to organize your mind better when you add stuff back in. This is how you create some breathing room and some creative space for your mind to work better. This is a fast exercise, no need to wallow here. Gamify how fast you can make your list, while practicing feeling calm, cool, and collected.
- Update your 3 Wins for This Week. With an informed view, now check that your 3 Wins for This Week truly reflect a good answer for the question, “What are your 3 Wins for This Week?” You know it’s a good answer when you have clarity around your 3 top priorities, you have narrowed down your focus so that it’s actionable, and you feel inspired to act. Don’t underestimate inspiring yourself. This is your chance to generate better energy and it’s your force multiplier.
As you can see, it’s an iterative process, because you refine your vision as you figure it out.
Note that I said it’s iterative, not long. My Monday Vision usually takes me about 5 minutes for the week, if I’m just going it for myself.
That includes listing out all my reminders and tasks and dumping my brain, and then stepping back and figuring out how to spend my best energy on my 3 best results for this week.
When you start out, you will likely find it easier to list your most important tasks or your doable achievements.
That’s OK, it’s a start.
But as you advance, you will really want to get better at calling out your outcomes. Your victories or wins or highlights should actually sound like victories, not just another task or To-Do list.
Example of 3 Wins for This Week from the Monday Vision Habit
An example is worth a 1,000 words:
- Won a raving fan among my toughest customers
- Draft complete for my epic project plan
- I showed up with “all of me” to my workouts in a mindful way and gave my best effort
You can word your 3 Wins in all sorts of ways. When you first start, you might struggle with the words, so first and foremost, focus on the idea.
Notice how I used the past tense above. Remember, I’m trying to list out 3 Wins as if this was Friday and I am looking back on my week.
By having this very simple short-list of my most compelling victories for the week, I have a way to get back on track whenever I get off track.
It sounds simple, and it is, but it’s this simple list that helps you prioritize, focus, and direct your attention.
You will get off track throughout the week. It happens. But with your Monday Vision, you have a way to keep getting yourself back on track.
This is Not Your To-Do List. Your 3 Wins are Your Ta-Da List!
This is no a list of your To-Dos for the week. You already have that.
This is your short-list of your Wins.
Your 3 Wins are what makes your To-Dos matter. Your 3 Wins guide you.
What I do in practice is I list all of my reminders and tasks and non-negotiable appointments or deliverables for the week.
But then I make space above it, by sliding all those reminders and tasks down, and at the top, I list my 3 Wins for This Week.
That is how I win my week the Agile Way.
How To Inspire Yourself Better By Connecting to Your Values
If you have clarity on the wins you want to achieve, but you don’t’ feel inspired, find a way to connect your wins to your values.
For example, let’s say you value adventure, excellence, and customer obsession.
Here are a few examples of how you might frame or phrase your 3 Wins for This Week:
Don’t just “call back a customer” …”won a raving fan”.
Don’t just “get document done” …” mastered my craft”.
Don’t just “finish project plan” …” envisioned an epic adventure the whole team is excited to go on”.
Tip – Doing Monday Vision on a Sunday night is actually a great way to create peace of mind because you have a plan of action with a simple vision for your week.
Add the Fun Factor to Your Week
Add the Fun Factor to your week by making your 3 Wins fun. It sounds simple and obvious, but when you are under pressure and under stress, you will have a tendency to make your Wins “serious”.
Sadly, serious doesn’t help. You get serious results by taking action on compelling victories that make you come alive.
The Fun Factor is what will keep you going, while others fizzle out with their “serious” list of their chores or tasks or whatever they are slogging through.
Gamify your wins if that helps.
Play with the words if it helps. Practice finding ways to make yourself smile inside when you think about the amazing achievements, you’re going to pull off this week.
I remember in a large group meeting with multiple teams, the leaders went around asking everybody for their 3 Wins from last week, and every listed off routine maintenance and tasks.
It put the room to sleep. Nobody needed to hear what they already did in terms of “business as usual”.
People in the room needed to hear “breakthroughs” or “interesting results”. They needed to hear “compelling victories”.
They needed to hear “headlines”.
I stepped in and asked the people in the room to share their headlines or their highlights, and the dynamic completely changed.
It got fun. It got interesting. You could feel the buzz in the room.
And it’s that buzz that sets the stage
Use Your Future Self to Help You
You can use your Future Self to help you. Your Future Self is simply a version of you in the future. In this case, it’s simply your Future Self from this coming Friday.
Imagine you are your Future Self on Friday looking back on the week.
Imagine Future You is appreciating what you achieved and what you learned.
This is actually a very good way to both practice visualizing your Future Self, as well as practice working your way forward to the future, and working your way backward from the future.
When you figure out your 3 Wins for This Week, you will likely default to either a “Future forward” orientation, or a “Future Back” orientation. You might also think of this as a “TO the Future” or “FROM the Future” perspective.
- TO the Future. A “TO the Future” or Future-Forward orientation means you are trying to figure out what you will accomplish this week, in a linear, forward-looking way. You are looking forward as you plan your week and trying to figure out how to get from Monday to Friday, with all the steps in between. You are trying to figure out in your mind, how you will make meaningful progress so that by Friday, you have your 3 Wins in hand.
- FROM the Future. A “FROM the Future” or Future-Back orientation means you imagine it’s the end of the week and you are working back from that. You imagine it’s Friday, and you think through your 3 Wins the FROM the Future orientation.
I find it helpful to practice both working forward towards the future and working backwards from the future.
Future Back helps me by jumping to Friday and looking “back” on my week, it helps me rise above the noise of my day to day and create clarity among the chaos.
