The Power of a Favorite Things Board

One of the things that has helped smooth out the edges of grieving the passing of my dogs Koda and Molly this spring has been a practice I implemented earlier in the year …

A while ago I’d decided to get a white board for the fridge for easier list-making.

But as I started shopping for dry erase boards, I found myself thinking how much fun it would be to have a wall-sized board for capturing favorite moments of each day.

I know to follow inspiration, so while there still isn’t anything for the fridge, next to the laundry room right as you come in from the garage is a three foot tall white board.

And on it is a daily tally of favorite things written with one of the eight color magnetic markers.

  • I gleefully wrote down “PUPPIES!” in bright purple after my foster dog gave birth to eight of them here at home.
  • I scribbled “peeping window kittens” after I laughed so hard I cried seeing the foster kittens sneaking brave first glances out the basement window where they’ve been raised.
  • I jotted “the Caprice on the road again” after George installed new power brakes on the ’66 Chevy that dad gave me when I turned 16. Seeing her drive up the street brought big joy!

It seemed like this board would be an easy way to amp up my appreciation factor, but it has actually turned out to be much more than that.

Throughout the day I’m on the lookout for what that day’s contribution to the board will be.

Which means all day long I’m looking for my favorite thing of the day.

Think about the power of that focus!

You’re exactly right if you thought that when I’m looking for the most wonderful thing of the day, the day can’t help but deliver me wonderful things. It can’t help it! That’s what focus does! Delivers us whatever we’re looking for.

And sure enough, some days I have to put more than one thing on the board, that’s how favorite they are.

Here’s the best part, though

It’s when company comes over and I have them write their favorite thing on the board, too. Sometimes they ask about an entry, and I get to relive it again as I tell them the story of it.

And then long after they’re gone I still get to enjoy what they wrote as their favorite thing.

Each time I walk by, whether it’s for laundry, or scooping litters in the laundry room, or walking down the hallway to the kitten nursery or puppy room, or taking garbage out or loading up in the car – with every pass I see our favorite things on the big board. And I can’t help but smile.

Even on the rough days. Especially on the rough days. There are my favorite things about life, right there in my own handwriting, reminding me how good life really is.

So much better than a to-do list on the fridge. πŸ™‚

Once it fills up I erase it and start over. Although I never erase “PUPPIES!”

This picture doesn’t do the power of this practice justice, and I know some of you already engage something like this.

But for those of you who don’t, capturing daily high points in a way where you and others can see them in big bold color is a surprisingly fun and effective way to raise the vibe on a regular basis that you can continue to milk until it’s time to do it all over again.

This is another one I hope you don’t take my word for. Here’s the board and the markers I used.

You know I’d love to hear stories from those of you who already practice this. πŸ™‚

  • May 20, 2018
  • Anonymous says:

    I have a suggestion. Before erasing it take a picture of it on your phone. Maybe do a monthly favorite things white board? That way you can always remember the great things that happened on every board.

    • Jeannette says:

      That’s exactly what I do, Jayme! And every time I scroll across one of the photos in my phone it makes me smile then, too! πŸ™‚

  • Jayme Richards says:

    Love this idea! I am going to send it to my penpal (my childhood best friend who now lives in another state)

  • yessss! Love this. Our office is in a refurbished school bus and you cannot imagine delight when I realized that THE ENTIRE TOP HALF of interior is a giant and amazeballs whiteboard. I feel like michaelangelo on the Sistine Chapel of shared joys. And it is SO SATISFYING to have visitors or clients warm up their hearts laughing with what’s there and then quietly and smilingly weaving their own “things that make your heart glad” things onto the MASSIVE white board. Also, how fun is it to write on white boards? so smooth and impermanent. They are such a fun tool to dance with Seth’s idea that we’re not the same person we were 10 minutes ago. I carry a mini one in my satchel to grid and segment intend or fw something on the go. It works better because I don’t have to carry any energy with crumpling paper. I wipe and step into the new. thx for inspiration and enthusiasm as always

    • Jeannette says:

      Now that’s fun, Natalie! (Carrying one in your satchel!)

      Hadn’t heard that from Seth before: “we’re not the same person we were 10 minutes ago.” Very cool thought. Thanks for posting!

  • CJ says:

    Waaaaaaay Cool. My mission to find one has been implemented!
    Thanks for the inspiration.

  • Anna BoBana says:

    Very cool and inspiring, I have to say!
    Reminds me of the Graffiti Corner I had in my first apartment (positive, contemplative & fun stuff) and it was one of my most prolific times. Great memories too

  • Tresa says:

    Hi Jeanette. This is SO COOL! Thank-you. I used to end my day writing in a journal about my day. I purposely left out anything negative, so that when I went to sleep at night, my mind was focused only on the good things. that happened that day. This included EVERYTHING that I take for granted. Like our dog Norman wanting to cuddle first thing in the morning. The singing birds, sunshine etc. Life truly is good!

  • steve says:

    I needed to this, thanks Jeannette.
    It’s funny, because I was shopping for a full-on whiteboard flipchart a year ago, but it was for software development where I could flowchart chunks of code on it, and then forgot about it and lost interest in that.
    And now this idea. I have a separate laundry room in my apt, so this is perfect. And I was hoping you’d link to a particular product and you did! I bought your exact brand of microphone before, and now I’m going to copycat your board. πŸ™‚

  • Menaa says:

    OMG! I bloody love this and want to implement this in my classroom for my kiddos to add to it daily and then the next morning, we can read it and start again
    And because I want to be selfish and join in, I want to have one for me.
    Hocus Pocus Focus! 🦁😜

  • Shannon says:

    This is such a great idea! My 10 year old and I are super psyched to give this a try. Thanks for sharing. =)

  • Ellen says:

    Okay, this is really amazing. This morning I imagined adding something to my Favorite’s list. Something I really wanted. It’s only a little after 10am and I just added it because it just came true! AND I only started making a Favorite’s list YESTERDAY! SO. MUCH. FUN.

  • Jeri says:

    This made me smile!!!! So, when I get my board today, this will make the list first for the day!!

  • Jasmine says:

    This is a great idea. I will try it this out at home.

  • Caroline says:

    Great idea! I will do this with my 7 year-old.πŸ‘

  • Noelle says:

    Wow Jeannette! This is an awesome idea! Thank you!!!

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