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The Assessment Wheel (or Quantifying My Happiness)

I don’t think I’m alone in being someone who loves taking personality quizzes. Anything from those “Which Harry Potter House Are You In?” (Ravenclaw, obviously. This has been confirmed by every test including Pottermore.) to Meyers Briggs (INFJ? I probably need to take this one again…) is amusing to me. So when I came home from work and Sab said: “Want to take a test to see how you can boost your happiness?” I was sold immediately.

This article is presented here as a part of Throwback Thursday, where we revisit some highlights from the archives of both Sabrael D. Carroll and M.E. Garey. This particular piece comes to you from July 2016.

It’s not a long test. There are 39 questions divided into 9 categories. You rate statements 1-10 where 1 is disagree and 10 is agree. Then you math at it a little bit and you end up with a wheel that shows you which areas of your life are happiest and which could use more improvement.

My top category? Significant Other/Romance is at 95%. Yeah, yeah. I won’t dwell on it cuz I don’t want to seem braggy but for a while, that’s been the only portion of my life I don’t have to worry about.

Lowest category? The absolutely lowest is Money and Finances but Fun and Recreation, as well as Health and Well-being, are only a few percentages higher. After you take the test these fun questions are waiting for you.

What area on the wheel are you most wanting and willing to make a difference with?

I’ve decided to ignore Money for the most part. I have a lot of money-related anxiety (just ask Sab how many times a week I ask him to check our balance) but it’s not really something I can do anything about. We are making enough money right now to cover all necessities with a little left over so the anxiety is mostly irrational.

As far as Fun and Health? Those things I can do something about.

What is the current state of this area in your life?

Fun has taken a dive since I started working for myself. Any moment not spent working is filled with guilt and I usually end up making lists and plans for when I go back to work. When I get free time I’ll just sit there and try to remember what I do for fun for a good couple of minutes.

As for health, I need to get back in shape. I’m overweight and have been for some time. I need to start shaping up my eating habits and my exercise habits. I lack self-control often when food is involved. With the physical nature of my job, I do move around more than your average desk worker but it’s not on the level of cardio. Like today, for example, I tossed ceramic tiles out of a window for 2 hours. Was I sweating by the end of it? You bet. Did my heart rate get into fat burn zone? Nope!

What is missing or not working for you in this area?

I have high hopes for fun improving when I’m all unpacked and moved into my apartment. I’ll have access to my board games, video games, craft supplies, and books again! What a treat! Now I spend most of my free time watching Netflix and YouTube which can be distracting for a while but it starts to feel a bit hollow after a while.

I need to get myself into a fitness routine. I have my FitBit which helps me track my activity accurately and gives me a way to measure my food intake (when I remember to record it…). Now I need a regular exercise schedule. It would probably also help to get some ingredients for easy, healthy meals to keep me from succumbing to the temptation of eating out.

What would you like to create in this area?

I think getting a gym membership can help both areas. It gives me something to do with my time that is productive as well as escapist. I can do Yoga or read a book or listen to podcasts or even just think to myself (Thinking? Lord no…) while working on burning off a little tub.

So, looks like I have a goal for next week. If any of you have any opinions or suggestions I would love to hear them. What makes you happy? What do you think I could bring into my life that would help? If you want to take the test yourself you can find it here. I would love to hear your results!


Even if Meagan E. Garey wanted to set down her mint cocoa in her very favorite Kiki’s Delivery Service mug, there is absolutely no room. Scrapbook paper, Perler beads, stationary, embroidery thread, origami birds, and packages of clay litter the small desk. Instead, she opts to stand, put the cup on top of a nearby shelf, and get back to work. Her library haul of the latest YA fantasy, a chunky graphic novel, and some classic that was overlooked in school and moved to the floor to make more room. She pops on a movie to watch while she works. The familiar animated faces make her smile and make the work go by faster as she repeats the well-memorized lines. Don’t worry, she’ll write that next article… eventually.

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