Change Your World by Making Your Bed.
How we start and close the day has a huge impact on happiness and wellness levels. A few small tweaks can make a huge difference to how you feel about your day, your productivity levels and your mood. Taking a few minutes to review your morning and evening routine is a fast wellness booster. The key though I think is to be realistic about your LIFE.
So many of the articles and memes on this frankly exhaust me just reading them. You know the ones. They trill something like, “Just 19 Simple Steps To Start Your Day RIGHT!”
It will go something like this: Journal for 15 minutes. Meditate for 20 minutes. Make a delicious fresh fruit breakfast with chia in it. Stretch with a simple 10-minute yoga routine. Take a moment to just breeeeeeathe (ahhhhh!). Read something meaningful that stretches your mind. Have a cold shower to invigorate the immune system. Do something nourishing with essential oils. Listen to a mind-expanding podcast. And so on.
I am sure I am not alone here hearing the voice in my head screaming “Yeah RIGHT!” Tui style. To make all that good stuff happen I’d need to get up at 3am to start my morning routine!
Those 96-point lists will foster nothing but feeling inadequate and guilty. The key is to work with your personal circumstances and personal body clock to optimise what is genuinely realistic to tweak for you. If the goal is not to reach instagramable levels of perfection, but to start and finish your day feeling a little calmer, a little less stressed, and with more appreciation and ease then keep it simple.
Here are two tiny tweaks you can incorporate without drama.
- Admiral William H. McRaven, a US Navy Seal, has a great 2-minute motivational talk on “changing the world by making your bed”. A simple but mundane task, it means you have accomplished the first task of the day early. It gives you a small sense of pride and creates the momentum to achieve the next task. As he so eloquently demonstrates, the little things in life matter: when we do the small things right we are more likely to do the big things right. Making your bed is a 2-minute investment (tops, unless you have a serious scatter cushion habit) that will start your day with purpose and discipline.
2. Use your teeth clean in the morning to anchor in some positivity. This takes exactly NO additional time, but will also set your day off on the right foot. Whilst you are brushing ask yourself the simple question, “What would I like to go RIGHT today?” Actively force your mind to start the day worry-free and focus on all the opportunities for connection and productivity you have coming up.
Take a moment to review your regular morning routine. It might (if you are honest with yourself) be “hit snooze 4 times (time investment 36-minutes) and “noodle on Facebook first thing” (12 minutes). In which case a quick refresh is in order.
These two tips, one physical, one mental, you can incorporate no matter how busy you are to start each day with purpose and positivity.
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