11 July 2013

13 – Good Things Come In Threes

I recently started keeping tabs on every purchase I make. No, I don’t #smallenfreuden. Morgan Freeman’s voice doesn’t get me excited about a credit card company showing me all my small purchases on one bill at 18% interest. I just jot down what I bought and how much I paid for it instead.

I’ve started doing this because I really want to know where the money I bring in goes. The idea is to identify any needless spending and eliminate it. It’s all about regaining control over a daily habit and making it as constructive as possible.

The only problem is I don’t like money. I never have really.  I know I need it to exchange for essential goods and services. I know I have to earn some. But it doesn’t change the fact that I don’t like it. Sometimes it makes me feel the way Elaine did about George's wig. But my distaste for money is an essay for another time.

So I’m basically tracking how I use something I don’t like. But realizing this triggered a thought: why not track good things as well? So I’m also keeping a daily log of good things I do. It’s pretty simple. You should do it too.

Just write down three good things you do each day. Maybe you went for a nice walk with your special someone. Had coffee with a good friend. Had a good workout at the gym. Cooked a delicious supper. Donated pocket change to a fundraiser for a kid’s camp while leaving the supermarket. Maybe you just held the door for somebody. Write down anything you think of. It doesn't have to be big. It’s often the small things that mean the most anyway.

Here’s my list from this past Saturday:

1 – called home and talked to Mom, Dad and Sissy

2 – hung out with friend at Halifax Jazz Festival

3 – coated myself in Aloe Vera lotion after

Wednesday’s looked more like this:

1 – hiked out to York Redoubt

2 – did Yoga / stretching

3 – novel and blog writing

Powerful motives underscore this exercise. We all have lots to do every day. But a lot of the time the lots that we do aren't always things we want to do. Like going to work a job every day that we don’t really like. Getting stuck in traffic on the way to work. Getting stuck in traffic on the way home. Having to take the car in to a garage because the alternator died and knowing you’ll need to find $300 to $400 to cover the bill. Too many of the things that demand our attention are stressful and just plain exhausting. Life can be really good at taking the good out of us.

But we’re probably better at putting a little good back into our lives than we think. Writing out three good things about each day reminds us that we’re already doing positive things for ourselves and others. It shows us that happiness does exist amidst the clamour and the noise. Most importantly, it can encourage us to do more enjoyable and fulfilling things.

It’s easy to be left feeling insignificant or overwhelmed by the world. But that doesn’t mean finding some happiness and meaning in it has to be hard. We just need to pause a moment and recognize it when it happens. It really is about stopping to smell the roses.

Like tracking spending, jotting down good things about each day is about regaining control. It’s about recognizing the positive actions we already take, giving ourselves some credit for them and realizing how simple feeling better and happier can be. Most importantly, reflecting on good things at the end of our day can follow us into the next morning. If you plant a good crop, you’ll reap a bountiful harvest.

So write down three good things about your day every day. It’s simple, costs nothing and takes very little time. But the rewards for yourself and those around you can be priceless.


  1. I think i will actually try this. Thanks for the advice, and i will indeed stop to smell the roses more often.

    1. Excellent. I hope you find it helpful!


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