What’s the easiest way to start off every day with integrity, mindfulness and commitment? How can you begin every day by keeping a promise to yourself and knowing that you are a person who keeps your promises? Where can you find order and peace and a small sense of satisfaction before you have even addressed your day?
By making your bed.
I am not the first person to make this suggestion and I certainly won't be the last. In fact, my daily practice of making my bed came after reading an article (or two, or three) like this on the internet! Here’s my story.
It all started with a New Years Resolution. I’ve always chaffed against the idea of New Years resolutions, the idea that I need to change something about myself to be happier, the idea that I’ve been doing something wrong. Most resolutions are abandoned within 10 days of the New Year. Those of us in the fitness industry especially see the New Year’s Resolution effect every January. For the first 10 days to 3 weeks- the parking lot is packed, classes are full, new shoes are squeaking on the hardwood floor. Come the beginning of February, the vast majority of those people are gone and by March it’s back to the status quo- with, hopefully, a few new consistent faces in the crowd.
So I decided to set myself to a challenge I knew I could accomplish. A resolution that was simple and achievable. I was going to make my bed every day.
It takes less than a minute. It makes my bedroom feel cleaner. It makes my home feel more orderly. And best of all- there was no one and nothing standing in my way of achieving it.
A funny thing happened.
The first few days I smiled each time I made my bed, patting myself on the back that I was sticking to my resolution. When a month went by I remember thinking- I’ve actually done it! I’m really doing this - every day! And I started to be proud of myself. Some days I would wake up to be at work at 6am and the last thing I wanted to do was anything at all I didn’t have to- but I would start to walk out of my bedroom and see the covers not pulled up and I would turn around and fix the blankets and pillows.
Sometimes I would get up long before my partner. When I came home and saw the bed made I felt loved and heard and seen by him because he had honored my daily commitment on my behalf. It brought us closer together.
The next New Year came and I realized that I had made my bed every day- home or away, sleeping in my bed or on a friend’s couch. And I was proud. I had honored myself. I had ordered my home and I knew I was someone who could be counted on.
It’s not about the bed. It’s about the promise. It’s about knowing that every day you kept your word to yourself.
Today, it’s been 4 New Years Days since I made that first resolution. I haven’t missed a day.
Soon enough these little promises become habits- now I can’t imagine leaving my room without my bed made. It’s the right time to make a new commitment. I'm looking for a new resolution. Any suggestions?
Do you make your bed every day? What is your experience? Would you like to try it as a challenge? Let us know how it goes!