I think setting goals is a good practice; however, I have come to the conclusion that attempting to set goals for gaming is counterproductive for me. I was trying to average a game every day. I wasn’t necessarily trying to play every day, but at the end of the month I wanted to have played as least as many games as there were days in that month. I didn’t like the idea that I was adding some quantitative element to my recreation; however, I felt that setting a goal helped me resist my natural tendency for solitude. I was wrong.
I found that over time the expectation that I was somehow behind in my gaming was making me anxious. I found myself choosing shorter games so that I could somehow catch up to my gaming goals for the month. I would think about how far behind I was that month, and how a game of Agricola was going to count as a single play, compared to a few games of Dominion or Lost Cities. I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with shorter games, but I don’t think that some meaningless self-imposed quantitative goal should influence my choice of game. It’s really all about the quality of the time I spend gaming that is most important.
It’s the same reason that I normally don’t do daily quests in World of Warcraft. If I have to do a repetitive task every day, then that seems like a job. I have a job. I certainly don’t need another one that doesn’t pay. I don’t need to punch a clock playing multiple games of Zombie Dice just because I need the overtime. That’s just stupid.
I have resolved to let go of these goals. I will play what I feel like when I feel like it, and not worry about it.