Results. Everyone wants ‘em. Even better, tangible results. The yearning for better, positive, happy results is what keeps people chugging onward and outward. Often just the initial excitement from starting something new will spark some of that oh-so-necessarily-delicious motivation.
However, sometimes the results we want don’t come at the speed we want and/or are rather difficult to cast our face-balls upon, especially when only advancing by mere micrometers at a time. It’s even tougher to stay motivated when we can’t directly see the improvements at all. And, when there is no motivation… Well, let’s just say you probably won’t be lathered in the kind of results desired, which will, in turn, not inspire any new motivation to continue the press forward. It’s a vicious cycle. BUT, get it to spin in your favor and it’s king.
Motivation → [Visible] results → More motivation → Touchdown!
Just because you can’t see the upgrade, doesn’t mean it’s not there and effectively doing its intended job. In an effort to make things a little easier, it’s time to put on some glasses to make those results as clear as ‘E’.
I can say I have made major strides forward in my Japanese. I’ll also admit that I probably haven’t been moving as fast as I want nor could. Luckily, I have been blessed with an endless amount of patience and the ability to do monotonous things monotonously, and that’s gotten me a long ways; but, I don’t want to grind through anymore.
I got to thinking, ‘how can I get the best results while making the process simpler and more fun?’
The answer: a reward system that also displays progress?
As a child, Pokémon was my favorite thing in the whole world, and I never sold out to the pressures of “uncoolness”. I still do enjoy a good romp and stomp every now and then with the wild things. Anyone from my generation (and its immediate surroundings) who tells you they never liked Pokémon will probably also inform you they want to make kissy faces with *Aaron [douche] Rodgers.
I’ve decided to adopt and adapt the leveling system concept to help motivate, reward, and track my real-life goals here on hatchJAPAN. It’s something that I think will be so significant in achieving success that it gets its own tab at the top of the page labeled as the ‘Inキュbator’ [incubator]. Here’s how it works:
In the spirit of this site, it all starts with a たまご [egg], which eventually hatches into a moving creature. This is to add a physical presence, to feel that the goal is an actual living thing, and to create a will to make it the best possible. Much like having children, nobody wants to raise a stupid, weak kid. You want to have the cool kid; smart, and most of all, better than all the other kids.
Now, how to make it better and stronger than all the other kids. Every time something even remotely related to Japanese is done, experience points (Exp.) are earned. The key to this experiment is to be rewarded when something, almost anything, is done that helps take a step forward, thus motivating to do more things. This can include opening some Japanese books or websites, watching videos in Japanese, doing SRS reviews, etc. When a predetermined amount of Exp. is accumulated, the creature advances to a higher level (Lvl.).
1 Exp. – awarded when anything simple, easy, fun, etc. is done in, about, around the target language.
2 Exp. – awarded when a task is obviously worth more than 1 Exp., but not quite worth 3 Exp. such as creating content for hatchJAPAN.
3 Exp. – awarded for doing lengthy, dreaded, undesired tasks. Generally things that are not fun to do, but would be strongly beneficial. Also includes big projects such as writing and recording songs, making videos, etc.
Basically, it’s all up to one’s discretion while keeping the point increments small so the creature doesn’t get too strong, too fast. We want an accurate portrayal of our goal’s progress here, folks. And keep the points coming often to instill the feeling that everything is worth doing.
※※On to Life Experience (Life Exp.). Originally, since I wanted this to be a motivational tool for all life goals, I was gonna dump all rewards into one sum. However, since I also wanted to be able to track my Japanese progress specifically and not everything done in life can be done in Japanese, I decided to separate the two. This is the part I had the most trouble figuring how to incorporate into the experiment.
There are things in life that need to be done, but aren’t necessarily fun to do, such as, brushing teeth, showering, exercising, not sleeping in, finding jobs, attending weddings, etc. Life Exp. works almost exactly the same as regular Exp. as far as earnings and setup go. Each time such a task is accomplished, Life Exp. is awarded. The end reward is where this category differs. When a designated amount of Life Lvl.’s is reached, upon the next Japanese level-up, the creature advances to a new state/physical appearance. Since this should be a special accomplishment, as of now, the increments are set at every twenty levels.
That pretty much sums it all up. Now I’m ready to get this thing pumping. (Remember that this is an experiment. Nothing is set in stone, and is subject to change and adjustment.) If I knew anything about programming, I imagine this would be a fairly simple program to setup since there is a formula for the leveling. It would make the process a whole lot easier. Unfortunately, that is one area I just have no expertise in, so I get to do it all manually! Yippee!
Feel free to use this idea for your own goals. Make tweaks if need be. But please let me know if you do by contacting me and tell me how it’s working for you. If you have any questions, I’d be happy to share some ideas.
Now go check out the Inキュbator… NOW!