What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are, but how you deal with incompatibility. - Leo Tolstoy
This is a bit of a ragbag section. It contains a mixture of handouts on wellbeing, time management and related topics. A lot of my work involves helping people face fear and anxiety. The "Determination training" and more straightforward monthly "Practice record" are often helpful here. The "Respected figures exercise" is one of the most frequent forms that I ask people to fill in - it clarifies values and so highlights how one wants to act. The handout on Kohlberg's work is relevant to values too, especially at times when the focus is on fairness and assertiveness. I often move from the "Respected figues exercise" to the five "Goals for roles" handouts. They build from clarifying "Role areas" and using this for the "Funeral speeches" or "80th birthday party exercise" up through a possible "Brainstorm" exercise to "Visions, challenges, responses" and then "5 year, 1 year & 3 months" planning sheets. See the series of four posts on meaning & values starting with "Purpose in life: reduces dementia risk, increases life expectancy, treats depression and builds wellbeing" for more on this. Many of these values/time management ideas are more fully explained in Stephen Covey's fine book "The 7 habits of highly effective people". The "Day & week projects record" is a form I use on a daily basis to keep my own time management sharp and realistic. The "Goals - ACT WISeST" sheet I put together from some research on what kinds of goals promote both effectiveness and also wellbeing. The whole area of "self-control" is covered much more fully in a series of blog posts starting with "Self-control, conscientiousness, grit, emotion regulation, willpower - whatever word you use, it's sure important to have it". This is a hugely important area - do try to make time to read these self-control posts (if you find it hard to make the time, they are even more importantly for you!). There are then handouts on "Mental contrasting" and "Implementation intentions" - relevant for pretty much everyone, especially therapists. I have also put together a blog sequence on character strengths - going to "Strengths of character: head, heart & gut" will link you on to the full blog sequence with a whole bunch of associated downloadable handouts. Towards the bottom of this page, there are a series of handouts on Self-determination theory (SDT). I'm a big fan and I frequently use these handouts to introduce these ideas to people. I think SDT is great - see the blog I posted on "Self-determination theory" for a bit more detail on this.
Determination training - record sheet and suggestions for use that can be particularly helpful when encouraging people to tackle challenging tasks (for example with exposure/desensitisation work).
Practice record - this is a sheet that I get people to record on when keeping tags on work they're doing over a month. This might be forms of physical exercise, relaxation, socialising or other areas that they are targetting.
Goals, values, meaning - this is a handout I put together a long time ago. It still has some value for orientation in this area.
Respected figures exercise (as a Word doc & as a PDF file) - I use this sheet a lot for helping people clarify their values. I suggest to them that they are unlikely to feel good about their lives unless they are trying to live the values that they particularly respect.
Life highlights exercise - this exercise was pointed out to me by a friend. I haven't used it much, but it looks good!
Alternative lives exercise - I invented this exercise when I was thinking about my own life. It aims to get people to think out what else they might have liked to have done and then realize that they can get at least some of this within the life they already have.
Kohlberg's stages - interesting ideas for challenging people to think about and live their values.
Vaillant's stages - helpful handout when talking to people about the differing challenges they may face at different stages in their lives.
Diaries (respected figures) - 2 qualities & 3 qualities - these are monitoring forms that I would typically use when encouraging people to live values that have emerged from the "Respected Figures" exercise.
Goals for roles - role areas; 80th birthday party (as a Word doc & as a PDF file) and funeral speeches (as a Word doc & as a PDF file) - I often use "Goals for roles" sheets after having done the "Respected figures exercise". The "Role areas" form helps clarify different aspects of one's life and it can be used to provide some structure to the "80th birthday party" exercise. The "Funeral speeches" exercise may, at times, be even more potent. One can probably get a fairly good snapshot of overall wellbeing by simply seeing how well the different roles in one's life are currently going - see the self-assessment exercise (as a Word doc & as a PDF file).
Goals for roles - brainstorm; visions, challenges & responses (as a Word doc & as a PDF file); 5 year, 1 year & 3 months (as a Word doc & as a PDF file) - forms I typically use after the "80th birthday party" or "Funeral speeches" exercise to get to the nitty gritty of specific goal targets.
Goals for roles - these values & goals ideas are explained much more fully in the series of four blog posts - "Purpose in life: reduces dementia risk, increases life expectancy, treats depression and builds wellbeing", "Purpose in life: how do you score on the questionnaire & why does it matter?" (these two blog posts are combined into a handout that can be downloaded as a Word doc and as a PDF file), "Purpose in life: reconnecting to meaning & values" and "Purpose in life: clarifying future goals & the challenges we will face in achieving them (for individuals, couples & groups)" (these two posts as well are combined into a further handout downloadable as a Word doc and as a PDF file).
