Three Words Make A Big Difference


At the end of each day, I take out my calendar and write down three big things that happened during that day of mine. I do this for several reasons:

1) It’s like a condensed diary. It’s great to take note of these big things (whether good or bad) without having to spend time writing about them in detail.
2) When I flip to older entries, it’s a wonderful way to reminisce. It helps build my memory too as I’m a bit forced to conjure images and feelings from that day. This is an exercise I do for myself as my memory is terrible. I think Dory and I were related in a past life.
3) Even if a day is utterly boring, it makes me believe that there were at least 3 big things that happened that day.

Three words is all it takes me to relive a day. Here are some samples from my calendar I’d like to share:

3 Highlights of April 13

April 13. The three words captured this wonderful Friday the 13th for me. It was Songkran in Thailand and I was able to see the locals squirting water guns and throwing buckets of water at each other. How I regretted it was my last day in Bangkok! I was there for a conference but had to leave on Songkran. Sayang! But that was okay as I was eager to go home. When H picked me up from the airport, we proceeded directly to Duty Free. Our Duty Free is in dire need to be renovated, by the way.

3 Highlights of February 6

February 6. I got over my fear of the dentist and went for a check-up. I remember being turned off by the owner because she kept selling me things while I was getting my teeth cleaned! I will never go back to that clinic again. After my check-up, I went to Color Me Mine for the first time and painted a candle holder. It was one of the most relaxing afternoons I had in a long time. I met up with H there and he totally took control of the candle holder I was painting. I kept telling him to get his own thing to paint but he insisted on retouching mine. Hmph. We then had dinner at Tiendesita’s. Dessert, per our tradition, were yummy pear cubes on toothpicks and pomelo slices.

3 Highlights of January 24

January 24. I don’t remember why I was sick on this day. Lesson learned: I have to be more specific about the words I write! I do remember though that I had a wonderful discussion with a dear friend about a career path and life path. I was struggling with some career decisions, but upon prioritizing and realizing what I want for my life, my career path fell into place too. I’ll write about that in a separate entry, I guess. It was a very enlightening talk. And I got some TLC from my husband when I got home because it was a mentally draining and physically difficult day for me.

3 Highlights of January 20

January 20. H and I hung out at SM Megamall this day, and then met up with my family for dinner at Teriyaki Boy. We were celebrating my Daddy’s birthday. My favorite cousin Maxine was with us, and we delighted in the kulitan my Dad and Maxine had. Mama ordered cold soba noodles, I remember. I loved her order and have been ordering it from Teriyaki Boy ever since.

3 Highlights of January 6

January 6. My parents picked me up from my apartment so our whole family would go to the MV Doulus. That’s a passenger ship which docks in different countries and has a book fair. It’s the world’s largest floating book fair. I remember it was incredibly hot and cramped. All I bought was a souvenir pen which I lost a few hours later. After that, our family headed to Mall of Asia and ate at Jammin’ Jamaican.

This three-words exercise is my own way to chronicle a day in my life. You can also try writing down 5 Things I’m Thankful For Today, 1 Word to Capture My Day if you’re the more precise type, or go the Dear Diary route and write down the details. Find a style that works for you. The point of this exercise is to remind myself, to remind you, that no matter how ordinary a day seems to be, there is always something new about it. All it takes are a few words to remind you how different that day is from others.

0 comment on Three Words Make A Big Difference

  1. Tina
    April 26, 2007 at 10:57 am (16 years ago)

    What I do with my planner is to write down inspiring stuff — like verses from the Bible, quotes from devotionals I read every morning for my prayer time to remind me of things I learned or must learn. I also put to-do lists (who knew to-do lists are so fun to read after? Hahaha!), and sometimes I stick receipts, cut out magazine articles or little things (like gift tags, chocolate wrappers). 😛 My planner becomes extra thick after a year because of that (but my best friends’ is thicker). It becomes a mini-diary/scrapbook after a year which is so fun to browse after. =)

  2. Pia
    April 26, 2007 at 11:05 am (16 years ago)

    Hey there!

