Make your bed

William H. McRaven once said, “If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed… If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. 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.”

I never truly appreciated how a great start to the day can make all the difference-but it can and it does.I love the saying ‘start as you mean to go on’ and this is so true from the moment I wake up. I don’t put my alarm on snooze because that is only putting off the inevitable. So I get up, get out of bed and I make it, for two reasons: 1) Because of what William H.McRaven said and 2) To stop me from getting back into it. 

I think it’s really important to start the day with a positive mental attitude and whilst that can be a lot easier said than done (especially on dark, cold and wet mornings) having positive thoughts rather than negative ones can set you up for a better day. For me this happens in the shower, some alone time to think about the day ahead. If there’s something I’m not particularly looking forward to then I’ll put a positive spin on it (such as this time tomorrow it will be over). 

When my son started school I remember thinking I’ll never cope because I am not a morning person and certainly not when it comes to the outside world. This soon changed because I made myself a morning person by implementing a healthy routine that put me in good stead for the day. 

I hate rushing and even more so being late, my bad dreams often involve me being late in some way and I’ll wake up in the middle of the night, panicked and check my alarm is on for the morning. Because of this fear I always make sure I have plenty of time to do what I need to do and it makes for a happier me. Rushing around leads to stress and stress results in one big bad mood in the morning that can last the whole day. 

Being positive in the morning has had a profound effect on those around me, because I am happier, I get the same response back. It amazes me how one person’s mood has the potential to influence many others and so if that’s the case then why not ensure your mood is a positive one. It can be something as simple as a smile or a hello to neighbours, it doesn’t cost anything and it’s you who benefits from it the most.

Exercise has become a huge part of my morning routine and on the days I don’t exercise I can really feel the difference in my productivity for the rest of the day. Exercising benefits me in so many ways- mentally, physically and spiritually. The release of feel-good chemicals make me feel super positive and give me an extra energy boost. I always finish a workout feeling more alert, motivated and energised, ready to tackle the day ahead. 

William H. McRaven concluded that, “Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that the little things in life matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you’ll never be able to do the big things right. And if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made, that you made. And a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better.”

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