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The Gamification of Building Success

Game plans, goals, aims, targets, missions - they are all these buzzwords that can feel elusive yet necessary to success. I am learning after a hundred sessions or so of life coaching clients that it takes time to piece together what we mean when we say Game Plan and crucially, that there’s more initial work to be done behind understanding why we want a Game Plan than we first realise.

When people think of a Game Plan, they tend to think of a mapped out process used to get to a desired outcome. What coaching does is layer that definition with the necessary nuance of who the person is that wants to follow the plan.

When it comes to playing a video game, we often have a backstory, context, direction and in-game skills or props to understand and play the game. If it’s a board game, we often ask, how do we win? What happens on our turn? And so as the game develops, we learn about what we need to do, how to do it and our connections to other players in our game world.

Nicola running a Game Plan Course online
Photo by Sonny Malhotra

I mention this as it’s relevant to our real world scenarios. Applying our gaming knowledge of how we function, what we appreciate and what contributes to our progress should inform our day-to-day decisions and actions.

Let me give you an example. Lara Croft. I would say, has values of family, independence and adventure, for this reason her decisions are led by these priorities. Being clear on what she prioritises enables us to get a clear picture of who she is as a person and as a result we understand the missions she embarks on and the decisions she makes.

When did you last stop to think about what you stand for? If you know what your top 5 values are, you are already on your way to creating that Game Plan. If you don’t know what you stand for, it can be that much harder to create a process that will ensure you reach your desired outcome; instead we become led by other people’s focuses and our personal Game Plan takes a backseat.

Lara Croft at the bottom of a bad ass rock formation and waterfall
Photo by John Ch on Unsplash

Reflection and self development are becoming increasingly less taboo but that doesn’t mean that they’re not difficult processes. That’s why I’ve taken them and turned them into a group coaching course laced with play. By introducing concepts in a playful way, it helps us to understand them better, makes them more memorable and injects joy into something that could otherwise be inaccessible. The character you start a game with is the most important piece in our Game Plan and for this reason, in my course, I start with your character and your values.

I like to think of the start of the course as a D&D character sheet where we take the time to understand our values, what drives us, our known obstacles and our power ups. Once we've got a clear idea of our character sheet, supporting ourselves to take the next steps in our Game Plan can be that much easier. This is because it starts to become a plan built around you, tailored to your preferences and with an awareness of your struggles and abilities. Over the five weeks, we take the time to understand ourselves and how this information is useful to us. Not least because a heightened self awareness is connected to a greater self-esteem.

So I want to start this with you now. Have you got an idea of what your values are? Take two minutes to jot down the first things you can think of that you value in yourself or other people.

Next, think of something you’re working on and ask yourself, if this were a game, what kind of player are you being? If anything negative comes up, is there a way you can align this to your values to make you the kind of game player you want to be?

To use myself as an example, I found myself really dragging my feet with social media. I would say I wasn’t being the most enthusiastic player there is when it came to that! However, I know from my values that I can be extremely playful therefore, I turned my social media posts into a game using a die.

How can you use your values to get yourself one step further along your Game Plan?

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