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Why Making Your Bed Is One of the Most Important Things You Can Do Each Day

2013 Wellness Challenge Week 9 Recap: Making the Bed

It occurred to me this morning as I was thinking about how to make making my bed sound interesting that the 2013 Wellness Challenge I’ve been documenting for myself is not so much about wellness as it is about developing a practice of discipline.

Consciously doing something you don’t normally do every day for a week (and maybe more) is at the very least inconvenient and at most extremely challenging. It interrupts our daily routine and makes us choose how to spend our time. Do we focus attention on the thing that we don’t really feel like doing but promised the world we’d do, or do we take a nap, go out to eat, chat with friends, read a book, browse Facebook instead?

It wasn’t about making my bed last week, because I couldn’t possibly understand how making my bed would make me well. But I did understand that focusing my attention on making my bed each morning would help me develop discipline.

On the surface, all of my activities over the past nine weeks or so have been geared toward helping me become “well.” At the same time, they’re also acts of mini-meditation. This changes my attitude toward the Challenge completely.

The thing is, I’d say I’m already pretty well. The things I’m doing, like drinking tea and green smoothies, practicing yoga and meditating, are a great introduction to practices that can help people become well, but for the most part, these activities are already a part of my life in one way or another; so for me, the wellness part is actually a bit boring.

Isn’t funny how quickly we become bored and have to change the story?

I’m guessing it’s like this for most of us. We’re all gung-ho about working out and getting in shape at the beginning of the year, and then the glitter wears off and it becomes hard, inconvenient and boring, just like it always was.

This is the way of discipline, devotion and faith. Regardless of what, who or how you believe, faith is an important aspect of our daily lives. It helps us build strength and character and strength of character. So in a way, my 2013 Challenge is all about faith, discipline and meditation (out of which wellness is born, in my opinion). It’s about training the mind to focus attention on activities that will help me stay well. At least if I’m spending time focusing on activities that will keep me well, I’m not spending time on activities that will make me ill.

So maybe you’re not interested in a weekly wellness challenge because wellness isn’t a priority in your life. That’s okay. But if you’re interested in developing discipline, diving into a meditation practice or deepening your faith and devotion to whatever it is you want to connect to or with, then I offer this reframe of the 2013 Wellness Challenge up to you:

(Re)-Introducing the 2013 Faith (in) Wellness Challenge.

Remember, no one said it would be easy. If faith and discipline were easy, life wouldn’t be much fun.

This past week, I committed to making my bed every day. It was actually quite easy, took two seconds and was surprisingly satisfying. Making my bed became an official, visual way to end the night and enter the day. To awaken to the present moment and let go of the past. To clear the clutter and start fresh. A perfect metaphor for starting the day.

It’s very simple to make the bed, and yet I never thought much of it. It was never important. But I think I’ll continue – as a faith and discipline practice, it is much more important now.

This is a great way to enter the 2013 Challenge. It doesn’t require any special tools or resources. It doesn’t cost any money. It doesn’t even require you to change much of your routine. It doesn’t take that much time. I’m not asking for you to tuck in the sheets and achieve perfectionism here. Even a little reshuffling of the covers to make things presentable (in the slouchiest of presentability terms) is good enough. It’s the thought that counts.

I encourage you to try it out this week. If you already make the bed, how does approaching bed-making as an act of devotion, as a meditation, as an attention-focusing activity change the time you spend tucking and tidying? If you don’t, how do you feel after you do it? Please let me know in the comments below! I look forward to continuing on this journey of devoting and diverting attention to the things that really matter in life.

Image credit: sleepysblog.com

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