Determine Your Daily Priorities: Lifestyle Practice

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  • February 18, 2016
Daily Priorities

Make a List Each Morning and Complete at Your “Must-Do”

Simple Instructions:

  • At the start of each day, make a three-part to-do list – one thing you must do, two things you’d like to get done, and three things it would be nice to get done.
  • Do at least the “must do” by the end of the day.

Do you have mixed feelings about to-do lists? You’re not alone! Michael and Andy stopped total strangers on the street to talk to them about this challenge. Watch and you may relate to this man’s experience:

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Why Is This Practice Important?

Life is often an undifferentiated mess of truly important things and immediate problems that show up moment-by-moment. For a host of reasons, those fires pull our attention away from everything else. We resist doing what is important — our actual daily priorities — and we give false urgency to that which is not.

If you can create for yourself what you say is important and use it as your map, you’ll begin to see how easy it is to navigate the shark-filled waters of other people’s concerns and needs.

And once the big stuff starts to fall off your list, you’ll have no problem picking off the little things. With those large-looming actions removed from your plate, you’ll feel lighter and faster on your feet. You’ll be amazed how easy it is to get things done when you take the important things head on.

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Michael Stanwyck
Michael Stanwyck is the co-founder of The Whole Life Challenge, an idea that developed during his seven years as a coach and gym manager at CrossFit Los Angeles.

He graduated from UCLA with a BA in philosophy as well as a degree from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, and feels food is one of the most important parts of a life - it can nourish, heal, and bring people together.

Michael believes health and well-being are as much a state of mind as they are a state of the body, and when it comes to fitness, food, and life in general, he thinks slow is much better than fast (most of the time). Stopping regularly to examine things is the surest way to put down roots and grow.

He knows he will never be done with his own work, and believes the best thing you can do for your well-being starts with loving and working from what you’ve got right now.
  • Raymah Hutchinson

    This interview is not helpful. I haven’t found these “man on the street” interviews help me implement the lifestyle for the week. This one is the worst

    • Jill

      I tend to agree. I get the idea of interviewing “real people”, but this is not giving me any good advice. I make lists all the time, and they tend to be things that I need (or so I think) to be done. Rarely do my lists have fun things. I just don’t put them on the list, I just do them. Unclear how to prioritize the list. I guess whatever works best for me.

      • Michael Stanwyck

        We’re sorry that the video didn’t suit you. We’ll take that into account as we make more of our media.

        You definitely should prioritize the list in a way that works best for you. There is no right way to prioritize your to-dos. “Have to,” “like to,” and “nice to do” are a matter of your perspective. You may get some feedback from yourself while doing this that you are avoiding things that you really have to do.

        The idea of this practice is to put some structure around the things you need to get done. Those can be work things, family things, fun things. It can help people to put fun things into their lists – both because some people don’t manage to do them and because it may help to see all of the things you’d like to get done in context with each other.

  • tom-ay


  • Laura Tarwater-Scharp

    So how does the scoring work – do you get your daily points if you make the list, or only if you make the list and complete the ‘must do’?

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