He makes his bed.
Yep. The simple task of making your bed can set in motion a good and productive day. In a now famous speech, Retired Admiral William H. McRaven shares that making your bed, “will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another.” And it’s not just Dr. Stu and Adm. McRaven who think so. Author of the book The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg, believes that making your bed is a keystone habit that ignites a chain reaction of other good decisions throughout your day.
Making Your Bed Lowers Stress and Increases Happiness
Beyond increasing your productivity for the day, what else can making your bed do for you? Quite a bit, actually! For one, it can lower stress and improve your mood. One of the first steps to feeling calm, relaxed and grounded is an organized or pulled together space. Since you spend about a third of your life in your bedroom—let’s call it your nest—you should make that space as appealing and relaxing as possible. And don’t just take our word! Gretchen Robin, author of “The Happiness Project,” found that the most common change that led to happiness was… you guessed it: making your bed.
Let’s talk about some other things that you can do to kick off your day in the best way possible.
- Rise early - the earlier you rise, the more time you’ll have to settle into your day
- Don’t touch your phone - many, many, many of us have the (terrible) habit of immediately checking our phone upon waking. Stop this. According to social psychologists, this habit can put your mind in a reactive, defensive state. Get your routine and morning started first
- Exercise - tied into rising early, taking on even 15 minutes of exercise in the morning can also set in motion good decisions—and lots of energy—for the rest of your day
- Sit and have a cup of tea or coffee - instead of rushing out the door and nearly spilling your scalding cup ‘o Joe, how great would it be to sit at the table and sip your morning beverage?
- Write out three reasons you’re grateful, three worries and three intentions for your day - this will help you prioritize your day and settle your mind
- Drink a glass of warm water with a whole lemon - after you’ve brushed your teeth, cleanse and stimulate your system by downing a full glass of warm water with a whole lemon squeezed in it (add a dash of cayenne for an extra kick)
- Stretch – whether you do strenuous labor or sit for hours and hours, stretching is key to loosening your muscles and preparing your body for the day ahead
Write out your morning routine on paper and post it somewhere. Get specific (just like your goal setting!), detail the how and when of your day. Then start IMMEDIATELY! Also—review the evening routine you created on Day 16; is there anything you want to modify now that you’ve designed your mornings?