May 10, 2012 by Darlene McC
Science has supported the idea of some time: if you make an activity you have to complete into a game it becomes easier to complete that task. This even works with things we hate because the “gamification” motivates us – and it can be applied long-term. We’re finally seeing the adult world catch up with this idea with recovery games like SuperBetter and a host of smart phone apps designed to make changes easier through gaming. But what about the achievement of your entire life? What about something to push long term, self-driven achievement? …I thought about it for a long time…how can I help my Amazons harness this gaming potential in their mind…an idea has started to “evolve”…
… the Evolution Challenge. I’ve been a big fan of games and gaming for some time (read: most of my life) and interested in how we can apply the same psychology that addicts you to your x-box to our neuroplasticity and happiness. How can we, over time, apply the techniques that billionaires use for goal setting, but a bit less dry and “board-roomy”? This is what I’ve come up with:
Evolve Your Life – The Amazon Evolution Challenge
What is it that Amazons do as we get bigger, faster, stronger? We EVOLVE. Gradual development over time to reach our goals and craft an amazing life (this one). It’s a way to turn your bucket list into a motor for achievement and reward and start driving yourself (and the others in the tribe).
Are you ready to join the Evolution? Grab a pen and your deep held desires, cause that’s all you need:
Step 1: Start Making “THE LIST”
It started with 10 things… 5 big, 5 small. It quickly grew into 35… in my head there’s over 40 bouncing around.
Things on the list?
- Places you want to see before you die
- Physical achievements you want to make
- Challenges you want to conquer
- Cool things you wish you could do
- Languages you want to learn
- Skills (marketable or just cool) you want to master
Step 2: Assign Points
Assigned a points value between 1 & 100 to everything on the list; anything over 100 is broken into component parts of less than 100. Current psychological theory shows us that goal setting is more effective when it’s self driven, so the list and the relative point values for worth are up to you; the points directly correlative to how difficult the task will be for you to complete.
If something is so huge right now that you can’t even think of a point value for it either break it up, or set that one aside for when you’re ready to take it on.
Step 3: Leveling
What’s a game without levels!? I’ve made each level 100 points and named them all… all to theme, of course. This being a tribe of Urban Amazons, all the levels are named accordingly:
- New Recruit (0-100)
- Berry Picker (100 – 200)
- Basket Weaver (200 – 300)
- Spear Carrier (300 – 400)
- Quail Hunger (400 – 500)
- Deer Chaser (500 – 600)
- Bear Slayer (600 – 700)
- Apprentice Marksman (700 – 800)
- Wild Woman Warrior (800 – 900)
- Tribal Leader (900 – 1,000)
- Chieftess (1,000 – 1,100)
- Temple Guard (1,100 – 1,200)
- Acolite (1,200 – 1,300)
- Priestess (1,300 – 1,400)
- High Priestess (1,400 – 1,500)
- Geek Goddess (1,500 +)
Step 4: Tracking
A consistent visual reminder is going to keep you going. Make a points graph (just like those cheesy telethon ones) for your current level, post your points and your levels where you’ll see them regularly.
Step 5: GO DO SHIT!
Start working on your levels! Post your goals in the comments and share your achievements. Tell your friends what an awesome game nerd you are and get others excited. Recruit your mom to do it too! The more people in your life who know you’re trying to kick ass the further you’ll go and the faster you’ll get there.