3-2-1: Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks

3-2-1 Get Balanced Wednesday

by Dr. Donnie

“Helping you align your daily behaviors with your priorities in life.”

3-2-1: Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks.

read on DONNIEHUTCHINSON.COM | February 1, 2023


3 Ideas from me, 2 Quotes from others, and 1 Question to help you reflect on your work-life wellness and balance habits this week.


3 Ideas from Me


Good morning you old dog! Ahh, you thought I was talking about our best friends. Well, I admit our old family dog, Charlie, gave me the inspiration for this week’s newsletter. Recently, we needed him to learn a few new tricks. We want him sleeping through the night on the floor instead of on top of our heads.

After many unsuccessful nights, we concluded it wasn’t Charlie’s inability to learn new behaviors. Instead, our thoughts and old belief patterns precluded him from learning new tricks. Therefore, if we wanted Charlie to change, we had to change our thoughts, feelings, and actions in how we approached the training.


Similar to teaching our dogs new tricks, we can train ourselves in new behaviors by changing our thoughts and beliefs. I am amazed at the scientific research on this concept yet how little it is taught and practiced. All of us operate within our daily lives with healthy and unhealthy behaviors. I believe we are in accord with wanting to increase our healthy behaviors and reduce our unhealthy ones.

We, as a society, often disregard the power of thoughts. Perhaps it sounds too good to be true, or a simple answer to behavioral change won’t work because difficult problems need complex solutions. However, ancient wisdom reveals that the best answer to all questions is the simple one. In this case, the power of change lies within our cognitive ability to choose what we want to think.


When I notice my internal dialogue heading down the slippery path of negative thoughts, I consciously choose to shift them. For example, I have been known to overeat pizza in one sitting. Afterward, I felt like crap, and I started thinking, “Donnie, why didn’t you stop eating? You don’t have any discipline”. I shift that thought and old belief to, “Donnie, you allowed yourself to get caught up in the moment – it’s okay, I forgive you. You are a very disciplined person. Look at how well you do with your exercise, daily gratitude and prayer time, etc.” I choose to think positive, self-enhancing thoughts that improve future outcomes.

Good ole Charlie slept 20 hours daily, much of the time on the floor. The THOUGHT of putting a pillow on the floor next to our bed at night and trying to keep him awake more after dinner finally reached our minds. That new thought led to our latest actions, leading to restful sleep for all. Charlie wakes up each morning now with a smile and tells us, “I’m glad you old guys finally learned some new tricks.”


2 Quotes from Others


You have powers you never dreamed of. You can do things you never thought you could do. There are no limitations in what you can do except the limitations of your own mind.”

— Darwin P. Kingsley – Author


“Winners make a habit of manufacturing their own positive expectations in advance of the event.”

– Brian Tracy – Motivational Speaker


1 Question for You

If you have been struggling with creating a new healthy behavior or stopping an unhealthy one, could you benefit from how you approach the situation with a new thought? If so, what would it be and what might the new outcome look like?

I would love to hear from you if you find this newsletter helpful and encouraging. Email: [email protected]

Please share this newsletter on email by copying the link:


Until next week, may God bless you, your family and may the Glory be to God.

– Dr. Donnie Hutchinson


Work-Life Balance Instructor, Keynote, and online course creator



Need a refresher course on Work-Life Balance?

I brought the in-person workshop to an online platform.

Check it out here: https://donniehutchinson.com/online-courses/


The format and style of this newsletter were inspired and highly influenced by James Clear 3-2-1 Newsletter. The content is strictly Dr. Donnie’s.