In a now-famous commencement address given at the University of Texas in 2014, Admiral William H. McRaven told the graduates if they wanted to change the world, to start by making their 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. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.”
What a profound statement. Making your bed is such a small, simple task, but it has great repercussions throughout the day.
If you want an easy change to drastically improve the efficiency of your life, establish morning and evening routines.
Beginning your day with a routine not only establishes good habits to start your day, but it also achieves small accomplishments that you can build on throughout the day. So even if your day gets shot to hell by lunch, you have at a minimum accomplished these small tasks.
In the same way, ending your day with an evening routine provides a proper close to your day and prepares you for bed.
Here are my morning and evening routines:
-Glass of water
-Read a book
Notice there’s nothing monumental there. Just simple tasks that take less than a half-hour of my time. Not only do they get my day started and ended right, but they also ensure I’m creating healthy habits as well.
A glass of water each morning boosts your metabolism. Stretching gets your muscles activated and keeps you limber. My mini-workout gets my heart pumping and builds muscle. Coffee needs no explanation. It’s coffee! And my devotions ensure my day begins with encouragement from God.
FYI, my mini-workout consists of:
-25 repeat one of the above
At night, stretching helps to relax your muscles before bed. Reading my Bible along with prayer and meditation allows me to end my day the way I began it, with God. Journaling lets me clear my mind and focus my thoughts. Lastly, reading a book before bed is so much better than staring at my phone and consuming all that blue light.
Routines build strong habits and establish consistent achievements. We build on these small victories throughout our day to tackle larger tasks. We then end the day on a positive note, clearing our minds and preparing for rest.
Then before you know it, as Admiral McRaven said, “You can change the world.”
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