02 Mar

Jason Brien. 

     All successful people know that the key to becoming successful is effective goal setting. These people have learnt that if they wish to accomplish their goals, they must make sure that they set SMART goals.

- Specific and clear

M - Measurable and meaningful

A - Achievable and attainable

R - realistic and rewarding

T - Time-based.

     So how did the creators of Homescapes incorporate the SMART model of goal setting into their game and how can you learn from it?

     The overall goal of the game is to renovate a dilapidated mansion one room at a time. Items in each room can only be upgraded and renovated after a series of levels have been completed. At the start of each level, the player is given a specific challenge to overcome. They must match a certain number of same colour tiles and blow up a certain amount of cardboard boxes for example within a set number of moves. So each of the levels of this game has SMART goals that the player must overcome in order to be rewarded (i.e., continue renovating the house). 

S - Specific (The player must successfully complete the level in order to move on to the next level).

M - Measurable (X amount of tiles matched or cardboard boxes blown up).

A - Achievable (The creators of the game knew that making the levels too difficult would turn players away so the game is easily achievable with a bit of patience).

R - Realistic and rewarding (In this particular case rewarding more so than realistic as the player receives a star after successfully completing each level which can be used to upgrade and renovate furniture etc).

T - Time based (the player must complete the challenges within a set number of moves).

     In order to represent SMART goals in the real world, lets explore the acronym with a more realistic scenario. Lets choose social anxiety as an example and see how the SMART model can be applied.

S- Specific - Rather than simply saying I want to be more socially confident, make the goal really specific. For example; "By Friday of next week I want to talk to two strangers on the bus". Or maybe something like "By the 21st day of June I want to go to two parties that I have been invited to". 

M - Measurable - To make either of the two goals above measurable you might say something like "By Friday of next week I want to talk to two strangers on the bus for 15 minutes eachor "By the 21st of June I want to go to two parties I have been invited to and stay for 3 hours". 

A - Achievable - Don't make your goals too difficult to achieve. For example don't set your goal to talk to two strangers on the bus by next Friday if you only catch the bus on Mondays. Likewise, you are unlikely to achieve your goal of going to two parties if you have set your goal up during a busy period in your life and you know the chances are low that you will be able to go even if you wanted to. 

R - Realistic and rewarding - Again, make sure your goals are realistic and in line with what you are physically capable of doing. If for example you suffer from extreme Agoraphobia (fear of leaving the house), then neither of the two goals above is going to be realistic. A more realistic option if you suffered from something like agoraphobia may be standing outside your front door for one minute every Sunday morning. At the end of the day, you are more likely to achieve your goal if it provides at least some kind of reward (meeting new friends on a bus or at party) than it being 100% fearful and not rewarding at all (having a severe panic attack and being rushed to emergency). 

T - Time-bound - The point of this part is that all goals must have a time limit in which they must be accomplished. In general, people perform better under pressure. However, if there is no specific time frame in which to get something done, then procrastination tends to set in. Procrastination is the most destructive enemy of success.

     Happy goal setting and I hope now that you have learnt how to set SMART goals you can achieve all that your heart desires. 

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