I've been thinking about the question I posed for myself on Monday: since I know I like working on projects, and I know games can really compel me to keep playing them to the end, why not organize more of the things I want to do in projects, and if possible as games?
The more I think about that idea the more I like it -- and even better, I've started doing something about it.
I've been wanting to write more and publish more pieces to this blog, and as encouragement I've set myself a challenge. I want to make posts here 40 weekdays in a row. Eight weeks of consistent weekday blogging, which takes me to the end of the year.
I've set similar challenges before, but I've never had great success in completing them. The initial enthusiasm of trying something new carries me through a few days, but inevitably there's a day when it's harder than usual, or I just don't feel like it, and before I know it I've lost track of my goal and I give up. I've always hated that. It makes me feel like I can't accomplish anything and it makes me really reluctant to set any goals, because I assume from the start that I'm going to fail.
I hesitated for a long while about setting a writing goal, but in keeping with my new resolve to try more initiative, I decided to go for it. Forty weekdays feels like the right challenge. But this time, I'm trying to give myself every support and encouragement to succeed.
I'm making my 40-day writing challenge into a game. I've made up a gameboard, which completely owes its design inspiration to Kumo Lumo, the game I was obsessed with a couple of weeks ago (a very cute and fun little game, which I highly recommend to anyone with an iOS device). There are 40 levels. All I need to do to win this game is make 40 posts to my blog. Every time I make a post, I get to color in a space. I get to give myself a jump start in levels, because today is day five of my challenge.
I'm trying to think now of ways to reward myself at levels 10, 20, 30, and 40, to encourage me to keep playing the game. I've never been good at giving myself rewards for making progress either, and I think that might be a good way to help me reach goals.
Game underway. I really want to win this one.