Sunday Reset: Best Sunday Night Routine For A Stress-Free Week

a hand reaching for a cup of tea and a jumper that has a label saying 'sunday'.

Have you ever heard an expression: ‘The week starts on Sunday’? We are strong believers in the week starting on a Monday, and Sunday is a perfect transitional day to reflect on the past week and set up for the best possible week ahead. That’s why we think everybody should have a good Sunday Reset Routine to complete on Sunday night to reduce the stress for the upcoming week.

This is not a full-day Sunday To-Do list. We think Sunday Reset is about resetting the mindset from last week into the new one. So we assume that you will have done all the chores like ironing and laundry at another time :) Take the time on Sunday Night to transition from one week to another and help yourself improve your productivity and efficiency along the way!

What Is Sunday Reset?

First thing’s first, Sunday Reset should not be a strict to-do list that feels like a chore. No, it should instead be designed to help you improve your overall workflow, aid your mental health, and make you feel like you are in control of your time and resources and ready to face whatever next week throws at you. That’s why your Sunday Night Routine should consist of three main elements:

  • Unload: where you reflect on the past week, identify your wins and losses and leave behind anything that you cannot control or rectify.
  • Reload: whereby you recharge, plan ahead and set yourself up for the best start to the week.
  • Rest: enough said. It’s Sunday night!

Sunday Reset is a routine that will help your ongoing productivity development. It helps you learn from past mistakes, recognise your strengths and weaknesses and implement improvements in the days ahead.

Understandably, everybody’s lives are different, with various commitments and time constraints, but we think it’s best to incorporate your weekly reset into your Sunday night routine. Set a couple of hours aside before bedtime and trial it for a month or two to see if it helps you head into a stress-free week.

A weekly organizer, a pen, glasses and a cup of coffee.

What To Do On Reset Days?

As I mentioned before, I believe that your Sunday Night Routine should consist of at least 3 elements: unload, reload and rest. Each of the elements has a completely different purpose, but all come together in a very productive and forward-looking Sunday Reset for both your body and your mind.

STEP 1: Unload

Before you start planning next week, it is essential to unclutter. And by unclutter, we mean your mind, your negative energy, any unresolved business clogging up your mind and creating negative emotions.

Start your Sunday Night Routine by thinking about the past week once again to tie up any loose ends in your head.

What Activities Might Get You Thinking?

How to unload is a very personal choice. The trick is to choose an activity that gets you thinking in a relaxing and not pressured way. Set aside 15-30 minutes and let your mind race in a structured way by:

  • Going for a walk or a jog.
  • Swim 20 laps in your gym’s swimming pool.
  • Pick up a brush and paint an abstract.
  • Do some flowing iterations of yoga sequences.
  • Or simply pick up a pen and paper and start writing down anything that’s on your mind.
a man with a beard and a NASA t-shirt thinking and writing on a notepan.

Questions to Ask Yourself

The ‘unload’ portion of your Sunday reset is designed to get you thinking about last week and identify your strengths that you should lean upon in the future and weaknesses that you may want to combat. Ask yourself:

  1. What have I accomplished last week that I am proud of and how did I make it happen?
  2. What I wanted to get done, but didn’t and why? How am I going to make sure it will get done this week? Will you do it first thing? Will you delegate it to someone else who may be able to do it better? Do you need to seek help?
  3. Is anything out of my control completely? If so, make a conscious effort to just forget about it and move on to something that you can control!
  4. Identify things that were a distraction to you last week: did you have a cupboardful of delicious snacks that made you get up and snack every hour? Is your neighbour decorating making it extremely noisy for you to work from home? Have you spent an hour on Amazon Prime Day Sale just to try and find a good deal, even though there’s nothing that you NEED?
  5. Did you stick to your plan last week? If you’re new on your productivity and time-management journey, is your time-management method (Pomodoro, time blocking etc.) working for you? How can you make it work even better? Should you experiment with your current plan a bit more or try something new?

What Should You Get Out of The Sunday Unload Activity?

Once you finished your unload, grab a piece of paper and quickly write down your thoughts in a short (maybe bullet-point) form. You should now have:

  • An idea of what makes you good at something, and what hinders your performance.
  • Possible solutions to the problems that you faced last week which will go into your next week’s plan as actionable steps.
  • A clearer mind and motivation to have an even better week ahead!
A hand writing "A PLAN" on a piece of paper, with a phone and a pen holder next to it.

STEP 2: Reload

The ‘Reload’ phase of your Sunday Night routine should consist of all the rituals that will help you have a stress-free week ahead. I like to think of this step as packing your luggage before you go on a trip: you plan and gather together everything you will need for a smooth and tension-free journey.

