In the fall months of 2019, I decided I would change a habit from NOT making my bed any day ever to making my bed every single day. I’m proud to announce that I have successfully made my bed every single day for more than entire year.
In January of 2020, I read that a famous admiral, William H. McRaven addressed the 2014 graduating class of the University of Texas of Austin. He said, “If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.” I felt pretty good knowing I was on the forward path to be top-notch world changer. Although I really did not believe I could change THE world, I figured I would change MY world.
Then came March 2020. As it turns out, THE world did change as I continued my newly formed habit. I don’t like the world anymore. This situation has left me with a couple questions that nag: If I stop, will the world go back to the way we were? Or what would happen if we all made our bed every day?
Joking aside, that one small task led to me forming and completing other habits just as McRaven said it would. Making my bed every day led to me composing a list of five things more that I try to complete every day. I confess that I have not been quite as faithful to complete everything every day as my bed-making habit. (Sunday’s are filled with so many activities that I gave myself permission to take the day off.) The five things include:
- Pray or meditate for 20 minutes.
- Write down 20 things I am thankful for.
- Read for 20 minutes.
- Write for 20 minutes.
- Exercise for 20 minutes.
Having read 20 minutes almost every day since the middle of January of 2020, I have read 16 books to date. That amazes me. In addition, I have two more books that I am currently reading: One for my regular 20-minute session, and one Kindle book that I call my “bus stop” reading –– reading while waiting for the school bus to arrive with a grandchild.
My daughter sent me another link to a great inspirational talk on YouTube in which it talks about setting realistic goals by decreasing the time allotment. Let’s face it; life gets in way of accomplishing many of our to-do list simply because we set unrealistic expectations.
Whenever I have an overwhelming task that needs doing, such as decluttering a room, I use this method by setting a timer for 20 minutes. That goal works for me. When the 20 minutes expires it’s an awesome feeling to know I can walk away guilt free until next time.
My problem is that “next time” might not happen for months. Yikes.
At this point, I am faced with the decision of continuing this for the next year. I am fairly certain that I will, but I may employ the mini habit goals in 2021. Mostly because I was only about 90% successful in meeting the 20-minute goal every single day, six days a week.
Despite how I managed to change the world, I will continue making my bed every day, even in motel rooms. I am considering upping the game by forming two more habits in the coming weeks. One being no more pajama days, except on Mondays. I wish I could blame excessive use of pajamas on CoVid19 only, but that would be dishonest.
The second habit I would like to develop is to eat dinner at the dining table rather than mindlessly gobble while on the recliner and watching TV, except on Sundays and any day of the week that ends with d-a-y. Just kidding.
As I write, I am realizing that had my 20-minute writing sessions been with continuity, instead broken up with different things, like “dear diary” entries, I could have that book in the making complete! Geez, some people are slower than a slug. I’ll get back to you next year on how that works out.