We’ve all been caught up in the rush of winning another level in a game. Getting rewards. Watching our points get higher. Beating that unknown opponent with the funny avatar. (I can’t be the only one)
You ever wonder why you can get lost for a whole lot longer than you want to admit in those online games? You can thank dopamine for that. Dopamine is a type of neurotransmitter-a chemical that sends messages between nerve cells. Dopamine plays a big role in how we think and plan things. It gets released when we do things that feel good-eating yummy food, playing games or engaging in other pleasurable activities. It’s that little jolt you get when you get a lot of likes on a social media post. We even get a little excited when we get a text or email alert—even if we think it’s just more work.
Dopamine rushes through your system, every time you get a bonus or win an online game. The excitement of the challenge. The feeling of accomplishment when you crush the next level. They all trigger that feel good chemical—which can be a bit addictive, so you keep playing.
What does that have to do with goals? Everything! Imagine if you added a little bit of play to your goals?
One common feedback I get from folks who attend my live classes is that they had “fun.” I make it a point to add a little play to my classes-live or online. I like to help people “whistle while they work.”
Using gamification to add elements of game playing like keeping score, a friendly competition or timed objectives create better engagement and excitement.
It’s a great way to make the hard (or boring stuff) fun and easier to do.
Create Wins in Real Life
We all like winning. What if you could get that rush outside of playing games or eating junk food? What if you could build game play into your goals and gamify them?
When I work with my clients, we dig deep into finding what motivates them to continue working on their goals. Some folks get enough of a rush to just keep checking off the items on their task list. Others need more motivation and incentive to keep them focused and engaged, especially when a goal is challenging.
Add Gamification to Your Goals
There is no cut and dried answer but I truly believe that making goals fun and personalizing rewards, bonuses and in some cases punishment, can help improve your goal outcomes and build healthy habits.
- Try setting up a system where you earn points for every day you spend at least 25 minutes working on your goal.
- Reward yourself and give a bonus (ice cream, massage, extra reading time) for each milestone you complete.
- If you respond better to punishment, donate $20 to a cause you don’t support when you procrastinate or miss a deadline.
- Add 25 cents or a piece of candy to a jar each time you do something challenging
- Post win on social media and ask your friends to cheer you along
There many ways to add gamification to your goals. The key is to choose something that is easy to implement and sustain, that will really motivate you. Decide what winning looks like so you have way to measure your success and track your streak.
Stuck on your goals? Drop me a line and let me know if you are struggling with something.
I need your feedback! I’m working on a program to help you develop and structure your goals for success. I’d love your input. Click here to answer a couple questions and let me know if you’re interested in joining the fun!