Project Dreamcatcher: Define Your Steps

Dreamcatcher

So. I’m typing this from the library because my computer has died. I’m taking my poor old beloved iMac to the Genius Bar tomorrow to try to get it fixed. Not having a computer? Not ideal. The computer station I was using got stolen by this rude guy. (Yes, entitled rude man with your headphones in so I don’t confront you: I’m talking about you.) Now I’m in the undesirable computer room with a bunch of teenaged math students who are loudly explaining cosigns. ISN’T THE LIBRARY SUPPOSED TO BE FREAKING QUIET? So basically: First World Problems.

(BTW, the library limits the amount of time you can use on a computer to 60 minutes a day. So this may be rushed and have typos. Apologies!)

The Ted Talk by Jason Fox I chose for this week was about using the video gaming model to achieve a goal. I thought that comparison was very interesting because who hasn’t gotten totally addicted to a video game? Candy Crush or Farmville, anyone? My personal kryptonite was the old school Super Mario Brothers game. Why is the video game model so addictive? Well, it fully engages your brain. You gain new skills at each level, learning to get past the dragon or jump over the brick wall. You achieve: moving on to the next level once you acquire the jumps and bounds needed. And you become fixated on making it to the next level and the next level and beyond.

I would love for us all to become just as fixated on making our goals come true as we are in making it to level 36 of Candy Crush.

How do we apply that model to our dream goals? Well, I think pretty much all of the goals include gaining new skills: whether it’s how to best plant vegetables for optimal growing and harvesting, plotting a plant grid to inspire a backyard for a family to enjoy or plan the best way to achieve your writing goals or learning how to take care of yourself (through clothes, food, self-esteem). The thing about gaining new skills: it can be difficult, but once you master a task (getting to the best mile time, learning to use a light meter) it CAN be addictive and confidence-building.

The other thing that you do in games? As Fox says: “Failure. Failure is really important in games…and it’s good because you learn.” I suck at failure, YET I tend to perserve in a game environment. Dang if I CARE if I fail a level in Angry Birds. I want to keep going!

It’s the CHALLENGE. So visualize your goal as the last level!

Here’s the best tip I learned from the Ted Talk: Make a list of HAVE DONES as you progress toward your goal. Each week, list your HAVE DONES. For Example:

1. Rewrote, polished and sent existing chapters to my editors for grammar check.
2. Sent interviews to be transcribed.
3. Determined length of book and chapters and word count to be done.
4. Set up timeline of profiles to write and editing schedule.

That’s significant progress. It’s easy to focus on what is left to be done, but to think about what HAS been done can make you feel as if you are really on the right path.

So, in closing: keep going, keep trying, keep getting to the next level, keep failing and keep listing your HAVE DONES.

In addition, this week I am putting together a master timeline if you will of EVERYTHING that needs to be done to get the book on Amazon. I will miss goals, I will fail. But I will keep trying to get to that FINAL LEVEL. I will save the princess. And so will you!

One more thing: I will be featuring more tips, motivational quotes and fun stuff on my Facebook page. Become a fan! NOT just for participants, but for everyone. And don’t forget: it’s never too late to join in.

I will be updating this list as more posts come in.

Do you think listing “have dones” is a good idea to help keep us motivated? Have you ever been addicted to a video game? Do you think the gaming model is a good way to look at achieving a goal?

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12 Comments

Filed under Project Dreamcatcher, writing

12 responses to “Project Dreamcatcher: Define Your Steps

  1. dogsarentkids

    Great idea, totally doing this! I tend to write things on my to-do list I have already done, just so I can cross them off lol.

  2. First, I visited the Genius Bar this weekend – and now my beloved computer is in the hospital. I’m working on my work computer and I hate it. You have my deepest sympathies!

    Second, I wasn’t planning on participatig because I thought “How on earth can I add something else to my plate right now?” Then I realized I have two huge goals for the rest of this year – buying a house and passing my boards. I think I need the most help with the whole passing my boards (recertifying), so that’s my dream. And now this computer is acting up, so I’m leaving it at that!

