Whilst doing some research the other day I came across the You Tube video of Navy Seal, Admiral William H McRaven. It caught my attention because without any other reason than, it just is the right thing to do, I open my blinds and make my bed every morning. I cannot understand why anyone wouldn’t. Until my bed is made, and the light is coming into my bedroom my day cannot begin properly. Do not get me wrong I am far from a neat freak, as my husband will gladly tell you, but making my bed is something I always do.
So, coming across this video was interesting for me. I have a 15-year-old daughter who is often reluctant to make her bed before she goes to school. I shared the video with her, and she has since then been making her bed every morning and guess what, it works.
The theory behind the Admiral’s bed making activity is that if you make your bed well enough for inspection every morning, then you have perfected your first task of the day. This is what I shared with my daughter and so far, the impact on her mindset has been that she feels better about her day. This morning she came downstairs a bit grumpy and said, ‘I can’t even be bothered making my bed’. I played back what she said to me last week and even yesterday that having a nicely made bed and tidy room made it easier for her to concentrate – she went back upstairs and made her bed.
So yes, making your bed is a good start to the day.
What else can you make a habit first thing in the morning that will set you up for success?
Mindset – now there is a thing. I often hear people say (and have been known to say myself sometimes) ‘I have woken up in a really bad mood’. (oh, slight aside – my daughter has just texted me to say that she got a ‘A’ for her homework and the teacher said the extra work she did was tremendous – Voilà - make your bed). Anyway, back to the bad mood.
I get up and I make my bed, and this is when the second habit kicks in. I NOTICE my mood and my mindset, and I make a choice.
I ask myself 3 questions
- Is this mindset going to be conducive for me to be the best I can be for me and my wee family – if yes then carry on?
- How do I want to show up for everyone I meet today and every interaction I have – where does my mind have to be for that to happen?
- What do I want people to say about their interactions with me today?
This is when I choose to have my ‘Tonight Matthew’ moment. I start to get ready and as I walk through the kitchen door to greet my family with the mindset I have chosen for the day. So as opposed to ‘Tonight Matthew I am going to be Britney Speirs’ (other stars are available) it is my ‘Today World, I am going to be….’ This sounds cheesy – but cheesy stuff always sticks.
Now I am human and there are days when my ‘mindset halo’ slips and it takes my a longer time to sort myself out – these are the days that perhaps I just need to listen to my body and give myself a rest to reset myself ( and maybe I am a bit moody and not my usual fun Bobby self) it doesn’t take me long to realise that I am better to take that time out to reset as continuing in my slopey halo scenario is not good for anyone around me.
So, I metaphorically, take the ‘halo’ off dust it down and start all over again.
The right mindset can make or break your day and your relationships. There are times when I have to really tune in to myself and NOTICE how I want to respond to situations, and I have to dig deep to choose the right way forward. This happens especially when I am triggered this is when it is time to be curious and think about what is provoking my reaction and also be CURIOUS as why the situation has arisen in the first place and seek to understand the other perspective. And, sometimes I just choose to walk away – that is not a bad choice. It is the choice that works for me and helps me to stay positive and forward thinking – my coach helps me a lot with this stuff.
This is where the space to think comes into its own.
So, in summary, what am I saying
To set yourself up for success
- Make Your Bed
- Notice your Mindset and have a ‘Tonight Matthew’ moment
- NOTICING and CURIOSITY will serve you well.
By the way, the ‘Make your Bed Halo’ never, ever slips.
P.S. Notice and Curious are two ‘stop in your track’s words’ for me. I add these to the word Intent which I have spoken about in a previous blog.
When having these words to think through my interaction with others they help me to be the best I can be for all I interact with.
Here are the dictionary definitions of all 3 and you will see why using them makes a difference.
Notice - the fact of observing or paying attention to something
Curious – interested in learning about people and things around you
Intent – purpose