I think it is great to take some time at the beginning of the year to reflect on the previous year and to plan on what is important in the next year. Professionally, I have to do this with great rigor to ensure that I have budget and business backing for what my team needs to accomplish and to stay current. However, I find it a bit odd that we, as gamers, set goals for playing games.
Round 1: Gamer Goals
The simple goal of playing games when it is the fun thing to do seems sufficient, yet we come up with so many others, and some quite complex. The truth is we like to make rules, particularly ones that are hard to follow. It isn’t enough to set a goal of playing 10 games at least 10 times within the year, you have to state in advance what the games will be, a certain number of them have to be “big” games, any plays you have before you commit, don’t count, etc. If you have read any of my articles on tracking game plays, you know that I am as big a rules nut as anyone.
Round 2: Hobby Goals
While hobby gamers may be a particularly nerdy group of folks and setting goals related to our hobby may seem particular of nerds, you know the gamer who tracks all their plays on BGG (like me), setting goals for ones hobbies appears to be common. As with most gamers, I have other pursuits and hobbies, nerdy and not. In the forums and podcasts for those hobbies I hear the same kinds of goals: (in particular, the discussions related to craft beer and home brewing have very close parallels)
- Get Organized: Hobbies come with stuff and stuff becomes clutter.
- Pare Down: Expenses, ignored equipment, etc.
Do More: Which really has two main, but conflicting, flavors:
- Do more with the old favorites = get good at them, hone skills.
- Explore a greater variety = get more knowledgeable.
Share More: Get together with the old gang or meet a new one.
- Most people want to share the enjoyment they get from their hobbies.
Round 3: My Goals
I have my own ideas about how I might meet objectives in these categories in 2017, but am not committing to anything in particular. Clear goals provide a better chance of success (toward the goal). But what does failure look like? I might set a goal that becomes contrary to what I want to do later in the year. So, I will get more organized, pare down, and do and share more in 2017 in a way that increases the enjoyment of the hobby for my friends, my family and myself.
What do you think about annual gaming goals? Do you set some for yourself? Do you usually meet them? Do you modify your behavior to meet a goal when it is contrary to what you really want to do (e.g., play a game on your “shelf of shame” instead of a game you really want to play)?