Perfect Your Hospital Corners
Making the bed every morning doesn't seem like it has much to do with our more ambitious goals, like meditating twice daily or learning Mandarin. But it's an example of a "keystone habit"—along with regular family dinners and daily exercise—that sets in motion other good habits, explains Charles Duhigg in his book The Power of Habit. (Bed-making, he writes, is "correlated with better productivity, a greater sense of well-being and stronger skills at sticking with a budget.") The point is that strategic "small wins" strengthen something you really need when you want to change for the better: willpower. First, conquer the bed; next, the world.