Most of us have things that we just don’t like to do for one reason or another. Depending on what those things are, we can blow them off most of the time (is it absolutely necessary for you to write a holiday newsletter every year?) or we absolutely have to do them (sorry, the kitchen has to be cleaned on a regular basis).

And it may be that you can blow it off, but you’re really rather do whatever-it-is because it will move your most-favored goals forward. Your most-favored goals are those that you have at the top of your goal list. You have a goal list, right? And you have put it in order of priority. If not, stop a few minutes and do that, now.

What has been proven the best way to move your most-favored goals ahead? Do whatever-it-is first. At the start of your day. Your resistance is lower then, but your motivation is highest. This is when you have the most optimism for getting things done. And once you do this a few times, you’ll realize that it makes the rest of your day so much better. You can pat yourself on the back for getting that chore out of the way and over with.

This is a particularly important thing to do when it involves your most important goals in life. That’s why so many people who exercise regularly (even those who don’t particularly enjoy exercising) do it first thing in the morning. This is why so many creative people get up before the rest of their family to create their art. This is how the best businesspeople get the best results. And this is how many great housekeepers keep the house spotless—tackle that dirty oven or cluttered, needs-cleaning refrigerator first thing.

Try it for three weeks (the time it usually takes to form a new habit) and see if it works for you.


  1. I hate doing everything. It would make my mornings unbearable to do them all first. Sometimes I have more energy at night. Maybe I’m just backward.

  2. LOL, Polly. Why am I not surprised? I know there are folks like you, but I’m not sure how many. I can be wide awake at night (my bad time is afternoons), but I don’t have the motivation then to do what I really want to do. So, for me, and many other people I’ve talked to, doing things first thing is best. But, in your case, it’s great you’ve figured out when is the best time for you. Or you’re probably never get out of bed.

    • Yeah, the kitchen. Messes me up every day for the time I spend in there, then much longer the one day a week I give it a thorough cleaning, too. LOL But it would be a lot worse to get sick because we didn’t keep it clean. I guess if we have to clean it ourselves, the only solution is to use a lemon-scented cleaner to remind us of that saying about life handing you lemons/make lemonade. (I’d toss some gin in it myself, after the kitchen was clean–remember the other advice about rewarding yourself after you do something distasteful).

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