A confession: I have only reliably made my bed for the last three or so years; for the first 21 years of my adulthood, I left it a mess, occasionally making it at night right before I climbed right back into it.
Then I read that people who make their bed every morning tend to be more productive in general, and I started to see truth in the adage that “the state of your bed is the state of your head.” The small act of making your bed probably won’t cause you to be more clear-thinking or productive or even happier, but it is a meaningful habit.
Making the bed contributes to happiness because it is a “small win” in the willpower department. Loads of research shows that when we focus on one small area of improvement–standing up straighter, or watching a bit less TV, or meditating a few minutes a day–the improvement spills over. We then find ourselves exercising a bit more, too, or procrastinating a bit less. Our good habits, large and small, can make life easier, happier, and more meaningful.
Take Action: Tomorrow morning, make your bed. If you already do this habitually, pick another small win, e.g., wash your dishes right after eating, or floss, or do some stretches when you wake up.
Join the Discussion: What “small win” will you go for this week? Comment below.