Twenty-six days ago, I wondered what would happen if I made my bed first-thing every day for a month.
Well, I've done it now for just shy of a month.
Here are my thoughts:
1. It wasn't difficult at all. I know it's a small thing, to make one's bed at 6:30 in the morning; yet I've never been able to consistently do it. But this time, knowing I was testing it out for 30 days, was easy.
2. Three days I didn't make my bed before leaving my room. Twice I got back into bed with my laptop and coffee. Once I just got distracted with kid issues. Both times I got the bed made before I got dressed and got up, officially, for the morning.
3. The days I stayed in bed were pretty much 'off' the entire day. I had less energy and focus. I think getting up and getting going has clear benefits. Lingering in the morning never does me any favors, which I've known for a while now. Making my bed kind of set the morning in motion for me. It was a cue: we're up. We're not going back. We're getting on with our day.
4. Once my bed was made, if I came back and sat on the bed to work, I stayed a much shorter amount of time than if the bed was unmade. So, I might work for an hour with the bed made, but if it was unmade I'd work for 3 hours (and by 'work' I mean I perused JCrew and Anthropologie and Facebook).
5. I loved walking back through my room with the bed made. It just felt neat and tidy. It wasn't hanging over my head, another to-do on my checklist.
6. I noticed an overall desire to keep the rest of the house cleaner and neater when my bed was made.
7. I think there is something to McRaven's idea that if we start off well, on a strong foot, we keep going. Basically, a positive habit in the morning sets the tone for the day. This is true. Once I'd made my bed, I got going on lunches and breakfast. I lingered much less in all areas of my morning. I think frame-of-mind is everything in life. Starting my morning with a positive step, even something as simple as making my bed, gave me a much better chance at heading in the right direction. Mornings have always been hard for me. I sometimes take hours to 'get going.' It's especially difficult because I stay home. When I worked, the getting-going was easier. At home, it's all-too-easy to remain in one's pajamas, another cup of coffee in hand, wondering if the Royal family has a pregnancy or wedding to announce.
8. I definitely want to keep this habit going. I feel that I've made the habit now, and I see the benefit, so coming back to that habit is more compelling for me.
9. This experience makes me want to add other positive habits to my morning routine. I might, for example, stay off my computer completely, until the kids are off to school. Even checking email quickly leads to wasted time, a luxury I don't have. I'd like to add a short yoga routine to my morning or meditation. I'd like to write in my journal.
10. Finally, making my bed didn't radically change my life. It wasn't a paradigm shift. But...it was a positive addition to my morning, a time I often struggle. I believe small acts, done consistently and with intention, change lives. I think they add up. I'm excited to see what I can do with my morning routine over the next year to yield even better results.
That's it. Bed made. Habit formed. Results positive. Totes worth it.
Hope everyone is having a lovely week. I'll be reporting about my spending toward the end of the week and writing about the best book I've read this year.
Until then...I'm off to...
That quote just doesn't sound better with 'stuff.'