William Nickels suggests rating yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 indicating the statement describing you perfectly):
1. I am basically a happy person.
2. I feel satisfied with who I am.
3. My life is great the way it is.
4. I have a balance between work and play.
5. I am self-confident.
6. I love myself and others.
7. I handle anger, fear and doubt well.
8. I know what I want in life.
9. I have good self-control.
l0. I feel successful.
Calculate your score and save it. Take it every 6 months or so to see where you are and how much progress you've made.
"The problem with most of us,' says Nickels, "is that we simply don't have enough time to play. Busy people need to schedule periods when they can relax and have fun.
"To plan for more joy in your life, it is important to know what has given you joy in the past. Take a few minutes to list times when your life was fun and what you enjoy doing."
Some examples from his book:
1. Canoeing down a river on a warm, sunny day.
2. Taking a nap in the middle of the afternoon.
3. Going to funny movies.
4. Sitting with my son in my lap and talking.
Now list things you don't enjoy.
How much time do you spend doing the things you like? How much on things you don't?
To sort out your priorities, answer these questions in writing: If I knew I would be struck dead 6 months from today, what would I do until then?" "If my home was burning down and I had two minutes to take what is dearest to me, what would I choose?"