The Rule of THREE

As many of you know, I battle chronic pain with rheumatoid arthritis. It affects so much of my body. I have had it for quite some time.

Chronic pain

Now, in my 30s, it is starting to slow me down. At a younger age, I did not have such widespread damage to my joints. After 2 children and progression of it, I am struggling sometimes. I hate to admit that. Let me tell you, I even have the notion from time to time that I am weak. My husband, being shot 7 times makes me feel weak when I can’t simply finish folding laundry or some other task at hand. Of course, my husband tries to reassure me that he is NOT comparing our issues, that he does NOT EVER look at me as weak. In fact, he calls me one of the strongest women he knows. Still, it irks me when I can not go 100%.

A Lot on My Plate

The rule of 3. Life cannot be a race
I run life like it is a race, it wasn’t working

With all of that said, I have a ton of stuff on my plate. Sure, I can go all out and get everything done…… the risk of my good humor, spending time with my family, and my body. See, by the end of days where I just don’t stop, (especially in colder months), I end up feeling terrible. I have since gotten better at telling myself when to stop, when to rest.

Then….there is guilt. I have such a guilty conscience. “Why are you sitting down Courtney? You should be (FILL IN THE BLANK OF SOMETHING I FEEL SHOULD BE DONE).” So, I enacted a protocol for those days. It is called the RULE OF THREE. On days where I feel incapable of much, I make a rule to do three things that MUST be done for the home/family, three things to better myself, and three things for self care.


Here is an example of the rule of three.

For the Home:

  1. Fold 2 baskets of laundry
  2. Make sure dishes are done and put away
  3. Mop any tile surfaces

To Better Myself

  1. Work on a blog post
  2. Read 40 pages of a book
  3. Walk the track at the gym

For Self Care

  1. Take a bath (you all know that is my favorite!!!)
  2. Treat myself to one of those fun at home face masks
  3. Watch a movie while laying on the couch

Some of these tasks seem so simple, so quick. Depending on the level of pain I am in, I can dial up or down my three. The great thing about this is that it provides positive reinforcement that you actually accomplished your goals! This is such a great way to keep motivation going strong when you feel in the dumps. At the end of the day you can say, I MADE IT! Not only that, but it keeps your goals manageable. It keeps me from doing too much and making me a pointless blob for my family.

How Can the Rule of Three Apply to Me?

You might say, “Well, Courtney, I don’t have RA. So how does this apply to me?” Well, let me tell you, this can apply to anyone. Some days, we just don’t feel motivated…..USE THE THREE. Too busy with after school activities, a job, and meal prep in between? USE THE THREE!!!! Overwhelmed? USE IT!!!

While this method may not work for everyone, I suspect it will change many lives by simply changing the way you look at things. Remember, we all have 24 hours to use. How you use them for the best is up to you. (Check out more on that here in my blog.)

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