This weekly column is for those of you who slog through your Monday mornings.

If you lament the end of the weekend and dread returning to the office, you may need our Motivation Monday quick tips. Grit Daily offers an avenue to connect with others like you. We’re here to help get your work week off to a good start. Pump your fists – it’s time for Motivation Monday!

Set yourself a goal

Mondays are hard: very hard for some folks. But every day of the week is hard for those who struggle with homelessness, depression, and poverty. Regardless of your circumstances, setting a goal will keep you motivated.

Spring, the season of new hope, has arrived. It’s time to determine what you want and to go for it. Put a plan in place so that Motivation Monday becomes Tenacity Tuesday, Workable Wednesday and so on.

Your vision to achieve something that seems currently out of reach will set you on a path of incremental steps to get there. The goal doesn’t have to be grandiose. Something as simple as “lose 10 lbs by the first day of summer” is all that you need to get your Motivation Monday week started.

Set yourself a goal. Work to achieve it. Then be prepared to celebrate what you accomplished.

Goals are worth striving for

Most coaches and workplace managers utilize the S.M.A.R.T. goal-setting method. Specifically, each goal must be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. But today is Monday, and that’s a lot of letters to think through. Let’s keep things simple.

Tips for setting a goal

Motivation Monday gives you the boost you need to get your week started in the right direction. Get up, make your bed, do your thing, and try to smile. You will get through the day. In fact, studies show that a positive attitude will not only improve your outlook, but you’ll feel better, healthier, and be more likely to achieve your goals.

#1 – set a reasonable time frame for your goal

Whatever it is that you intend to do, set a realistic amount of time to do it in. Allow yourself an opportunity to take all the steps required to advance you from where you are today to the end-point you’re targeting.

#2 – establish at least one way to measure your goal

This metric could be as simple as the goal was achieved, or not. It could be graded, such as weight loss, where your goal may be 20 lbs but you can measure your progress along the way in 5 lbs increments. Being able to see and measure success along the way offers vital positive reinforcement that is often necessary to keep you working towards your goal.

#3 – write it down and be prepared to stick to it

You’re only cheating yourself if you set a goal and then back-pedal it down. Write it down. Stick to it. Be compassionate with yourself and understand that there are going to be setbacks along the way. That doesn’t mean that you need to give up on your goal and scale it back, it means that you need to try something different until you see forward progress again.

What’s Your Motivational Story?

On the flipside of the infamous college cheating scandal, here is a story about a teen who triumphed over obstacles that most of us will never even understand, let alone experience. Meet Dylan Chidick. Dylan is a 17-year-old teen from Jersey City, NJ. Born in Trinidad, he came to the US at age 7. Along with him, his mother and twin brothers who have a heart condition.

Getting all these acceptances — kind of verifies what I have been saying. I can do it and I will do it.” — Dylan Chidick

The family became US citizens but there was no white picket fence and stable home life. He and his family moved in and out of shelters and had periods of homelessness. Indefatigable, Dylan set his sights on becoming the first person in his family to attend college. By the time that he was a senior, he had joined the Honors Society and was serving as Class President. As of last week, he had been accepted at 17 colleges! All tuition fees have been waived. Now if that’s not Monday motivation, tell me what is?

But the story doesn’t end there. Dylan applied to 18 colleges: his #1 choice was The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) but it was the only one he had not yet heard from. He dug in and waited. Two days ago, TCNJ made a surprise visit to the teen’s high school. College officials presented him with an acceptance letter in person. Next up for Dylan? A college degree in political science from TCNJ.

Cheers to a strong work ethic, tenacity, and relentless determination. Go, Dylan, go!

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression and feels like giving up, please have them call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.