Big Wins First

Dan Gregory

Naval Adm. William H. McRaven famously suggested that one of the keys to feeling more motivated and driving personal success, was to start the day by making your bed.

A better strategy, in my opinion, is to start the day with Big Wins First.

Of course, if your life’s work and personal mission is defined by crisp linen and hospital corners, then have at it. But you may, in fact, be psychologically conditioning yourself to prioritise the trivial, or in fact, to not prioritize at all.

So how does one achieve a Big Win First?

This simple piece of motivation design requires little more than a blank sheet of paper, or a softly humming digital screen and interface.

Make three lists:

  1. Big Wins
  2. To Dos
  3. Week Plan

Determine what your Big Wins are – for me, it’s things like writing a new chapter for my latest book or authoring a new keynote speech, but it might just as easily be a core piece of a larger project. Yours will obviously be determined by your own personal and business ambitions.

Next, list the To Dos – those mundane activities that must be done, but are hardly inspiring.

Lastly, compose your Week Plan placing a Big Win at the top of each days’ list.

The point is, this should be the first thing that has your attention each day and the day should not encroach on your Big Win until you’ve won. At this point, it matters little what happens to the rest of your day, how many people interrupt you or what little failures you experience. You’ve already won… and won big!

More importantly, you’re conditioning your mind and your habits to prioritize your priorities, and over time, this leads to personal progress that truly matters.