A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. So just take it step by step.
WAKA (OKAMI), 2006
As we transition from the holiday season back to normal, many of us choose resolutions to work towards completion for the new year. Some people wish to lose weight or change their habits to help improve their overall health and lifestyle. Others wish to travel more, or learn more about the world around them, and to pursue growth.
Many times, resolutions are created with great fervor, only to die quietly weeks into the new year. Old habits seem to creep back in, and these goals quickly fade away.
In the past few years, I had a list of goals I wanted to pursue before the beginning of the next new year – and in 2018 there was a lot. There were so many books I planned on reading through completion and catalog; skills that I wanted to cultivate that had been on the back burner, like learning a new language or writing consistently. I wanted to travel and see more of the world than what was in my own bubble.
I met a lot of those goals in 2018 – I’m especially proud of my reading accomplishment by the end of that year, as well as playing and completing ten video games and cataloging them.
Last year, as I’ve discussed before, I didn’t complete nearly as many games as I would have liked. I still made my reading goal, however, and actually accomplished more out of other priorities in my life that did make a positive impact on me, so I’m not too disappointed by that failure.
I want to share three advantages of having a resolution at all and the benefits that can come from working towards their completion. Without further ado, here they are…
1.) Having a resolution helps promote self-growth and self-reflection
There’s no denying it – as human beings, we are always growing. It’s amazing even as adults if we begin one decade living our lives one way, only to look back at the end and see just how different we’ve become. Resolutions can help aid in that personal journey to help us better envision the person that we want to become.
If someone wanted to make more friends, one resolution would be to attend more social functions where the likelihood of meeting people you could befriend would increase.
If someone wanted to lose weight, they would need to avoid foods that make them gain that weight easily, eat smaller (healthier) meals, and exercise regularly.
Each goal has a means to an end – we can do our best to see what the end looks like for us.
For gamers, a resolution for self-growth could be to be more selective in the games you choose to play when to play them and for how long. Playing video games is a fun recreation, but the fact is that if we’re not careful and self-aware enough, it could start to eat away at our time, and eventually our lives. Video games are fun, especially when you’re playing with others or involved in an engaging story. But they aren’t everything.
Also think about what kind of games you play on a regular basis – do you like to play video games with witty banter and an optimistic outlook on things? Or something more broody that you leaves you depressed and empty each time you finish a session?
The Bible teaches time and time again that what goes into our minds and eyes will impact our thought process, and that in turn affects how we interact with the world around us. Keep that in mind as you choose which games to play in the new year.
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
PROVERBS 4:23 (NIV)
2.) The opportunity to try new things
As kids, a lot of us had favorite foods that we would crave and eat at any time. Trying any new food, especially something that didn’t match our palate, was enough to disgust us and turn us off from trying it in the first place.
Some of us as we got older, however, finally gave in and gave them a try. And surprisingly, we really enjoyed them! And we wanted more!
It’s the same thing with activities – we have set routines that we’re comfortable living out: Wake up at 7 AM sharp, feed the cat its breakfast, eat my breakfast, wash up, head to work… Rinse and repeat.
Resolutions bring challenges and change, which brings growth. With growth comes wisdom in our lives, which allows us to find contentment in our own journey in life, and find joys all around us rather than chasing after them all the time.
If you’ve been playing the same three games over the past five years, consider trying one that is different from the kind of genre you’re used to. If you’re used to playing first-person shooters like the Call of Duty series, consider investing in a series that is more story-heavy with sprinklings of strategy, like the Mass Effect series. You could even go further and find a game that really picks at your brain like episodic point-and-click graphic adventures like the Monkey Island series or any of the Telltale series.
Who knows? You may find you may like a different genre more than you thought!
3.) It gives you a sense of accomplishment
Even if you end up like me and end up missing the mark on a few goals, the fact that you even try will make all the difference! You’re aware of how you want to improve yourself in your own life to get more satisfaction, and know the ways to help you achieve that goal.
The key comes in persistence, and not just motivation as we so often think.
There are many times where I just don’t feel like writing. I don’t feel like practicing music. I don’t feel like reading.
There were many times last year where I just didn’t feel like gaming!
That surprised me – I love to play video games! Why wasn’t I motivated to play as many as I had hoped? Somewhere in all my plans and goals, the expectation to complete my wish list became more important than just relaxing and enjoying the experience. It became another chore.
If you have a resolution that you feel is important to complete, hold that accountable, but don’t force it to become something bigger that you end up burning yourself for. A resolution should be an enjoyable experience, not one to bring you misery.
As for me and my gaming goals, I’m going easier on myself this year. I don’t have a set number of games that I want to finish by the end of this year. I do have a lot of games that I’ve either started but haven’t finished, or own but haven’t even opened yet. My goal is to go through those games, open up some old favorites when I feel like it, and see where the road takes me.
Resolutions shouldn’t rule over your life but should help make a positive impact. God gave us the wisdom to make our choices, and with His guidance, we may even find that our journey in life may turn out to be a bigger adventure than we were even aware of.
What are your 2020 gaming resolutions? Or do you have a resolution for something else that you’re excited to share with others? Let me know in the comments; I would love to know!