The success gurus will often tell you, when you plan your day, start with the most difficult task first and then everything else is easy.

But if you’re one of the people (like me) who see that as a giant barrier to get through with no momentum, here’s a habit I developed to quickly get a running start at climbing psychological hills.


Success Stacking.

Here’s how it works:

Each night before I go to sleep, I make a short “If Nothing Else, This” list for the next day.

On this list I put only the most critical 1 (or 2 max.) Really, Really Must Complete items due the next day.

No “like to do” or “but it’s more fun to do” items, just the true “If Nothing Else, This” tasks.

The Qualifying Questions:

* “If I only get this one item completed tomorrow, will I’ll still feel I had a successful day?”

* Is this item more important to do tomorrow than anything else?

* Commitment: There are Never more than 2 items on this list per day.

Don’t think “if it doesn’t get done I’ll just carry it over.”  That sets you up to break this promise to yourself.

Start With Only One Item On This List.

Get that one item done and then have the option to select another from your general To Do list, if you have extra time available.

But Only After you get this One (or 2) items done, no matter what. Because the promise you made was only on those items, and feeling the power of having done what you promised yourself is the habit you are purposefully building into everyday.

The first person we most often break our word to,

is ourselves.

And each time we make a promise to ourselves and break it, we tell our subconscious we’re not worthy of that respect. Little by little, that message erodes our self-esteem.

To help keep more of those promises, here’s how I build in the running start I mentioned:

Just before my “must complete” items for the day, I add one or two no brainer simple (like unload the dishwasher, or water the plants) items that can be done quickly in 5-10 minutes. and I do them first.

Why? Because it activates a pattern and feeling of success.

However small, that powers me to want more successes. I use that feeling as my running start to jump into the first “If Nothing Else, This” items for the day.  

Sounds silly, right? Only until you experience it’s real value.

Our emotions don’t deliver a success feeling based upon the degree of difficulty.

They just register “Yes, Done.” and fire off the release of success.

Intentionally building in a couple of accomplishment boosters starts each day with a quick reward to help propel us up the hill of the more difficult task we take on next.

Do this just one day and notice how it helps get the momentum going.

Start doing it everyday, and you add the power of habit, making the experience of success feel natural.

You’ll likely be as surprised as I was how such a simple success pattern can cause a lot more to get done faster.

The real bonus of intentionally building success into every day, is it keeps us moving forward, helping us build a Life We Love.

The life we intentionally choose to live.

And that makes all the difference.

Never stop moving forward,

PGSigimage 1Paul

PS: To help me capture those “To Do’s”, I researched and tested more than a dozen top list making Apps.

The clear winner was one I now use everyday:


It provides a really simple, efficient and beautifully designed “To Do” list environment that might help you too.

It also allows two way instant sharing /updating of lists (like for groceries or work tasks), rewards you as you check off tasks and works on both Android and iPhone.

I’ve added the full description and details under “Tools For Living.”  Cheers, PG

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