Me at Farmer's Market LA in September 2023

Three Good Things

I rejoined Weight Watchers (WW) nearly four years ago. What I’ve learned there not only helps me with weight management, but in all aspects of life.

Recently, I was introduced to a practice called Three Good Things. You take time out and think about three good things that happened to you today, no matter how small. You write them down and include details, and then you take a moment to reflect on them. This boosts your mood, helps you overcome challenges, and develops a mindset of gratitude.

As an example, here are three good things that happened to me yesterday:

  • I finished all the errands I had to do. This included driving to Newport Beach and Irvine. I got everything done without a hitch.
  • I had dinner out with my wife at our favorite place. We are usually so busy, we never have time for ourselves. So, it felt good to enjoy a meal with her.
  • I watched the final inning when the Dodgers clinched the NL West. I was busy, tired, and didn’t feel like sitting in front of a TV, but I was happy to see my favorite team celebrate their win.

Three Good Things can be used for more than weight management and mental well-being. It can be helpful in writing.

We all go through moments where things aren’t going well. A story isn’t coming together, an agent rejects a manuscript, or we get a one-star review. I’ve seen many writers in this situation question their ability and become tempted to give up. Instead, we can stop and think about three good things about our writing and the project we’re working on. As another example, I’ll share three good things about my writing and my recently submitted Christina’s Portrait.

  • I’m proud to have completed five novels and a non-fiction book. It was my dream to even write just one book, and it took me a long time to get to that point in my writing career. In the past 20 years, I’ve finished six.
  • I’ve gotten praise from my writing and plenty of great reviews. So, if there are people who don’t like my books, that’s OK. I know there are people who do.
  • Noreen Davis in Christina’s Portrait is the best character in any of my novels. She suffers incredible heartbreak and trauma, but she endures through quiet courage and a bit of snark.

Three Good Things can also help us deal with the crises that surround us. We have plenty of reasons to be angry about what is going on in the world, but we can find ourselves trapped in the hamster wheel of outrage. We get so caught up in the anger that we lose sight of what matters to us and what we can do to make things better. When we are tempted to join the latest social media dogpile on some celebrity’s thoughtless statement or rage at someone who disagrees with us, the Three Good Things approach can shift our mindset and come up with better solutions. I’ll offer a final example:

  • I’m in the position to do positive things for the environment, such as getting solar panels for our house and an electric vehicle.
  • I have writing and speaking skills I can use to help and inspire others.
  • I have a strong sense of fairness, compassion, and justice and a willingness to learn and do better when I fall short.

Take a moment now and think about your Three Good Things. They can be big or small. They can be related to a personal goal or for some larger cause. Notice how they lift your mood, clear your mind, and help you move ahead. All of us, regardless of our circumstances, have Three Good Things at any moment. What are yours?