Our friend Robin Bates of Coaching For Geeks (CfG) bring us his take on the best way to set yourself up for the life you want. Be sure to show him some love at his site or on his social feeds (Facebook | Instagram | Twitter)
Life is the name of the game and I wanna play the game with you. Or for those less well versed in British game show theme tunes of the 1970s… Be a winner at the game of life… by gamifying life itself.
First things first, everyone is the protagonist of their own game. Everyone else in an NPC, with their own quests, missions, objectives, values, dreams, and desires.
Also, everyone enters the realm playing on a different difficulty level. Perhaps you lucked out and RNG made you play on super hard, meaning you’ll gain more XP from the challenges you overcome. Maybe RNG gave you an easy start with an inventory full of gold and bonuses to your constitution. Likely you fall somewhere between the two. No matter what, success in your personal game is solely your responsibility, so it’s time to take charge in the most fun way possible… by adding in rules. Hooray!
RULE ONE – YOU MUST CHOOSE A QUEST
Whether your quest is epic and takes place over a number of years, or short and simple, it must be identified. Name thy quest, let it take shape in your mind and commit it to parchment. Or Asana, Trello, or any other means of tracking progress. How will you know how far you’ve come unless you have a quest log? Decide on a thing that you want to get, do, or achieve. Break it down into chunks, the smaller the better – the journey starts with a single step, and then the one after that. And the next one. Then the next one. Quests don’t simply start then end. Where’s the fun in Mordor being a short walk away and completely unguarded?
RULE TWO – YOU SHALL MAINTAIN A QUEST LOG
Your journey shall be fraught will challenges. Or hurdles. Perhaps annoyances or overwhelming obstacles. You shall track and log each of these and what you learned in order to overcome these. The steps from Rule One will remind you of what you’ve already achieved, when the going gets tough, the tough reflect on how awesome it is that they’ve done so much already.
RULE THREE – YOU SHALL LEVEL UP WITH APPROPRIATE EQUIPMENT
When you achieve something you level up. When you level up you get a reward. Something that will aid your quest, not hinder it. Depending on your gold reserves you might get some software that will help your project, or some new running shoes, or a new member of the team, or something else, something you can look at with pride because you earned it, and something that’ll level up your questing antics too.
RULE FOUR – YOU SHALL TRACK YOUR STATS
Draw a circle. Now split it into segments, first into four quarters, drawing lines across the horizontal and the vertical. Next, add in the diagonals, resulting in a segmented circle. Next, choose the 8 stats you are going to track. Perhaps you’ll select Constitution, Strength, Wisdom, Smithing, Heart, Health, Wealth, or more traditional stats such as Home, Relationships, Work, Fitness, Free time and Fun. But you shall select them, and then you shall judge them. On a scale of 0-10, where 0 is completely unhappy with it, and 10 is delighted, wonderful, couldn’t be better, super-duper happy as a clam when the tide comes in with that stat. NOTE – it is your SATISFACTION with that stat at the time. Be honest. If you can’t be honest with yourself then who can you be honest with?
Every month, as you work towards achieving your quest, you’ll refer back to your quest log, noting all the challenges you’ve overcome, and reassess your satisfaction.
If your satisfaction wanes, then perhaps you need a short side quest to help bump it back up. As you strive to achieve your goal your stats will vary in strength, and paying heed to where they lie will aid you in ensuring you stay happy, healthy, and well.
After all, what’s the point of obtaining a hoard of gold, if you lose everyone and everything you love along the way?
RULE FIVE – IT’S DANGEROUS TO GO ALONE…
Help is always available to those who ask for it. Surround yourself with like-minded individuals. People who want you to win. Find a guild and make use of it, whether it’s an entrepreneurial group, a coaching community, a gym meetup or something else. People love to help – they get a delightful dose of brain chemicals when they help you out, and if you don’t ask? Not only are you depriving yourself of assistance, but you’re also depriving other people of happy chemicals, you monster. Whether you turn to Facebook and join a coaching group, follow a coach on Twitch, take to Linkedin, or pay to join an accountability or mastermind group, you can’t save the world alone.
RULE SIX – NO MATTER HOW EPIC THE QUEST IS, THE NEXT STEP IS ALWAYS THE NEXT STEP
Quests can become overwhelming and feel impossible at times. Even the biggest goals are achieved by simply taking the next step forward. That’s what you have to do. Don’t lose focus, stay on target, even if you mix your fantasy and Star Wars metaphors like I just did.
Those are my Six Simple Rules for Gamifying Life Itself.
Plan, track, do, reward. But also get help and take the next step.
You’re always gaining XP, especially when you fail, just don’t let your failures lead to a game over.