Weekly worksheet - here is a weekly activity planning/monitoring form adapted from Stephen Covey's writings (see above)
Day & week projects record - I use this form myself on a daily basis. It helps me clarify and keep to targets for the day.
Importance of attitude - the science behind this handout is rather dated now, but it still makes useful points about control, challenge & commitment
Goals - ACT WISeST (as a Word doc & as a PDF file) - I'm rather chuffed with this handout. I was feeling impatient with the quite widely used acronym SMART (specific, measurable, etc) when goal setting. ACT WISeST seems a more evidence based acronym to me and I enjoyed putting it together!
Self-control is a crucially important area - see the series of blog posts beginning with "Self-control, conscientiousness, grit, emotion regulation, willpower - whatever word you use, it's sure important to have it". There are currently six handouts & two questionnaires that I use in this area. See both Word doc and PDF files available from the relevant blog posts - "Self-control ... it's sure important to have it", "Self-control ... more on the many benefits", "Building willpower: it's like strengthening & nourishing a muscle", "Self-control ... possible adverse effects", "Self-control, conscientiousness, grit, emotion regulation, willpower - the importance of training", "Building willpower: the eight pillars", "Commitment contracts: another good way of helping us reach our goals" and "Self-control ... how do you measure it?".
Also linked to self-control is the series of three posts (and three associated handouts) on "Commitment contracts" - an interesting and potentially helpful way of boosting our effectiveness at reaching difficult goals. The posts are "Commitment contracts: another good way of helping us reach our goals", "Commitment contracts: orientation, practicalities & use as therapeutic tools" and "Commitment contracts: a personal example".
Mental contrasting - a simple way of boosting energy & commitment for goals that are important to us. Mental contrasting is often used in research as a technique that is linked with implementation intentions (see below).
Implementation intentions, background (as a Word doc & a PDF file) and instructions (as a Word doc & a PDF file) - implementation intentions help us achieve goal intentions. They are a well-researched and well-validated way of making goal intentions more effective over a whole series of important areas including changing health behaviours and achieving personal goals. This is significant stuff ...
I have also put together a blog sequence on character strengths - going to "Strengths of character: head, heart & gut" will link you on to the full blog sequence with a whole bunch of associated downloadable handouts.
Psychological needs & wellbeing 1, Psychological needs & wellbeing 2 (SDT) - I use this handout a lot at the moment (2008) to introduce discussions on wellbeing and the importance of responding to our key basic psychological needs for Autonomy, Competence & Relatedness. Try printing them out as a two-slides-to-a-page Powerpoint handout.
Goals & wellbeing 1, Goals & wellbeing 2 (SDT) - building on a discussion of needs (see above), this SDT approach to goals looks particularly at how well pursuing different types of goals leads (or doesn't lead) to key need satisfaction. Try printing them out as a two-slides-to-a-page Powerpoint handout.
Motivation, effectiveness & wellbeing 1, Motivation, effectiveness & wellbeing 2 (SDT) - these two handouts build on the Needs and Goals SDT handouts above. Good for discussion of autonomous and controlled motivations. Try printing them out as a two-slides-to-a-page Powerpoint handout.
Motivation questions (SDT) - autonomous, rather than controlled, motivations tend to lead better outcomes (see Motivation, effectiveness & wellbeing handouts above). These four questions can be helpful in teasing out the mixed motivations that we often bring to goal decisions. Can be very helpful in looking at whether goals we choose are likely to be 'healthy' or not.
Goals, motivations & wellbeing (SDT) - puts the SDT goal and motivation ideas (see above) onto a useful grid when printed as a single Powerpoint slide.
Subjective vitality scale & background (SDT) - clicking on this vitality scale links through to a download from the great Self-Determination Theory (SDT) website with it's hundreds of article PDF's and other useful material.
Balanced measure of psychological needs - this 18-item scale published in 2012 is now my favourite questionnaire for assessing S-DT need satisfaction.
Basic need satisfaction scale - this 21-item scale assesses how well the three basic psychological needs for autonomy, competence & relatedness are being met. With this scale - and the Work need satisfaction & Relationship need satisfaction scales below - it's good for averaged scores to be in the 5 to 7 range.
Basic need satisfaction background - this is a handout giving some useful background to self-determination theory and the need satisfaction scale.
Work need satisfaction scale - a further 21-item scale adapting the basic need scale to the work environment.
Relationship need satisfaction scale - a 9-item scale assessing satisfaction of autonomy, competence & relatedness needs in a chosen relationship such as with a partner, friend, parent, or child. The scale can also be used for assessing one's relationship network in general.
Relationship need satisfaction background - a handout giving background to self-determination theory and the relationship need satisfaction scale.