I used to never make my bed. I was going to work/school all day and would be climbing back in when I was home. So what was the point? Have you ever felt that way? I then read an article about successful people and their habits: that daily habits can set us up for success. The first habit listed was….are you ready for it…. make your bed every morning before you start your day. What?! Why?! How can that even make me successful? What difference did it make? I also read that habits are powerful. Powerful? I am not sure I feel powerful when I brush my teeth! Do you? This made no sense to me. Does it make sense to you? I thought finding out the definition of habit was a good place to start so, I went to the dictionary -
Habit (noun) - a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up
Hmmmm……that was interesting. Something hard to give up. I understand that smoking is a habit and hard to give up, but how did making my bed set me up for success or come under ‘hard to give up’? Why did it even matter?
So, let’s think about it. When you were little someone taught you how to brush your teeth to eliminate the bacteria that can cause disease, right? (my mom always says to only brush the ones you want to keep). After awhile, brushing your teeth became a habit and I don’t know about you, but I don’t even think about the ‘why’ of brushing my teeth anymore. I just brush my teeth out of habit. Brushing my teeth is now something that is hard to give up.
So, where does the bed making come into play?
Making your bed is not really a big thing, it’s a little thing. But, take a minute and think about all those little things in life: saying please, saying thank you, holding a door open, helping someone carry packages, a light touch, a smile, or sending a card. ALL of those little things add up and once they are done regularly, they become a habit.
Making your bed is one of those little things that you will do every day that can really add up. It’s your first accomplishment of the day and is a way of putting yesterday to bed (*wink, wink) and making room for a new day. A successful new day! Now, wouldn’t you like that?!
US Navy Admiral William McRaven gave a speech to students about making their bed stating, ‘It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another. And by the end of the day that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed.’
In addition to starting your day on the right foot, making your bed makes your bedroom look bigger and neater. Your room will have less clutter and when you have less clutter in your bedroom think of all the possibilities available to you in the rest of your house. How about the rest of your life? Organized people are successful people. Neat room. Neat house. Neat life.
Another reason to make your bed every morning comes at night. As you climb into your bed, you can say good riddance to a rough day or snuggle in the thoughts of a good day. I love the thought of climbing into smooth sheets, knowing I’m closing out the day and that a new day awaits me when I wake up.
Are habits powerful?
I came across that question one day on the internet and it made me pause and think. Are they powerful and, if they are, why? This is what I came up with - do any these resonate with you? -
A habit clears our minds. I don’t know about you, but I have a million things going on in my head at one time. If something is a habit you do not have to think about it - you just do it. That is one thing less going on in your head. Now, that is powerful.
A habit helps us stay productive. Are you always scrambling at the last minute to gather lunches, homework, and backpacks? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a streamlined morning and save time? The habit of gathering the night before is powerful.
A habit is a routine. Routines are done ‘remotely’. They do not require thinking on our part. Washing dishes, doing laundry, writing a check, driving a car. Those are routines…which have become habits. Oh my, any thing done remotely, for me, is powerful.
A habit sets you up for the future. You can acquire and accumulate many habits. After you perfect your first habit, you can move on to another, and then another. Soon, there are a bunch of habits in your life. The habit of opening a door, saying thank you and please, being aware of others, always smiling, never complaining….amazing habits that when all put together are very powerful indeed. Those habits will define who you are to your family, friends, and co-workers.
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So, what would it feel like to feel powerful?
What is a clearer mind and more productive day worth to you?
Are you ready to give making your bed a try?
Research shows that it takes 30 days to make a habit, but I don’t necessarily agree with that. I think it’s easy to do something for 30 days. I would like to challenge you to make your bed everyday for 60 days. Pay attention to the changes in your life and then send me email at the end of the 60 days with your results. Mark it on your calendar (one habit I always do). Did you feel more accomplished? More organized? More relaxed? More powerful? My hope is that you’ll find that making your bed will lead to a newly uncluttered and powerful life.
If you need some more help, head on over to - How to Stay Organized….especially when adding big Items to your life.