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9 Things You Should Always Do on a Monday

From scheduling a surgery to buying a house, there's something to be said for the first day of the week.

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Start a diet

No matter how tired you are on a Monday morning, you’ve got to admit—the first day of the week provides a refreshing opportunity to start anew. That feeling is particularly helpful when it comes to starting a diet, according to a University of Pennsylvania report. “On certain days, called temporal landmarks, you have a different view of yourself,” said Jason Riis, a co-author of the report, on the TODAY show. “You become more forward-looking.” The trick is in not tiring of your new plan by Wednesday. And if you do fall off the wagon, don’t wait until the following Monday to restart. Jump back in the next morning. Here’s more on the best (and worst) days to start a diet.

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Overhead view of surgical instrumentsDmitry Zimin/Shutterstock

Schedule a surgery

Researchers already know that the morning is the safest time of day to go under the knife. It’s when hospital staffs are most alert and least likely to make a mistake. That same earlier-is-better approach applies to days of the week as well. The risk of death after undergoing a non-emergency surgery is lowest on Monday and goes up every day of the week thereafter, according to a report in the British Medical Journal. But don’t freak if your surgeon only has spots on Thursday. The increase is a mere fraction of a percent—from 1 percent on Monday to 1.44 percent on Friday.

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Gas pump refilling automobile fuel. Shallow focus. Igor Sh/Shutterstock

Fill up your gas tank

If you drove a lot over the weekend and need to fill your tank, wait until Monday morning to hit the gas station. If you do, you’ll almost definitely get a better deal, according to research from GasBuddy. And never fill up on a Thursday—that’s when prices are highest. “The rise in average prices toward the weekend could be to blame on an influential report from the Energy Information Administration that’s issued weekly on Wednesdays, which could push prices higher the day after,” says Patrick DeHaan, a senior petroleum analyst at GasBuddy. You’re much better off filling up at the beginning of the week. This is the best time of year to buy absolutely everything.

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Business Team Working Break Eating Lunch ConceptRawpixel.com/Shutterstock

Gossip with your coworkers

The Monday blues are real, and scientists guess that one reason we get them might date back to our caveman days. “Humans are social animals, and to feel happy we need to feel comfortable in our place in a ‘tribe,’ so to speak,” writes Mental Floss. “Even after just two days away, according to scientists, we need to make sure our place in our work environment is secure. Gossiping with your co-workers is an important part of gearing up for the work week, and if you don’t do this, you might feel out of sorts.” It’s an interesting idea, and at the very least, you’ll value the catch-up time.

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Buy a house

If you’re in the market for a new home, you’ll want to be strategic with the day of the week you close the deal. It could mean major savings—or major losses. Monday is the best day to close, according to the housing data provider RealtyTrac. People who seal the deal then tend to get prices that are an average 2.3 percent below market value. Thursdays are the worst. Closing then will get you a price just 1 percent below market value. Experts say it’s because sellers are less likely to get amazing offers early in the week, which means they’re more inclined to consider mediocre ones.

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big pile of the money. dollars usavovan/Shutterstock

Invest in the stock market

If you’re invested in the stock market, you already know that the key is to buy low and sell high. And it turns out, because of a slew of market factors, stocks have a tendency to drop on Mondays. That’s bad if you plan to sell, but if you’re in the market to add to your portfolio, you’re likely to snag a bargain. Remember these 16 money tips from enormously successful people.

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close-up partial view of african american man washing in bathroom LightField Studios/Shutterstock

Wash your hands

For one reason or another—and we won’t begin to speculate—Mondays are the most common day of the week for calling in sick. In fact, according to one British study, more than a third of all sick days take place on the first day of the week. It’s hard to say whether that’s because Monday is truly the day you’re most likely to fall ill, or because a stunning number of folks want a three-day weekend. Whatever it is, we’ll leave you with this advice: On Mondays—and every day—wash your hands. These are the luckiest days of the year to do everything, according to numerology.

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Fitness concept with dumbbells, water and green apple on dark backgroundLeszek Czerwonka/Shutterstock

Head to the gym

For similar reasons that Monday is a great day to start a new diet, it’s also the perfect opportunity to hit your goals at the gym. One Jawbone report found Monday is the most popular day of the week for gymgoers. And while that might mean you have to wait in line for the best machines, it also means you’ll start your week on a healthy footing. We can’t argue with that.

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Blank notebook, coffee on rustic wooden backgroundkenary820/Shutterstock

Make the ultimate to-do list

When it comes to goal setting, what better day of the week to lay things out than Monday? Research published in Psychological Science suggests that we may be more likely to follow through with our professional goals if we start on a Monday rather than a Thursday. And while there are a ton of ways to make the perfect to-do list, we like this goal-setting idea from Peter Gasca. “I make it a point to set one new and aggressive personal goal for the week, such as trying a new exercise, reading a book, or learning a new song on the guitar,” he writes on Inc. “The point is to provide you motivation during your busy week to pursue an interest that you enjoy outside of work.” Now that you know what to do on a Monday, check out the 10 morning habits of all highly successful people.