Thursday, January 1, 2015

Psyche of a Gamer: Hobby Resolutions

It's the New Year, and there's one thing that this time of year always brings about:  Resolutions.  They're a natural extension of the change of the calendar, and many people use them in their Hobby as well.  Here's a quick look at how, why, and how not to make them.

Resolutions.  They are a way to hold yourself accountable.  And, let's face it, most of us have more boxes of metal, plastic, and resin unpainted than we have finished.  Those pictures of garages packed with cellophane boxes aren't photoshopped.  

So, you want to set a Hobby Resolution this year, do you?  Well, first, let's take a quick look at how to set a solid Resolution you can keep- by making it SMARTER.

SMART is an acronym commonly used in business.  

Specific- "I will do a thing."
Measurable-  "I will do a thing by doing this other thing."
Attainable- Making sure that other thing is something you can do.
Realistic-  Make sure you can maintain that other thing.

Timely- Setting your timeframe.
Evaluate- Keep track of yourself.
Rewarded- Give yourself a carrot for managing your goals.

So, in this case, the T is likely going to be "for the whole year."  Which is fine, but make sure your Measurable is something you can manage for the whole year.  For example, "I won't by anything new so I can focus on my existing models."  Is kinda unlikely- after all, some bright and shiny new toy will catch your eye, and lead to resentment in the ones you already have.  Further, where is the reward in that?  No, this is why Resolutions break.  

By way of example, here's mine for the year:

I Resolve to get more of my stuff painted up.

Specific:  Painting my crap.

Measurable:  I know I can paint, and can paint a lot.  Last year I managed just about twelve points of models a week on average, so this year I'm going to try to push it to 15.  (Our points system is based on model base size:  25mm/30mm is 1, 40mm or cavalry is 2, 50mm is 4, and vehicles are 10.  Terrain is based on similar numbers, but with a lot more leeway to trying to figure them out.) 
Attainable:  Based on the fact that it's a 25% increase form last year.... it's a stretch. So now, I rethink my numbers, and decide that a 15% increase to 14 points per week is more attainable.  So, 14 it is.  

Realistic:  Directly tied to above, you see I reconsidered to add realism to my dreams of nothing but painted models in my life....because it would have taken having nothing but painting models i nmy life.
Timely: Yup, for a year.  Yup.
Evaluate:  I'll be able to keep track of what I paint each week, to try to keep pace with my goal of 728 points worth of models in 2015.

Reward: So... any week where I'm at or exceeding my goal, I can buy more soldierdolls.  Any week where I'm behind, I can't.  As far as that extends to Kickstarters, I can only pledge into new ones if I'm currently ahead of my goals.  There's a carrot for ya!

And that's how it's done.  Now, your resolutions can be to paint more, to sculpt more, to play more games, to finish releasing the models from your Kickstarter, any number of things.  This is also where your local Hobby Community comes in as well- the more people know about it, the easier it is for them to help keep you on track.

So, let's start a bit of our own support then, sound good?  Drop your Hobby Resolution for 2015 down below, and we'll see how we all do in a dozen months!


1 comment:

  1. I don't generally make resolutions (or, more to the point, I don't wait for New Year's to resolve to do something), and I know my other hobbies will be busier this year than they were last year. Still, I think a good hobby painting resolution is this: I want to end 2015 with fewer points in the unpainted column of the project board than I started it with. That means buying less than I paint- no small feat, since there are points that need to get added to that total that are already bought and haven't arrived to be counted yet (Kickstarters).