Future Forward helps remind me of some of the obstacles and challenges in my way and to be aware of them, but not bogged down by them.
Monday Vision is Part of the Monday Vision, Daily Wins, Friday Reflection Habit
The Monday Vision Habit is part of my bigger Monday Vision, Daily Wins, Friday Reflection Habit, which is effectively my ultimate habit set for productivity.
It’s a very simple habit set, in fact, so simple I can explain it quickly right here:
- the Monday Vision Habit – identify your 3 Wins for This Week.
- the Daily Wins Habit – identify your 3 Wins for Today.
- the Friday Reflection Habit – Identify 3 Things Going Well and 3 Things to Improve and what you want to work on next week.
Monday Vision is part of the Habit Set that I call Monday Vision, Daily Wins, Friday Reflection.
I call it a “Habit Set” because it’s a set or habits that work “better together”. They reinforce each other, and together they help level up your productivity game.
Monday Vision, Daily wins, Friday Reflection is more of a “Habit Set”, than a “Habit Stack”. S.J. Scott popularized the idea of “Habit Stacking” in his book, Habit Stacking. A Habit Stack is where you “stack” or chain your habits or routines together, where on habit triggers the next.
By having a series of small habits working together, they reinforce each other.
With that said, I usually just refer to this Habit Set as my Monday Vision, Daily Wins, Friday Reflection pattern. Once people realize it’s a pattern it makes more sense. But when they to do it, it makes even more sense to break it down into tiny habits.
The Monday Vision Habit Works with Teams, Too
Ultimately, I created Agile Results and specifically the Monday Vision Habit because I wanted the team, and myself, to have better Fridays.
Yes, Monday Vision started so that I could prioritize the week into high impact Wins and end the week with victories, or at least, some great learnings to use for the next week.
I used the Monday Vision Habit to create and grow high performance teams better, faster, and easier, by creating a simple way to create clarity, generate energy, and inspire results each week.
In my mind, a true test of a productivity system is how well it plays with others.
Not just with other productivity systems, but with actual people who might be using all sorts of different productivity systems.
I’m a big believer in “to each, their own”, and I value empowerment, as well as Diversity & Inclusion.
I encourage people to find the best of the best productivity tools they can and integrate them, while keeping in mind the key is to achieve meaningful results, better, faster, easier, and with fun.
Productivity is a team sport, especially in our networked world.
I’ve used Monday Vision from teams of 2 to teams of 40 and up. I’ve used it to lead multimillion dollar projects, as well as zero-budget projects and budgets on a shoestring.
In remote scenarios, one of the simplest things I did was send out a 3 Wins for This Week mail to the team, to identify the top 3 outcomes for the week, and get others to chime in.
I’ve also used it as a way to figure out the Sprint for the week, and put a bow on it. It’s one thing to walk through all the great work everybody will do.
But it’s transformational when you can uplevel it to 3 Wins This Week for the Team.
When you can tell and sell the value of your team in a very simple way, this is how you help ensure your team gets rewarded and appreciated better versus lost among the sea of activity and noise.
Make Your Monday Vision a Habit
The Monday Vision Habit is one of the simplest ways to implement the idea that “First you make your habits, then your habits make you.”
No leader, athlete, CEO, artist, etc. creates great results without vision.
Monday Vision is a simple way to apply vision and visualization to your week.
It’s ironic if you consider how many people go to work all week without a vision. They do stuff, for sure. They do a lot of stuff.
Heads down. Executing stuff. Getting things done. Making things happen.
And that’s great if it inspires you to crank through more and more stuff.
But for many individuals I know, they want more meaning in their moments and they want their weeks to matter.
Time flies when you don’t stop to appreciate your achievements great and small.
They want a compelling vision for the week and compelling outcomes worth working on.
Monday Vision is what gives you both a way to look forward and inspire yourself, and a way to look backward, to put a bow on your week, and to practice your attitude of gratitude
A simple check is this: You put in so much time and effort last week, do you recall your 3 Wins or 3 Highlights?
If you can’t put a bow on your week, chances are others won’t be able to, and then you’ll wonder why you get taken for granted.
Appreciation starts from the inside out.
Add the Monday Vision Habit to Your Calendar
This is something so simple, yet so powerful, you will be surprised how it instantly changes your game.
To start and to reinforce the Monday Vision Habit, add it as a recurring appointment to your calendar on Mondays.
Simply create a new appointment and name it Monday Vision. In the body, simply add this prompt:
“What are your 3 Wins for This Week?”
In one single move you just forever changed the future of your productivity game.
You now have one of the most effective habits on the planet to start your week better, and to end your week on a high note.
If you stick with the Monday Vision Habit, and practice what I showed you, you will be on your way to winning your greatest productivity challenges and getting better with time.
Call to Action
- Add the Monday Vision Habit to your calendar.
- Check in with yourself periodically at the start of the week and throughout the week: “What are your 3 Wins for This Week?”
- Practice Future Forward and Future Back to figure out your 3 Wins for This Week and leverage your Future Self.
Note – if you are a manager or leader, you should practice telling the 3 Wins This Week a the team level so that you can appreciate your team, and so that you can help others appreciate your team.
It’s also a way to stay relevant while practicing continuous improvement in the art of driving results that matter.
You Might Also Like
3 Wins for Today
10 Big Ideas from Agile Results
The 3 Wins Approach
Day I the Life of Agile Results
Getting Started with Agile Results
How I Do Monday Vision the Agile Way
How To Use Agile Results to Build Empathy for Your Future Self
Chapter 5 – Monday Vision, Daily Outcomes, Friday Reflection