The Game of Joy

Book Resources

3d Game of Joy Book Cover

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The Joy Plan Template

There are four parts to a Joy Plan: when, what, where, and why.

In each quadrant, create three columns: “What,” “Where,” and “Why.”

For the “10 minutes” column, think of joyful ideas that take 10 minutes or less to experience. What are some Joy Activators you can do in that time frame? Some ideas include giving out TOYs (Thinking-of-Yous), creating or adding to a Kick Ass Jar, or listening to a couple of songs. Write those Joy Activators under the “What” column.

In the “Where” column, write down where you can do this activity—i.e., in the car, at home, waiting in line, at work.

In the “Why” column, jot down your intended outcome. What will this Joy Activator do for you? For example, you might feel rested, energized, loved, appreciated, connected, accomplished, adventurous, creative, or important.

Joyful Living Model

The objective of the game is to choose which Joy Activators go on your plate each moment you desire joy. What you select depends on your current circumstances, what you crave, what worked in the past, and/or if there’s something new you want to try.

Since joy is personal, what you choose will be different than what anyone else chooses. There are no right or wrong selections! There are no right or wrong amounts, either. The more you play the game, the more you’ll notice what you prefer and what tends to activate joy for you.

At the same time, notice any potential Joy Blockers that might be in your way.  Those Joy Blockers are clues to help you discover something specific that you might need to shift to allow joy in.

Game of Joy Equation

Steps for playing the Game of Joy

  1. Pause: Create space for joy
  2. Activate & Shift: Practice your Joy Activators and shift your Joy Blockers
  3. Reflect: Document your experiences
  4. Share: Inspire others

Joyful Moments Model

Whether you divide each day into hours, minutes, or seconds, each moment is an opportunity to experience joy. This doesn’t mean that you must have joy in every moment. It simply means that you have a choice to activate it. And when you do activate it, joy can last for a second, a few minutes, or even several hours.

Joy tends to act like hunger: it will come and go, and it will expand and contract. The one constant is that just like our stomachs need nourishment throughout the day, our hearts do, too. Even though our desire for joy may be hidden underneath layers of stress and fear, that desire is still there.

But despite that, we have the opportunity is to choose joy again and again and again! Below is a chart indicating possible moments of joyful experiences throughout a given week. It looks like Morse code.

Retirement Day Practice Model

Traditionally, we assume we’ll work from the age of 18 to 65 and then retire (see Exhibit A). Hopefully we’ll be in good health and live another 15 to 20 years while figuring out what we want to do in retirement.

But when you start incorporating intermittent retirement days throughout your life (see Exhibit B), you can see that you’re not only reclaiming more time, you’re also reclaiming more life. The idea of practicing retirement is about choosing joy and freedom now and not deferring it to “One of these days when…” Practicing retirement is about making progress over time towards your health, relationships, and dreams. It’s about living a great life, being the best version of yourself, and creating moments that matter throughout your life.

Suggested Apps


Daylio is a very versatile app, and you can turn it in whatever you need to track. Your fitness goal pal. Your mental health coach. Your food log. Your gratitude diary. Mood tracker. Exercise, meditate, eat, and be grateful. Take care of your mental, emotional, and physical health. Good self-care is a key to improved mood and reduced anxiety.


Join millions of Journey users and create a healthier, happier mind. A sanctuary for your mind and soul, Journey will help increase your positive energy, be more grateful and a calmer mind by building healthy thinking through journaling. More than just a journal, or a diary; we’re your own motivational coach and happiness trainer. Let’s embark on a fabulous journey of self-improvement today.


With the Spotify music and podcast app, you can play millions of songs, albums and original podcasts for free. Stream music and podcasts, discover albums, playlists or even single songs for free on your mobile or tablet. Subscribe to Spotify Premium to download and listen offline wherever you are.

Instagram Accounts


Get inspired by stories of daily joyful experiences.


Witness the beauty of the world the eyes of Yasmin


Follow the hilarious antics of Joyful Joe, the 4 inch Joy Ambassador


Take in breathtaking images from the Oregon Coast

Joyful Books and Readings

Reading has been shown to put our brains into a pleasurable trance-like state, similar to meditation, and it brings the same health benefits of deep relaxation and inner calm. Burying your head in a book can make you a happier person. Reading really does make you happier. Turns out there’s a mountain of proof behind what we’ve always known to be true.

Below is a list of books I have curated on various topics related to ideas and practices that activate joy.

Joyful Music

Music has an incredible way of immediately dropping us into a state of joy. Whether it triggers a memory, experience, or emotion, it activates something within us that makes us smile, dance, and fills us up with energy and joy.

Below are some popular songs that have been known to inspire joy.

Retirement Day Practice Card Deck

In 2012, I was completely burned out trying to run 5 businesses. Overwhelmed and exhausted, I left work one afternoon and headed to the Oregon Coast. That changed everything. In the next 18 months, I returned to the coast 100 times discovering a new way of living and working that healed my body, deepened my relationships, and transformed my life.

I believe that when we create space to rest, grow, connect, and give, we refuel the fire of our impact. I call this new way of creating space for intentional life-giving experiences a Retirement Day Practice™. Through my photos and ideas, I hope to inspire others with possibilities.

Pick up a Retirement Day Practice deck of cards for yourself or give them as gifts to clients and friends. Each deck comes with 26 cards featuring stunning photos of the Oregon coast and inspirational, fun, easy activities to experience more joy, connection, and freedom.


Joy Wristbands

If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed, overworked, and over-committed, you’re not alone. You may be on the verge of burnout and things like self-care and joy can be difficult to add to your plate.

You might need a “Pause” button! “Joy” and “Play” button included!

A Joyful Day Poem

Three years ago, I completed my 18-month 21,000 mile road trip across America to learn about joy. It was the most fulfilling and challenging period of my life. Talking with hundreds of people, sleeping on more than 90 different beds, and visiting 40+ cities I realized that joy is not something we find.
Joy is something we create. We activate the joy that is already within us. This book was inspired by the poem I wrote. I invite you to take a moment to listen to this poem, watch the video or download a copy. May it bring you some inspiration to create your own joy today.