Sundays are my favorite day of the week. Sundays are my time for goal setting, figuring out what terrible habits I picked up over the last week, undoing all the damage I inevitably did from eating terrible awesome treats and drinking a lot of a few beers. Below, for your enjoyment, are my top five favorite Sunday night rituals (with helpful links) for a kickass week. Ready?

1. Set goals for the week.

I am hard at work at getting better on goal setting, big and small. The more I’ve learned about goal setting (long term and short term, professional and personal), the more I read about the many benefits it has (see some major benefits here and tips for professional goal setting here). In January, I tried to set big goals for myself (most of which you’ve already heard about. but I’ll summarize – to learn how to be happy with less while giving more, to become more educated and better at all things personal finance, and to develop habits that will make me happiest and healthiest heading into the “real world” post-grad school).

So, each week, I try to set small goals for the week that help me feel like I’m reaching those goals. I bought a Day Designer planner this year (the thing is life changing for breaking up your day into small, achievable tasks and helping you prioritize). It also has a spot for a daily gratitude that I try to complete at the end of each day. Anyway, on Sundays, I take a look at my week ahead and plan out my biggest tasks and goals that I want to accomplish (I also generally try to vocalize them to M – having a partner hear you say things helps to make the goals more specific for each week…and is awkward to have to own up to if you don’t stick to them).

In addition to small goals, like I said, I break it into specific to-dos and tasks. I look over all these, and I make sure I have what I need to accomplish these things – I plan any outfits for important meetings or presentations, get my work out clothes packed and ready to go, figure out what bills I need to pay that week and what major work projects I have coming up, so I can break those into small chunks to tackle throughout the week. Plus…build yourself in some awesome things to look forward to when you reach goals and meet deadlines (an office mate once told me he bought himself a fresh package of socks or underwear every time he meet a deadline…because you know you need them anyway, but there’s nothing quite like fresh underwear…am I right?)


2. Clean out your inbox.

I know, we all like to pretend we’re the world’s busiest and most important person and therefore get more emails than everyone else on the Earth and could NEVER POSSIBLY EVER NOT ONCE REACH A POINT IN OUR LIVES WHERE OUR INBOXES ARE EMPTY AND OUR WORLDS ARE AT PEACE IT WON’T HAPPEN SO STOP ASKING OKAY so before you yell at me and get all weird about this just hear me out, okay?

I strongly recommend you take an hour and holla @ those emails. Even if you can’t respond to every single one that’s waiting on your response, expertise or action, go through them, make a list of what you need to do or respond to (prioritize and add it to your weekly goal/to-do list or stick it in your sweet new Day Designer), and file them away somewhere where you can easily pull them up when it’s time to get to them but they aren’t clogging up your inbox and stressing you out every time you see it as a reminder you still haven’t gotten around to it. Even if you can only get through one email account, or one hour’s worth of your 10000 emails, because you’re the leader of the free world (do you think he’s reading this? HELLO SIR), you will feel soooo much better when you wake up tomorrow morning without all the spam you should have deleted or that 10% off coupon for Old Navy you swore you’d use when you bought new work out clothes six weeks ago…we can’t necessarily get to all the important things that are waiting for us (and most of you probably have way more in your scary inbox than me), but we can certainly take the time to clean out the things we know we can file away for later or are no longer relevant, and actually make a real life plan for dealing with the things we need to get to ASAP.

Just deal with your emails for a hot second and don’t yell at me about it, okay?

3. Prepare some dope meals

“Meal prep” can be a weirdly aggressive term and activity nowadays, but I h i g h l y recommend taking some time out of your Sunday to spend in the kitchen. You don’t need long, and you certainly don’t need to prepare every single thing you’re going to eat for the week, but getting some of the prep work done (chopping veggies and portioning your proteins for an easy salad-bar-in-your-own-kitchen or getting a bunch of veggies roasted for sides can help you be ready to prep all your lunches to take to work or have plenty of delicious and filling options on hand when you get home late and are starving for dinner). Or, get something fun and delicious made that you can just reheat or pull out of the fridge and eat for breakfast every day.

Knowing that much is done and you can wake up, eat something awesome, and not stress about it is enough to have every day of the week of to a great start. Feeling well prepared for the week can help you feel in control of your own choices for the week, prevent you from doing anything too terrible during the week when you’re starving and pressed for time, and spending a little time smelling delicious stuff, tasting a few things hear and there, not to mention the cooking therapy and putting salads into adorable mason jars so you can feel totally Pinterest-worthy all week long is totally worth your time. While this is a great Sunday night ritual, I also like t do it first thing in the morning on a Sunday, and then have the rest of my day with a fridge stocked full of food!

Here are a few of my favorite Sunday meal-prep recipes – tried and true (and soon I hope to be sharing even more of my own with you)!

Mmmm, cold brew.
Mmmm, cold brew.

4. Shower before dinner.

I promise you this one is totally fabulous and enjoyable. You know when you have a big event coming up, or it’s picture day at school, or whatever gets you wanting to feel your most rockstar-esque? You exfoliate (especially with this salt and sugar jar full of awesome), you take your time, you maybe even shave above the knee, and if you’re me, maybe you even bring a glass of red wine into the bathroom for the full spa-day experience. It’s possible that this one is just me, but after a long Sunday of being outside, catching up on work, family time, whatever it may be, hopping in the shower while dinner is in the oven (or on the way from the Chinese restaurant down the street) and starting my evening in clean pajamas after one of those super glam showers makes me feel all the more refreshed and ready – and makes my Sunday feel that much longer (still a whole evening ahead! Holla!) Take the time, chillax (do cool people still say chillax?) and I promise you won’t regret it. Plus, you don’t have to rush through all your fun evening activities or wake up too early on a Monday to get ready 🙂

My favorite wine and the world's best all-over skin scrub. No better way to make a woman feel ready for a fresh start, am I right?
My favorite wine and the world’s best face crack. No better way to make a woman feel ready for a fresh start, am I right?

5. Waste some time on the internet

Really. We all usually procrastinate plenty online during the week on Facebook, finding the perfect insta filter for our Monday Starbucks selfie, and reading the weird stuff our friends post, but this is the time to read, laugh, and get inspired for the week. I’m a sucker for “how to” and “what not to do” and “why you should always do these 10 things at midnight while wearing blue” kinds of posts on sites like Lifehacker and other posts by great bloggers, doers and thinkers. Find that perfect quote that gets you through the week, finally learn what compound interest is, or start googling away the best places for your next road trip. Carve out some time for these things so you have new things to try throughout the week, inspiring words and ideas to keep you day dreaming, and of course, don’t feel the need to procrastinate quite as much during the week – or at least you have less of an excuse to… 😉 I love learning new things and finding new pieces of advice/habits to try out. We all have limited time these days, so taking a few minutes to start uncovering all of the cool thoughts and ideas other people are having online is one of my favorite ways to feel informed and connected (while still feeling like you’re not necessarily working too hard on a Sunday). And look, here you are!

Alright, friends. There’s my Sunday night in a nutshell. What are your favorite Sunday night activities? What gets you excited for Monday? I’d love to know!