When it comes to the best preparation for the upcoming week, planning, prepping and creating little ‘calls-to-action’ to give you extra motivation next week are necessary to set yourself up for a productive and successful week!

Here are 10 tasks (or as I call them, Sunday Rituals) that should be done at the end of each weekend.

1. Plan your meals.

Make sure you know what you’re going to eat each day: including breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Even if you want to change things up, at least you know that you have enough meals planned. Make a note on which day you will need to go food shopping and have a list ready of products you will need to buy ready! Add to it if you need, as you go about your week.

2. Exercise Plan.

Whether you exercise vigorously or not, it is extremely important to set time aside to stay active. I suggest allocating at least 30 minutes of your time per day (plus time for an extra shower if needed) to make sure you have time to take care of your body. I personally like to plan my workouts in advance, so that I make sure to hit cardio, strength and flexibility/mobility training every week and get the most benefit out of my exercise routine. Simply write down a fitness activity/ workout that you will do each day and stick to it.

3. Outfit Plan.

Nothing wastes more time than changing into three different outfits in the morning because you cannot find what you want to wear. Take the stress out of each morning by reviewing your calendar and picking an outfit for each day. That way you know exactly what you have, what has been washed and ironed and work with what you have. Hang all the outfits on one side of your wardrobe. All you need to do each morning is grab the outfit from the hanger and get dressed! This will save you a lot of time, trust me!

4. Fill in You Planner For The Whole Week With the ‘Knowns’ and ‘Repeatables’.

Grab your planner and start filling it in. Look at your calendar and write down any appointments/ meetings/ dates or events that you need to attend. These are your ‘Knowns’ – things that you planned already, things you’ve committed to, things you cannot be flexible about.

Then fill in your ‘Repeatables’ – things that you do regularly, like every other day or once a week. ‘Repeatables’ are things that will become habits one day, but aren’t quite there yet. For example, I wouldn’t put ‘Feed the dog’ or ‘Walk the dog’ in my planner every day, because it’s a habit – that’s what I’ve been doing every day for the last 3 years! But I would write “Check if Tomatoes Need Watering” every other day in the summer season!

5. Write Down Things You Want To Get Done Each Day Of This Week

Provided you have your yearly and monthly goals planned, you should be clear on what you need to work on. Split the tasks up and keeping to realistic timeframes, fill in the empty gaps in your week with things that will bring you closer to achieving your dreams.

On the left, you can see the page of my Monday after being filled in for the ‘knowns’ and ‘repeatables’. And to the right, the gaps are filled in with tasks that will help me achieve my monthly and yearly goals.

6. Clear You Focus/ Work Space

Now that your week is planned, you need to try and give yourself the best possible environment to get things done. Clear the space where you typically work. Look at your week, and see what space within your house you will need to use this upcoming week. Clear and wipe your desk, clean your laptop keyboard and put an invigorating-smelling candle on your work desk! If you have two dinner parties to host this week, make sure your dining table is clear and your tablecloths are ready to go! Trust me, you will thank yourself when it comes to using the space!

7. Create Motivation Points For Exercising

I don’t know about you, but I find it really easy to talk myself out of exercising. I’ll say I’m tired, I’ll think I am too busy, I will even create an imaginative headache sometimes to find a good excuse not to exercise. But if I push through and get that workout done – I feel 100% better for it! So here’s how to use Sunday Night Reset Routine to create mini motivational triggers for me:

  • We already have an exercise plan, right? And what’s on the list, needs to get done.
  • Place your exercise clothes by your bed, so you change into them as soon as you get out of bed.
  • Place your trainers at the bottom of the stairs (or outside your bedroom door)!
  • Set out your weights/ bike/ yoga mat/ any other exercise equipment on Sunday night ready for your workout on Monday morning. It really helps to set up on a Sunday, because you will feel that you’ve invested the time so you cannot bail out now!
  • Exercising first thing in the morning may not be for you, but hopefully, you get the idea – just pressure yourself into a corner when it comes to doing something beneficial that you don’t want to do!

8. Fully Prepare for Tomorrow

Review your planner one last time and make sure you have everything ready to go for Monday:

  • Do you know what you’re going to eat? Are your snacks ready? Do you need to defrost anything for dinner?
  • Have you coordinated your plans with your significant other/ flatmate/ colleagues?
  • Have you set the alarm clock? Do you need any reminders on your voice-controlled assistant for the day?
  • Depending on your time-management method, you may need to time-block or set priorities for your tasks!