  3. I am a big fan of writing things I’ve already finished on my to do list and them crossing them off, so yes, I do think listing “Have Done”s is a powerful practice.

    The idea of writing out all the steps for my backyard project is daunting but I know I have to do it. I just need to take that first step!

  4. Here’s hoping you accomplish all your goals! Sadly, I used to be addicted to MineSweeper. It was an odd game to be addicted to, but it was so simple to pull up and use. I’m over it now, but some days I can still remember how good it felt to play and avoid work for a bit, lol!

  5. I can’t wait to read your book and I love your dreamcatcher project. I have no doubt that you will achieve your goal!

  6. This made me smile and I share your feelings:

    “I would love for us all to become just as fixated on making our goals come true as we are in making it to level 36 of Candy Crush.”

    and I also really appreciate this:

    “The thing about gaining new skills: it can be difficult, but once you master a task (getting to the best mile time, learning to use a light meter) it CAN be addictive and confidence-building.”

    So true!

    The one thing I am really good at when it comes to goal setting and self-discipline is getting in shape and shedding weight. My husband often teases me lovingly that if I would give half of that attention/energy/determination to cleaning our home, among other things, he would be very happy!

    I know I can do that, but for some reason am able to motivate myself more when it comes to caring about my health and how I look and my children’s healthy eating and don’t work nearly as hard to make our home look and feel as clean, neat and tidy as it could and probably should be.

    As for your questions, yes, I think listing “have dones” is a great idea to help keep people/ourselves motivated!

    The most addicted I ever recall being to a video game is Tetris!

    And I do think the gaming model is an interesting way to look at a achieving a goal.

    Though I haven’t identified a specific goal or goal(s) for your series, I am still staying the course with my own Shedding Series on my blog, which I am proud of. I struggle the most with the house keeping portion of my goals, but still intend to make progress there, which is part of why I am still checking in weekly, even though most of my fellow shedders have dropped off. Accountability to myself is still a big deal to me, even if others are along for the ride.

    Congrats on this next week in your project (it sounds like you are making a lot of great process with your book!) and sorry to hear about your computer! Hope Genius Bar was able to help! 🙂

  7. Yes!! ‘Have Dones’ are so encouraging, like a detailed progress bar. Thanks for pointing that out–I need to get on a ‘have done’ list to encourage myself!

  8. SRB

    Have Dones are going to be key for me. I need a daily DO THIS list, so checking it off will feel good.

    Also, I don’t have FB so I can’t see the list of participants… can you link them up at the end of your next posts in the series? I want to make sure I visit everybody!

  9. Pingback: project: dreamcatcher – week two (define your steps) | little chicken nuggets

  10. I love the idea of have dones.. I think so often I focus on what I perceive as failures rather than successes– even in reflecting on my academic career I cringe at the remembered dropped ball rather than the good student reviews or whatever.

    Motivation is interesting to me… I’ve never gotten hooked on a video game really but I have gotten motivated by measurable success/ goals met– especially when I had time and energy to devote to my physical self. I loved challenging myself bc Athleticism was something that came to me relatively late in my life (my 20s) and I still felt so proud of my accomplishments.. Either the very real summiting of a mountain or trail running up switchbacks. I miss that very much. But I think that same model of learning a new skill, applying it and seeing the reward applies.

    Xoxo. Go J go! In awe of your progress

  11. I love the idea of have dones.. I think so often I focus on what I perceive as failures rather than successes– even in reflecting on my academic career I cringe at the remembered dropped ball rather than the good student reviews or whatever.

    Motivation is interesting to me… I’ve never gotten hooked on a video game really but I have gotten motivated by measurable success/ goals met– especially when I had time and energy to devote to my physical self. I loved challenging myself bc Athleticism was something that came to me relatively late in my life (my 20s) and I still felt so proud of my accomplishments.. Either the very real summiting of a mountain or trail running up switchbacks. I miss that very much. But I think that same model of learning a new skill, applying it and seeing the reward applies.

    Xoxo. Go J go! In awe of your progress

  12. Pingback: Project Dreamcatcher: Outlining My Steps to Success | Stumbling Gracefully

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