My last blog was all about looking back at what I had accomplished according to my gaming goals. This time I am going to talk a bit more about why I make gaming goals and dabble a bit into why goals are important in more aspects of my life besides simply the game table.
I have had gaming goals for years, ever since hearing about it from my good friend Brent Mair. He was a gaming person I looked up to for years with his continued knowledge and understanding of the gaming world. It was he whot introduced me to the whole 10 by 10 game goal. The 10 by 10 is this, you pick 11 games at the first of the year and plan to play at least 10 of those games on your list a minimum of 10 times each during the year.
The first time I tried this was in 2016, and I failed very hard. First of all, I never wrote the list down. We talked about them on the Meeple Nation podcast but I thought I would just be able to remember them and know what I had played and what I needed to play. I was using an older app to track my game plays that year, and when I upgraded to a new phone I lost the plays that had been recorded. I threw that year out. The next year, I was way over zealous and made some very insane goals. Again, I failed. I failed because I did not have a really good way to keep track of my goals and they were way out of control as to what I was able to do.
S.M.A.R.T. goal tracking has been around for a long time, but it was not until 2018 that I began to use this theory with my gaming goals. Once I did use it, everything was better. Goals were more focused and more realistic.
S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym that stands for: Specific Measurable Attainable Relevant Time-based
My goals had all been specific, and measurable, relevant to me and my hobby, and they were always time-based, however, I was not at all making realistic, attainable goals. I had goals of what I wanted to play, but I was not really considering who I play games with and their willingness to play the same games I enjoy or wanted to play. Now Logan jokes about me being a bully about pushing my gaming goal upon our gaming group. And that may ring more true to him, because in 2020 Space Base was on my list, and it was a game that he did not enjoy playing. Many in the group did like the game, but for Logan it had a far more negative impact on him, and having that game forced upon him has left lasting impressions. But also going back to that same year, most of the game
s that were on my list were games most of the people in the group wanted to play. So even though Space Base was a bad experience for Logan, he was content to play the other games that were on the list, even though he could never tell you what those other games had been. Each year when I make my gaming goals I focus on what is going to be attainable, and work for something that is more realistic.
First and foremost, make the number of gaming goals realistic. For me, this means keeping my list of goals to a maximum number of seven goals. Why seven? Because when I narrowed down my list of goals, I was able to narrow it down to seven goals that were my favorite, attainable goals.
500 plays during the year
Every year I set this play count, most years I crush this goal, but the one year I set it to 700 it took a lot of the joy out of the goal and was all focused on the number of plays.
For me 500 is a very SMART number.
150 plays with my wife
Every year I set this number with my wife, and every year I worry about reaching this number. She has a very busy work schedule and she does not enjoy the gaming hobby as much as I do. If I focus on finding and playing games that she enjoys and tolerates for the past three years this has been attainable for sure.
40 new to me games
This goal is to hopefully encourage me to play games off of the “Shelf of Shame”.
The shelf of shame has games that you own and have not played. Many people like to call it the shelf of opportunity to give it a positive twist. For me it is a shelf of shame. If that list is over 50 games, it is no longer an opportunity, it is a source of shame.
10 by 10
Ten games to be played ten times.
This is the challenge list. Picking these games at the first of the year and picking games that will be played that many times during the year is hard. Tastes change, new games come out. There are so many things that can disrupt this list.
30 by 10 Because new games come out and new treasures are discovered each and every year this list is almost always the first or second goal to complete.
It does include the 10 by 10 games, but the other 20 games can be whatever gets played naturally throughout the year.
10 by 1
These are ten games that I will play a minimum of once during the year.
This is a way to keep some of those games that I have enjoyed in the past as valid games in my board game collection.
A goal to challenge
This final goal is a fun challenge. Last year it was playing any version of Clank! The year prior was playing Catan, and in 2022 it is Carcassonne.
A fun goal to play some games that would maybe be left sitting on the shelf.
Setting goals not just at the table but in other aspects of life is a huge key to our success. Whether those goals are exercise goals, book reading goals, learning new skills, whatever that ambition is making that list attainable is key, but also having a way to track those goals and finding ways to keep yourself accountable to those goals and always reminding yourself about those goals are all ways to pave that path of success. Goals should be worthwhile, of value and important to you.
If you set goals in any part of your life, good luck and stay on target! If you have no goals, consider making some, but start simple. Either way, enjoy life!
Until next time, we’ll see you at the game table.