Game The System: Evolve Your Inner Amazon


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
Write down everything that pops into your head.  It’s okay to revise the list late on, right now we’re just getting started.

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:

  1. New Recruit (0-100)
  2. Berry Picker (100 – 200)
  3. Basket Weaver (200 – 300)
  4. Spear Carrier (300 – 400)
  5. Quail Hunger (400 – 500)
  6. Deer Chaser (500 – 600)
  7. Bear Slayer (600 – 700)
  8. Apprentice Marksman (700 – 800)
  9. Wild Woman Warrior (800 – 900)
  10. Tribal Leader (900 – 1,000)
  11. Chieftess (1,000 – 1,100)
  12. Temple Guard (1,100 – 1,200)
  13. Acolite (1,200 – 1,300)
  14. Priestess (1,300 – 1,400)
  15. High Priestess (1,400 – 1,500)
  16. Geek Goddess (1,500 +)
So at 1,500 points your a goddess – and then you start looking at a new list.  Check out my list and progress .  Your levels and your list are yours and you can name them or make the point tiers however you want!

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.

Rock On Amazon!

10 thoughts on “Game The System: Evolve Your Inner Amazon

  1. […] to achieve.  A way for us to bind together, support one another, and reach for the life we want:  The Amazon Evolution Challenge.  I’m starting to hear feedback, and it’s amping me up!  Some things I’ve been […]

  2. […] that in mind I designed and shared The Urban Amazon Evolution Challenge, to encourage you all out there to start evolving your own lives and get others in your life […]

  3. […] I’m strong and can do this.  Tomorrow, by 10:30am EST I’ll have completed one of my goal/quests and leveled.  Barring major incident, it’s on. Sharing is […]

  4. […] With this weekend’s completion of some major milestones I’m freakin’ thrilled to be able to say I leveled in the Amazon Evolution Challenge: […]

  5. […] 48 hours I want you to go out on an adventure!  GO OUTSIDE!  Remember if you’re doing the Amazon Challenge to give your little adventure a point value and then go do that sucker.  It doesn’t have to […]

  6. […] your first 5k and for running your next 5k faster. Don’t forget to add your new goals to your Amazon Challenge and assign it points before you start.  Time to get out your rocket […]

  7. […] so they can enjoy many long years on this earth.  They wrote me to share their own version of the Amazon Evolution Challenge back in early August; and since I didn’t get to it with all the wedding insanity we can also […]

  8. […] working on a new system that will tie in with the Urban Amazon Challenge to help you push yourself and find balance in 2013; but at the core of it will be your Overarching […]

  9. […] those who have active Amazon Challenges, or those who are going to start one in 2013, the goal setting work of January can tie directly […]

  10. […] would be kind of cool to use what little I knew about game theory and motivation to make a little game system for personal achievement.  It seemed like a good idea at the time.  It still seems like a good idea… but we can do […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


I can't thank you all enough for the love and support you've shown me. I am overwhelmed. From the bottom of my heart. 💗
What dreams are you holding yourself back from? 💓 . I first heard about positive psychology 2 years ago and I was immediately hooked. Had you had told me then that this journey would lead me not only to attend a prestigious University, but the opportunity to deliver the speech I get to today, and to meet all of the incredible people that I have, I don't know that I would have applied. I would have been too intimidated. All I knew was I want to learn. And boy have I! . Thank you everyone for the incredible support. I can't imagine being on this journey without all the people who love me. I'll do my best to do you proud. . Tune in at 1:00 p.m. today to hear my Ben talk and learn about how sustained self improvement efforts evolve the self over time so that you have more to contribute to the world! And don't hold yourself back from your scary dreams. The world needs you!
What needs are you missing? 🤔 . . Recently I had the flu and was the sickest I've been as an adult. One day was bad enough I could no longer care for myself and a friend came to care for me. Now that I'm on the other side I can revisit the #selfcare ideas I was working on from a fresh perspective. 🤢 . . It's easy to know what a plant or a pet needs - food, water, play, sunlight - but do you approach your self care in the same way? Have you given thought to what your needs are? Many coaches will tell you that you have to care for yourself to be able to care for others - but then leave you confused about what meaningful self care looks like. This slide is from my workshop on self care. What are YOUR care needs? Are they being met? 🤔 #selfcare #wellness #wellbeing #coaching #holistichealth #fitness #needs #yourneeds #purpose #positivepsychology #mapp
FUN is a human need! 🤪 Fortunately, my humans get that. . . . I was lucky to have a really fun mom (shout out @heading4healthy ) and even though we didn't have much in resources we knew how to have FUN! It may not be on Maslow's Hierarchy, but being able to play builds relationships and relieves stress. Do you agree it's a human need? How do you make space for fun in your life?
Stoked to have been this first of this year's (decades?) guest curators for Strands of Genius - the excellent newsletter by @rosieyakob and @farisy - it was a fun, insightful, & inspiring process. 10/10 would collaborate with them again - DM me your email and I'll forward you a copy. 🤯
Beyond excited to announce I've been selected as a finalist for this years @pennsas TED-talk style presentations. I'll be sharing my work from the last 8 months, distilled down into 8 minutes! This is a chance for you to learn about #positivepsychology and a few of the ways it can benefit you in building a healthy, fulfilling, connected life. I'll be posting the livestreaming link. Don't miss it next Friday! ・・・ Be sure to catch Master of Applied Positive Psychology graduate student Darlene Marshall’s TED-style presentation at this year’s #GradBenTalk! ... #Repost @pennsas (@get_repost)
%d bloggers like this: