You set some great goals for yourself, but staying motivated to work hard and to achieve them is easier said than done… If you have trouble staying on track sometimes, no worries. I’m here to help!
Why I badly needed this method
I created this simple game at a time in my life where I wasn’t doing so well. I was taking on way too many different things in order to excel, prove myself or because I simply liked doing them. I enrolled in two different University study programs, worked two jobs, wrote articles for a magazine, took an extra course and wrote a book all in five months time. If this doesn’t sound very healthy to you, that’s because it isn’t… (Please don’t try this at home). I ended up burned out and depressed, but I won’t go into that right now. I’ll post my story in the future. 😉
The point of telling you that is, I was really, really, busy at the time. I needed a way to motivate myself to keep doing all of it. I wouldn’t always feel like doing every little thing, but I felt really passionate about the things I was doing. Believe it or not, I actually enjoy studying. My favorite course was gaming. During that course I learned how to design games and the principles of gamification.
When I started missing a lot of deadlines, I thought I needed a way to motivate myself more. That’s when I decided to make a little game out of it.
It worked like magic! Every day I would get home from school and give myself credit for the things I managed to do that day. If there was a lecture I was dreading, but did attend, I would reward myself with points. Those points would eventually earn me rewards. It was a very basic game, but it worked for me. You know the feeling of crossing something off your to-do list? It’s a mixture of pride because you did it and relief that you don’t have to do it again (at least for today). That feeling is even better when it earns you points you later get to use to reward yourself!
How it works: points
- Step 1: Make a list of everything you need to do. For example, list every tedious task and deadline you have coming up.
- Step 2: Assign points to the tasks (now objectives). Smaller objectives that take little time and effort should earn you 1 or 2 points and larger objectives that take more time to finish should get you more points, like 3 to 5.
How it works: rewards
- Step 3: Now think about what motivates you. What has been on your wishlist for a while? What is something you would really like to do, but haven’t done yet? Make a list of things that would serve as good motivation to get stuff done. You should have a few smaller rewards and a few big ones.
- Step 4: Decide how many points you need to earn (and pay) for a certain reward.
For example, I would need to pay 10 points for a bar of my favorite chocolate, 30 points for a new book and 100 points to buy myself a boosterbox of my favorite card game. These things would motivate me to do everything, so I would earn a lot of points and I could treat myself. It does of course take some discipline not to reward yourself if you don’t have enough points.
How it works: tracking
- Step 5: I would keep track of my earned points by simply drawing a grid in my journal and coloring in a little box for every point, but you can do this however you like. You can choose to put a coin in a jar for every point and take one out for every point spent or draw something a little more exciting than a grid.
However, if you like the idea of this game but don’t want to spend a lot of time creating the game for yourself, I have created a Goal Getting Game template that you can get for free. All you need to do is sign up for my mailing list. You’ll get access to the resource library and can find the template there, among some other great tools I created for you!
I used this method on and off whenever I had a busy period in my life. Every time I could use the extra motivation, it always worked really well for me. Last year, I shared this method with my class, when I had to teach a course on my passions. I received some really positive feedback and a few people even started using the game themselves. Two of them kept using it for the rest of the year!
I was invited to come speak about the game again recently. I love sharing the things I’ve learned and use to reach my goals and find my passions, so of course I said yes. I hope some of the people in that class felt it was something that could help them too. I think it’s great that something I created as a tool to help myself can now help others too.
Goal setting and goal getting
Because I was asked to teach that course again, I started thinking about it and figured it would be something that you could use on your journey too! Go get those goals!
If you haven’t read my blogpost on setting goals yet, you can do so right here. Setting some great goals and then combining it with this method of rewarding yourself will help you reach your goals and ultimately live a happier life. That’s what we’re all here for, right?
With much love,