    I envy you that you are so good at keeping tabs of your memories – if that was me, I would go back months later and totally forgot what that entry meant. Hahah. I used to be much more organized, but just got scattered along the way. I love your penmanship too! So neat! Take care Toni!

  3. wysgal
    April 26, 2007 at 1:16 pm (16 years ago)

    That’s an interesting exercise … I journal every now and then but I only have time to write several pages of thoughts down a few times a month. Keeping things down to a few words a day makes the memory-keeping more manageable.

  4. Daphne
    April 26, 2007 at 3:26 pm (16 years ago)

    That is a great idea Toni :)

    I don’t have the patience to write down stuff given that I don’t keep a journal just my blog and my penmanship is quite awful.
    I just enter my activities in the calendar section of my cellphone. Ha how’s that for living in a cellphone dependent society? Hahaha

  5. sexy mom
    April 26, 2007 at 4:46 pm (16 years ago)

    interesting, because nowadays the trend is to place these details in the computer, or the PDA, or the blog. i myself do not anymore know how to write, i cannot even transcribe my own handwriting. oh well, one of my sons, JAngelo places his important thoughts in Moleskin.

  6. jojo
    April 26, 2007 at 4:49 pm (16 years ago)

    wala ako masabi talaga…you always come up with the nicest ideas!!!

  7. rach
    April 26, 2007 at 5:34 pm (16 years ago)

    Hi Toni. I admire that you have time to write on your online journal and keep a hand written one as well. I have kept past calendars/journals and there are times I open them and reminisce about happy moments of yesterday.

  8. missyosigirl
    April 26, 2007 at 5:56 pm (16 years ago)

    i like your handwriting 😀 so neat!

  9. Sidney
    April 26, 2007 at 9:25 pm (16 years ago)

    This is an interesting way to keep a diary. I was never able to keep a journal of my daily activities. I guess I am too lazy for that :-(

  10. Pie
    April 26, 2007 at 11:12 pm (16 years ago)

    hi toni! thanks for this, a very nice recommendation indeed, esp. when there are just so many happenings in a day! I hope to try this myself. SOON. :)

  11. krn
    April 27, 2007 at 5:28 pm (16 years ago)

    great idea, toni. from now on, i’ll try doing this during my long bus rides home. thanks.

  12. denden
    April 27, 2007 at 8:00 pm (16 years ago)

    hi toni! ako den, i’m like you. i only write a couple of words in my diary/planner but somehow it always reminds me of the things i did that day :)

  13. Junnie
    April 28, 2007 at 12:29 am (16 years ago)

    i draw :0 and take pictures – and the only three words that can make my day are the 3 words shared between loveones

    Have a grand weekend, tonigrrrl!

  14. mare
    April 28, 2007 at 1:44 am (16 years ago)

    I wonder, do you ever why you wrote a particular word? Have a great weekend!

  15. ladycess
    April 28, 2007 at 8:59 am (16 years ago)

    ok to ah. my organizers serve as well, organizers. most of the time though, they remain untouched bec im good at remembering appointments anyway. this post gave me an idea for a better use for my calendars. :)

  16. jey
    April 28, 2007 at 9:20 pm (16 years ago)

    i’ve been writing the 3 things i’m thankful for everyday since the start of the year. and somehow at the end of the day, i know deep down that life is still good.

  17. Linnor
    April 30, 2007 at 5:01 pm (16 years ago)

    With so many things going on, I might just make that 3 or more words… But just words, not sentences… Hahaha!

  18. jeanny
    May 1, 2007 at 10:08 pm (16 years ago)

    Uy nice use of your starbucks planner 😀
    Ako what I write in my planner usually mga due date ng credit card, hehehhe

    but I also make use of writing important sched kasi Im forgetful talaga.
    pero sige try ko rin tong idea mo, sounds very fun 😀

  19. chelle
    May 7, 2007 at 11:31 pm (16 years ago)

    i’m a notebook junkie, i buy notebook and pens for the purpose of writing my thoughts sana, but i very very randomly use them, this a great way to keep a “journal,” i love this idea! i also love lists so, galing talaga! thanks for this.


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