“Make your bed!”

That’s what my parents continually told me.

Not that I listened, although every once in awhile — out of fear of punishment or because I couldn’t stand the constant nagging — I did make my bed.

I always liked getting into a freshly-made bed, but making my bed never became a habit.


Because I never was given a solid reason for doing so.

Yes, it was nice climbing into a freshly-made bed, but usually I was so tired by the end of the day, falling into any bed felt great.

When I was exhausted, an unmade bed was good enough.

I used to rationalize,”why should I make my bed when I’m just going to unmake it every night”?

It wan’t until I started teaching children that I finally had my first solid reason for making my bed — part of my job was to tell my young students to make their beds.

How was I supposed to tell kids to make their beds, in good conscience, if I wasn’t making mine?

That’s when I heard the story about an Indian woman who went to an renowned teacher and asked him to tell her son to stop eating sugar.

He told her to come back in 6 weeks, and when she did so, the teacher turned to her some and said,”stop eating sugar.”

The woman, befuddled, asked him why he didn’t just say that 6 weeks ago.

The teacher said,”because before I could tell your son to stop eating sugar, I had to stop eating sugar myself.”

The motivation to be a good example for others worked, but for me, it still wasn’t good enough.

Nor did I respond to the military/bootcamp authoritarian attitude (“do it because I said so”).

Here’s what finally did it for me:


Specifically, behavioral research showing that once you begin one small, positive discipline (like making your bed), this one good habit tends to have a snowball effect where you then create more positive disciplines that lead to more good habits that can create almost any life-change you want.

THAT was the powerful reason I needed to consistently, habitually make my bed, and making my bed is a daily reminder of all the other positive personal, relational and financial disciplines to make sure I fit into each day.

So, should you make your bed?

Only if you want to take one small step that could change your life.


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