A surefire diet for 2016 – “The Joy Diet”

Today has to be one of the toughest return-to-work days of the year! So many of my friends were dreading going back to work after all the holiday fun and festivities. Others were looking forward to getting back in the groove, but were still wishing for “just one more day” to shorten the first week back.

No matter where you fall on the back-to-work spectrum, I have a plan that can make this week and every other week in 2016 happier and more joyful for you. This diet isn’t mine, but I love sharing it. If you’ve ever thought you might need a little more joy in your life Martha Beck’s book “The Joy Diet” may work for you. It helped me change my life, big time.

I opened Beck’s book in 2003 and penned this post five years ago in 2011. As 2016 unfolds before us, I thought it might be helpful to share my thoughts again and encourage you to visit its pages.

Beck’s approach is simple and methodical. I like that.

She shares clear-cut steps and tells you how to combine them for the biggest impact, and then she sort-of kicks you out of the nest, trusting you will figure it all out, and, you will. (This is what led me to creating the life I really wanted.)

The first step was the toughest, and Beck won’t let you move on until you get it right. I will be eternally thankful to her for that. Her words led me to step back and slow down at a time when I truly needed it. Her light and breezy way of writing kept me interested, and as silly as this may sound, the short length and size of her book, immediately put me at ease – I knew I wouldn’t have to wade through hundreds of pages to get to the good stuff. (I truly am lazy at heart. ♥)

“The Joy Diet” is all good. Below is an Amazon’s overview of Beck’s 10 steps. [My insightful comments are italicized in parentheses. 🙂 ] Don’t let the number of, or the descriptions of the steps intimidate you, Beck walks you through them and into a joy filled life.

Martha Beck’s Joy Diet:

  1. Nothing: Do nothing for fifteen minutes a day. Stop mindlessly chasing goals and figure out which goals are worth going after. (Yup, absolutely nothing, you can do it. It’s not meditation-but it could be, it’s more like simply sitting still.)
  2. Truth: Create a moment of truth to help you unmask what you’re hiding—from others and from yourself. (Scary, but she holds your hand and you come out much happier on the other side.)
  3. Desire: Identify, articulate, and explore at least one of your heart’s desires—and learn how to let yourself want what you want. (Wishful Thinking at work.)
  4. Creativity: Learn six new ways to develop at least one new idea to help you obtain your heart’s desire. (Good way to brainstorm yourself into your new life.)
  5. Risk: Take one baby step toward reaching your goal. The only rule is it has to scare the pants off you. (It will, but it also gets you where you want to go, and afterward you will feel quite proud of yourself.)
  6. Treats: Give yourself a treat for every risk you take and two treats just because you’re you. No exceptions. No excuses. (Can you imagine, a diet that encourages treats?)
  7. Play: Take a moment to remember your real life’s work and differentiate it from the games you play to achieve it. Then play wholeheartedly. (Adults at play – pick me, pick me!)
  8. Laughter: Laugh at least thirty times a day. Props encouraged. (Yes, yes, you get to be silly or simply enjoy life a bit more.)
  9. Connection: Use your Joy Diet skills to interact with someone who matters to you. (Solid social connections are key to happiness and overall well-being.)
  10. Feasting: Enjoy at least three square feasts a day, with or without food. (Feasts? It sounds so primitive, and adventurous, and well, wonderful. And honestly one of the most difficult for many of us. You can feast with your eyes, your heart, your mind and your soul.)

I suggest you treat yourself right this year and pick-up a copy of “The Joy Diet” today. By Valentine’s Day, your life and everything around you could look a bit sweeter.


Joy diet
No commissions, just love her book!


If you need help getting started, check out “My Courage Diet” and lots of other free Wishful Thinking Works resources that can help you create the life your really want.

Enjoy! Writing this post was a joyful thing for me to do!

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