On May 17, 2014, Admiral William H McRaven – a retired Navy Seal – gave a commencement speech to a graduating class. His speech had ten points he learned through the Seals that can be used in everyday life. The first one was ‘make your bed’. This may seem like a very trivial and mundane task but it was the meaning and habit behind this simple task that made it so brilliant. In his book called ‘Make Your Bed’ (funny enough) the admiral described his morning wake up and roll call at the Seals. Each morning upon waking the seals had to wake up and begin making their bed. The sheets had to be crisp and the pillow wrinkle free.
Standing at attention in front of their beds the instructors would examine each one and with a nod would move onto the next. This simple task done every day may not seem like a big deal but to the Navy Seals it was massive. It showed their attention to detail, discipline, and willingness to do any task to the best of their ability day after day.
If they slacked off then questions were asked if they would do the same entering a war zone. In this case, it could be the difference between life and death.
Thankfully, most of us aren’t training to protect the country so why should we bother making our bed first thing every morning? There are a number of reasons and each one adds to your overall health, fitness and life goals.
FIRST TASK OF THE DAY
Within a minute of getting up and making your bed, you have your first task of the day done. It may not seem like much but after a hard day or one of those days where nothing went right at least you’ll finish it off knowing that you completed one task. Would you rather get into a bed with wrinkled sheets tossed all over the place or something that looks fresh, clean and inviting? This first tasks also sets you up for the countless others you will face each day.
INSTILS GOOD HABIT
Making your bed day after day is a brilliant place to start rebuilding or adding to your healthy habits. Making your bed every morning (even if it’s not your own bed, including hotel rooms) brings consistency to your routine. By doing something every day it becomes a habit. Now take this same principle into the gym, drinking water, sticking to a daily or weekly task at work. Reflecting back on how you can make your bed every day helps remind you that habits are created, they just don’t happen.