For the gamer in Me, I developed a system that really worked to keep me motivated

My husband and I are huge gamers. Needless to say, we've lost a lot of motivation to do much of anything over the years--our willpower became non-existent and we started gliding through life.
Dissatisfied with the way it was going, I finally decided I wanted to change things, but didn't know how. After talking with a close friend about my gaming habits, he made the statement: "Well, if you like video games so much, find something you love about video games and apply it to real life to help you get motivated." An impossible feat, I thought.
But one day, when I was playing World of Warcraft, an idea hit me. I was working really hard at this achievement in the game to collect 150 pets. It took me almost 8 months to collect that many from farming them, doing daily quests for them, etc. I was so proud of myself for working so hard. If it could work in a video game, why couldn't it work in real life?
So I started a system. Every goal, every ambition, every feat I ever wanted to accomplish, I wrote down on a little slip of paper under some sassy title (for added flair, of course) and put points on the slip. I have created my Real-Life Achievement Points.
Every time I complete an achievement I have listed, I put it in a scrapbook. It helps to give me that "Wow, I really did it!" feeling of accomplishment.
Now, my husband saw me doing this and decided it was something he really wanted to do, too, so we made one for him. To keep us both motivated to do this, we added in a reward system. For every X amount of achievement points earned, we get a reward. We even have competitions sometimes: whoever makes it 1,000 achievement points first, for example, makes the other one clean the litter box for an entire month. If you don't have any friends or family willing to do this with you, instead of competitions like that, you could make milestones: when I complete 1,000 points of achievements, I will treat myself to a fancy dinner, for example.
To give you an idea of some of my Real-Life Achievements, here are my categories and some of the things important to me that I haven't completed yet:
  • To The Top! (Climb a mountain) - 50 points
  • The Rocky (Run up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art) - 20 points
  • Push it (Do 50 push-ups in a row; do 100 push-ups in a row) - 20 points each time
  • Choke it Down (Eat three servings of vegetables in one day) - 10 points
  • Trimming the Turkey (Lose 50 pounds; Lose 75 pounds; Lose 100 pounds; Lose 125 pounds; Lose 150 pounds) - 10 points each time
  • Get Down With Your Healthy Self! (Reach my goal weight of 160 pounds) - 1,000 points
  • Polyglot (Learn a new language) - 50 points each language
  • Avid Reader (Read every book on this list) - 1,000 points/10 points each book
  • A Rosary a Day Keeps the Devil Away (say a rosary every day for a month) - 50 points
  • Holy Moly! (go to church every day for a week) - 10 points
  • I'm Sorry (apologize to someone I bullied in high school) - 10 points
  • Anniversary! (5 years of marriage; 10 years of marriage; 15 years of marriage; etc.) - 50 points each time
  • Making Money! (get a job) - 50 points
  • So Many Words... (write a novel) - 100 points
  • And Baby Makes Three... (have a baby) - 100 points
  • Karma Whore (adopt a dog) - 100 points
  • Life in the Stone Age (go a day without using electronics) - 50 points
  • Gamer, No Gaming! (go 1 week without gaming) - 20 points
Those are just some examples of my uncompleted achievements. I have to say, it's been really fun achievement hunting in real life and not on WoW! I've done things I never thought I would be able to do, like ride a bike for an hour straight, lose 20 pounds, build a computer, teach Catechism. My husband seems to really enjoy it, too, and it's a lot of fun having someone to compete against, as well as having a fun little reward system.
I hope this helps some of you get motivated and keep motivated like it has for me!


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