Welcome to The Joy Diet, a menu of ten behaviors you can add to your way of living and thinking to enhance every day’s journey through the unpredictable terrain of your existence. You can add these behaviors gradually and watch your life become steadily more vivid and satisfying. Or you can go on a “crash Joy Diet” to help you navigate life’s emergencies. The ten menu items are:
• Nothing: Do nothing for fifteen minutes a day. Stop mindlessly chasing goals and figure out which goals are worth going after.
• Truth: Create a moment of truth to help you unmask what you’re hiding—from others and from yourself.
• Desire: Identify, articulate, and explore at least one of your heart’s desires—and learn how to let yourself want what you want.
• Creativity: Learn six new ways to develop at least one new idea to help you obtain your heart’s desire.
• Risk: Take one baby step toward reaching your goal. The only rule is it has to scare the pants off you.
• Treats: Give yourself a treat for every risk you take and two treats just because you’re you. No exceptions. No excuses.
• 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.
• Laughter: Laugh at least thirty times a day. Props encouraged.
• Connection: Use your Joy Diet skills to interact with someone who matters to you.
• Feasting: Enjoy at least three square feasts a day, with or without food.
No matter what your long-term goals are, The Joy Diet, written with Martha Beck’s inimitable blend of wisdom, practical guidance, and humor, will help you achieve the immediate gift of joyful living in the here and now. Begin your journey today.
Martha Beck, Ph.D., is a life coach and monthly columnist for O: The Oprah Magazine. She has taught career development at the American Graduate School of International Management and was research assistant to Dr. John Kotter at Harvard Business School. She is the author of the bestsellers Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming the Life You Were Meant to Live and the memoir Expecting Adam. She lives in Phoenix, Arizona.