Growing up, making my bed wasn’t just an annoying chore my mom hassled me on, it was the most illogical job I was asked to complete every morning. I would be messing up my bed that night anyways, so what’s the point?
Fast-forward to a few years ago, I made the seemingly unconscious decision to start making my bed each morning. I was “growing up” (debatable) and making my bed just seemed to be the right thing to do.
Soon, this morning task took on more significance than simply fluffing a pillow and straightening a comforter. The few minutes I took to make my bed and tidy up my room served as my mental preparation for the day. A place to clear my mind before the inevitable business that was to come. Making my bed became a must, and on the days I didn’t get around to it, I felt off and not nearly as sharp.
I had discovered the power of small, daily habits. These small daily habits, particularly in the morning, have become my foundation to a positive, productive day. One positive act leads to another, and then another, and...well, you get the point.
One thing I’ve come to realize is the importance of not rushing through these habits. Doing them just to do them and get them out of the way. A made bed with a messy mind does me no good. When I rush through it and get myself hurried, it literally can have the opposite effect. Be present in it, embrace it, enjoy it. Know that you can slow down just for a few extra moments to be so much better off in the long run.
It all reminds me of the pregame rituals that my teammates in college and pro hockey would go through before every game. Some would listen to music to get in the zone, while others would goof around and tell jokes. I always liked to take an extra five minutes to myself after the team warm-up. Everyone had developed their own individual path to mentally prepare before every single game. The game starts long before the puck drops.
Your “pregame ritual” doesn’t have to be long or complicated. Stretch for five minutes, take a cold shower, meditate. Just find that small habit that works for you and stick with it.
If only I would have listened to my mom all those years ago it wouldn’t have taken me so long to figure this one out. After all, moms do know best.
Bonus material: I honestly can’t remember who I was talking with about this concept but they said there was a speech from a US Navy Admiral on this exact thing. It’s awesome, check it out.