When I was a kid, I would get so annoyed when, day after day, my mom was after me about making my bed before I could get to the “fun stuff.” In reality, it was such a small request, but to me at the time, it was a huge barrier between me and the rest of my day—she may have well as told me to clean the bathrooms with a toothbrush. After all, who wants to roll out of bed and start their day with a chore? Turns out, she was right. And that there’s a better reason to start your day by making your bed than simply having your room look nice: It’s the secret ingredient to putting your day on the path for achievement. Here are three reasons to start every day by making your bed—throw pillows and all:
#1. Because the military says so. There’s a reason the military does bed inspections every morning: Putting perfection into that one small act every day creates a domino effect for your perspective on life and kick starts your day onto a path of achievement. Countless studies and sources say the same thing.
#2. It’s a step toward bigger things. In a commencement speech at UT Austin, Admiral McRaven stated it perfectly: “The little things matter. And if you can’t do the little things right, you’ll never learn to do the big things right.” That doesn’t mean that if you don’t make your bed in the morning, you’re destined to be 50 and living in your parents’ basement. But it is spot on that it’s important to take pride in your work and to take care in everything you do. If you don’t take pride and work in the small things in life, that same attitude is likely to carry through the rest of what you do—marriage, work product, etc. So take pride in the way you start off your day and let that same will and care carry through the rest of your day in all you do.
#3. It’s a source of control and self-encouragement. Think of it this way: You have no way of knowing exactly what your day will hold aside from the obvious itinerary. There are circumstances that may be beyond your control and a million bad things might happen. But by starting your day by making your bed, you start your day by taking control and earning yourself a small win. That small victory provides encouragement for the remainder of your day that you can take control, make decisions, do things right and achieve.
As much as organizing throw pillows is not my idea of a party, I have to admit that there is something about walking into a clean room with a plush, well-made bed after a long day. But to enjoy that comfort, I need to take the moment and make the effort at the beginning of my day. And in that one simple act, I get to ensure that I start every day with a victory. It’s worth every second of the minute it takes—throw pillows included.
Thanks for reading.
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