Person-Activity Fit Diagnostic

This is the Person-Activity Fit Diagnostic test taken from the book The How of Happiness.

It's a tool to help you determine what types of activities are likely to bring you the most "happiness bang for your buck."


Consider each of the following 12 happiness activities. Reflect on what it would be like to do the activity every week for an extended period of time. Then rate each activity by filling in the appropriate number (1 to 7) for each of the following reasons: NATURAL, ENJOY, VALUE, GUILTY, and SITUATION...

People do things for many different reasons. Rate why you might keep doing this activity in terms of each of the following reasons. Use a 1 (not at all) to 7 (very much) scale.

Reason Description
NATURAL I'll keep doing this activity because it will feel "natural" to me and I'll be able to stick with it.
ENJOY I'll keep doing this activity because I will enjoy doing it; I'll find it to be interesting and challenging.
VALUE I'll keep doing this activity because I will value and identify with doing it; I'll do it freely even when it's not enjoyable.
GUILTY I'll keep doing this activity because I would feel ashamed, guilty, or anxious if I didn't do it; I'll force myself.
SITUATION I'll keep doing this activity because somebody else will want me to or because my situation will force me to.

The activities with the highest Fit Score are the ones that are most likely to bring you the most happiness. Activity Fit Score is calculated with the equation:


Rate the Activity

  1. Expressing gratitude. Counting your blessings for what you have (either to a close other or privately, through contemplation or a journal) or conveying your gratitude and appreciation to one or more individuals whom you've never properly thanked.

  2. Cultivating optimism. Keeping a journal in which you imagine and write about the best possible future for yourself or practicing to look at the bright side of every situation.

  3. Avoiding overthinking and social comparison. : Using strategies (such as distraction) to cut down on how often you dwell on your problems and compare yourself with others.

  4. Practicing acts of kindness. Doing good things for others, whether friends or strangers, either directly or anonymously, either spontaneously or planned.

  5. Nurturing relationships. Picking a relationship in need of strengthening, and investing time and energy in healing, cultivating, affirming, and enjoying it.

  6. Developing strategies for coping. Practicing ways to endure or surmount a recent stress, hardship, or trauma.

  7. Learning to forgive. Keeping a journal or writing a letter in which you work on letting go of anger and resentment toward one or more individuals who have hurt or wronged you.

  8. Doing more activities that truly engage you. Increasing the number of experiences at home and work in which you "lose" yourself, which are challenging and absorbing (i.e. flow experiences).

  9. Savoring life's joys. Paying close attention, taking delight, and replaying life's momentary pleasures and wonders, through thinking, writing, drawing, or sharing with another.

  10. Committing to your goals. Picking one, two, or three significant goals that are meaningful to you and devoting time and effort to pursuing them.

  11. Practicing religion and spirituality. Becoming more involved in your church, temple, or mosque or reading and pondering spiritually themed books.

  12. Taking care of your body. Engaging in physical activity, meditating, and smiling and laughing.

Results - Your Best-Fitting Activities

These are the top four activities most likely to increase your happiness.

Note: These will get populated as you fill in the ratings above.