A simple act, like making your bed, can make a world of difference.
I lived for 17 years without making my bed. Every day I would crawl out of tangled blankets and abandon them in a mountain atop my bed. Every so often my mom would ask ‘Why don’t you just make your bed?’ Being a rebellious youngster I would respond with a myriad of excuses:
It takes too long.
I like being able to get back in the same way I got out.
It’s not like I need to impress anyone---who’s coming to my bedroom?
I don’t care.
Here’s why: it feels great. Coming home to a made bed is instantly calming. When I began embracing minimalism, the overwhelming urge to clean my space was the most noticeable change. I got rid of clothes, cleaned out my desk, trashed years of well-past-due makeup, removed most of my frivolous knick-knacks from nightstands, dresser, and various other flat surfaces, and finally started making my bed (You're welcome Mom). Now when I come home everything has a place, cleaning is a breeze, and my once unkempt, distracting space feels calm and welcoming.
Making my bed is just one of the simple ways I take care of myself. I have a set morning routine, never leave clothes lying around, set aside time to read, and revisit my goals every month. By doing these things I have gained control of my life.
I don't usually like sharing my habits or handing out advice, but this post is for those feeling overwhelmed, unorganized, and out of control. Change does not happen in a day (especially New Years) nor does it require an absolute overhaul of your life.
I constantly hear proclamations of "This year I'm going to get my life together!" or "I need to turn my life around, I just can't do it anymore!" These people (always) fail. Let go of the romantic, idealized notion of spending a day or two in a move-montage cleaning out your house, organizing your 1,000 unread emails, getting some new clothes, and being a new person. Instead accept who you are (surprise, it's you) and embrace the lengthy timeline of change.
Start with something small, like making your bed or prepping lunch the night before. Then move on to using a daily calendar or cleaning up those emails. Eventually, the encroaching tide of change will have swallowed you up and pulled you out to sea. Then you will see the change.
As you look back towards the beach you left behind you will realize you are not standing on that beach nor have you changed, but everything around you has and you are headed in an entirely different direction.