3-2-1:  Sometimes the Best First Step is Backwards

3-2-1 Get Balanced Wednesday

by Dr. Donnie

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


3-2-1:  Sometimes the Best First Step is Backwards


read on DONNIEHUTCHINSON.COM | July 19, 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


The other day, I was driving home from a conference and got stuck in the slow traffic lane on Interstate 95. At first, I thought it was no big deal. But then I noticed a pick-up truck aggressively towing a large cargo container just to my left in the middle lane.

I tried to speed forward, but I had cars in front of me, so I was basically stuck in a slow convoy. Looking over at my wife, I remembered the teaching advice she shared with me once. Assess, Plan, Act. This was her strategy each time her third graders would get a little out of hand.


I assessed the situation to discover the only available move was to slow down. I planned to let the traffic in the middle lane pass me. It felt like I was moving backward. Once I found an opening, I acted and moved to the middle lane and then the left lane to pass the dangerous cargo driver.

I found it interesting as I pondered the situation that my best first step was moving backward when encountering a dangerous problem. I believe this principle is applicable when we get out of balance. When we battle unhealthy habits, we often think our best move is to keep pushing forward. However, sometimes being steadfast in moving forward is the slowest path to progress.


When we notice (or have been told) that our behaviors are out of balance, perhaps we should quickly pause to assess, plan, and act. After all, Stephen Covey enlightened millions when he encouraged his readers to stop and sharpen their saw.

I know it might seem counterintuitive to step backward; however, our balance is like a marathon, not a sprint. Do what’s best for your long-term success, even when it means it’s time to slow down and take a step backward. When you do, you might just find that you can steer your unhealthy habits into the healthy habit lane. And remember, the next time you assess, plan, and act, your best first step might be backward.


 2   Quotes from Others



Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

~ Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States



Healthy habits are learned in the same way as unhealthy ones – through practice.”

– Dr. Wayne Dyer, American Author


 1 Question for You

How could you benefit if you took a step backward to access,plan, and act on an unhealthy habit?


Dr. Donnie’s Answer:  I need to take a step backward to assess, plan, and act regarding eating late and too much while attending or speaking at conferences. I must say, I believe I gained 3 lbs at this last one. Assess – eating late and too much causes disruptive sleep. Plan – schedule reservations well in advance to ensure I get an earlier dinner time. Act – don’t eat the bread at the table, drink plenty of water, and slow down.  Result – more productive sleep which provides greater energy the next day.




Please consider sharing this newsletter with your friends and co-workers on email by copying the link:




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


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


– Dr. Donnie Hutchinson






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.