9. Habit Building and Setting Boundaries.

If you are building habits (and we think you should), you should be tracking them as you go. Consider what habits you want to build and make a little tracker for yourself. Here are a few examples:

  • Are you drinking 2l of water per day?
  • Do you maybe track your macros or kcal intake?
  • Do you train your dog to do new tricks or do a sniffing session in the garden to enrich their lives every day?

Setting boundaries is just as important. Whilst you may have lots of things to do, staying up past midnight is only going to set you back the next day. Set boundaries to avoid burnout!

  • How many hours of sleep do you need to be at your best the next day? When is the latest you should be going to bed?
  • When do you function best? Should you get things done in the morning and not allow yourself a reward unless you get the tasks checked off your list?

You know what motivated you and the best ways to get going!

10. Schedule Your Free Time

Yes, productivity is not about working hard all the time! It’s about working hard so you have time to do fun things in life! And this last task on the list is a must in the ‘Reload’ phase. Scheduling free time will ensure you take time off, recharge and have fun during the week. So sit down with your partner, contact your friends, and pencil in dinner with your mum! Or maybe you need time alone with your book? Set aside an hour here and here to just enjoy ‘self-time’.

STEP 3: Rest

Once you’ve reflected on the past week, and have a great plan on how to improve your productivity and get even more done in less amount of time next week, it’s time to rest and recharge! After all, you want yourself energetic and rearing to go towards achieving your goals. And to give yourself the best start, you need to rest. And we mean resting your body, mind and soul:

  • Put all your electronic devices on charge and forget about them for the night! Not only your phone – your laptop, your tablet, your activity tracker off your wrist! Technological detox is powerful, very powerful!
  • Shower or take a bath and exfoliate your whole body! It’s exhilarating! And what better way to start a new week than with fresh skin?
  • Read something motivational or upbeat: something that will put you in a good mood or make you feel driven and ambitious!
  • Go to bed at least 15 minutes earlier than you normally would to give yourself that little bit extra rest before you tackle next week!
A woman in a bathtub reading a book.

How Can Sunday Reset Routine Help Prepare For Monday (And Beyond)?

As with any plan, the strategic organization of your Sunday Night Routine will give you lots of benefits, including:

  • Being in control of how you spend your time next week, so time doesn’t just slip away!
  • Get the little things out of the way before the week begins: things like clearing your space or setting up exercise equipment for the morning will encourage you to stick to the plan you set out for yourself. A good intentional Sunday night routine can definitely set you up for a brilliant start on Monday morning.
  • A plan makes things happen: if it’s not on the list it won’t get done.
  • Taking the time to reflect on the past week aids in continuous development and improvement.

My Personal Sunday Night Reset Routine

I set aside about 4 hours every Sunday night to complete my Sunday rituals.

4:00 PM Yoga Session: simple yoga sequences really make me relax and think about last week.

4:30 PM Cook Dinner and Eat: I normally plan something simple for Sunday dinner, and I make sure I make enough so that leftovers can be reheated at lunchtime the next day. Whilst cooking I scan the cupboards and fridge to help me make a meal plan for next week later.

5:30 PM Meal plan and shopping list: Best done when you’re no longer hungry – you will be more drawn to healthier options when you’re full and satisfied.

6:00 PM Exercise plan. I personally follow one of Les Mills On Demand Challenges, so the plan is already done for me. I also set up any exercise equipment I need for tomorrow’s morning workout, and leave trainers at the bottom of the stairs to help me with motivation.

6:15 PM Fill in the Weekly Planner: I first fill in all the known commitments and weekly repeatable (discussed above), then fill in the gaps with any activities that will help me achieve longer-term goals.

7:00 Discuss fun activities for the week with my husband and schedule free time, like nature walks, shopping, game nights, dates etc.

7:15 Prepare for the morning: I clear the workspace, set out clothes for tomorrow and scan the wardrobe to make sure I have outfits for the week. For the busy weeks ahead, I sometimes put all my outfits together to one side, so I can get ready quicker.

7:30 Phone, laptop and Fitbit on charge for the night. I then take a shower or a bath, and exfoliate my whole body.

8:15 I am in bed: (yes, at 8:15 PM!) I always read something motivational or upbeat (not my usual every-night book). A cup of camomile tea is always there with me too :)

Sunday Reset Checklist

If you’d like to keep our Sunday Night Reset Routine handy, download our checklist below! You can print it or use it as an editable digital list.

Subscribe to our newsletter where we share extra tips and tricks on productivity, goal setting and time management and download your FREE Sunday Night Routine Checklist!

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