• Stephanie Paris

Game of Stones: Activating Joyful Motivation, Part I

It has been suggested that if a beneficial outcome of a particular decision is not immediate, that a person will (possibly unconsciously) view the wait time as a cost which may not carry as much weight as the immediate gratification of the contrary decision. The way many of us can relate to this is with our diets, especially if we are trying to make lifestyle changes that support long term health. And if we are attempting to make changes that produce tangible results that take time to accomplish, like weight loss, then the future (potential) reward may not seem as valuable as the way the ice cream in the freezer will taste in this moment. So how do we increase the immediate payoff of the decisions whose long term rewards are so far away? We make a game of it!

Whenever possible, I think it’s a great idea to make a game out of life. In our modern society, we have so many tasks on our to-do lists that even the thought of them can feel exhausting. I have a hypothesis (which I’ll expand upon another time) that we may have many preferences from childhood that we choose to keep hidden. As adults, those preferences may now be considered “childish,” and therefore are ignored or pushed aside. But honoring the things that bring us joy is an important component of wellness. And playing games is just one example of this. So in lieu of more grown up ways to hold ourselves accountable, I think it would be a lot of fun to make a game out of keeping track of health and wellness goals. The fun of the game serves as a payoff to help offset the cost of waiting for long term results. Then, when those results do come, you can look back upon a journey that was full of joy and playfulness.

The image at the beginning of this post is a little teaser about the game that I am designing to help myself stay motivated as I embark on a new set of wellness goals. Check back soon for an updated post that contains more details of how the game is played!