Venus Williams’ days and weeks don’t always go the way she plans them. Business deals go awry, physio appointments make her run late, and her dog, Harry (or Harold, if you’re being formal), might demand she wake up early to feed him.
But come Monday, Williams does her best to start off her weeks on a good foot. It’s a lesson ingrained from tennis, where Mondays are the first days of the tournament. So if you lose on a Monday, you’re not feeling too great.
That’s why, these days, she has two tricks to help her make the most of the day. It doesn’t come easily to her, though.
- Venus Williams, world-renowned tennis player, founder of V Starr Design and Eleven by Venus
“I have to say, Mondays are not my best day, and Mondays are actually my busiest day,” Williams tells Well+Good. “It's kind of like you have to hit the ground running, you don't get a slow jog. You've gotta get started.”
Williams’ first trick actually starts on Sunday. She likes to write down her list of intentions for the day and the week before Monday comes around, so she has a purpose in mind.
“I think that helps make it clear, it helps a lot when you have a goal to work toward,” Williams says. “Start the day before. [Say] these are my intentions for tomorrow, so that by the time you get to the day, you've already started it in the way you want to.”
While Williams prefers to “ease into” a Monday, that’s not always possible. But one way she always sets the tone is with a song.
“Honestly, the best way to start a Monday (or any day) is just with music,” Williams says. “If you have a speaker that you can dial right into, put your song on, get up, heat up with energy and good vibes, that's how I like to start.”
In addition to getting into her own Monday groove, these days Williams is also trying to help inspire others to make the most of their days and weeks. In honor of Harold, she’s partnered with Purina Pro Plan Sport to help get people and their pets moving—starting on what can feel like the most sluggish day of the year, the Monday after daylight saving’s time. Every Monday beginning March 13 for 10 weeks, Pro Plan will issue a “Monday Like a Pro” Challenge for ways people can be active with their pets. Participants can log their activity time. And for every one million minutes logged per week, Pro Plan will donate $15,000 to Athletes for Animals, a non-profit organization that focuses on protecting homeless pets, for a total potential donation of $150,000.
“Moving your body is so important to me; it's essential for life,” Williams says. “We love our pets, they're members of our family. We have to make sure that they're moving their bodies. It's essential for their lives, too.”
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