Steps to Managing a Dream Goal
It’s easy to feel discouraged once you start researching the time commitment and expense it can take to achieve some of your dream goals. Of course, it wouldn’t feel like such an accomplishment in the end if you didn’t have to work hard for it, right?
While it can be difficult to find the motivation to begin working towards a goal, the journey can be a great way to enjoy new Neopets experiences and provides an opportunity to meet new friends. Here’s a few tips to help you out along the way:
1. Define the big goal
Before you begin working towards achieving your goal, make sure you define it to yourself. I’m sure this seems self-explanatory, but if you don’t have a clear direction on what the end result is, you can end up wasting time along your way. For example, if you want to get into collecting stamps, there are a few questions you need to answer first. One question is do you want to focus on one album in particular, or do you want to collect as many stamps as possible? Do you want to spend the neopoints you have already earned or try to earn as you go, so you can avoid dipping into your savings?
While these are only a few sample questions, and the goals that you have in mind will determine others that need to be asked, they are important. Once you decide what you want to accomplish, it’s easier to develop a strategy for success. While misdirection may seem like a small issue, it can be time consuming, make it seems as though you aren’t making progress, and expensive. Continuing with our stamps example, cheaper albums can cost several million to complete, but collecting all stamps easily costs billions.
2. Break it into small, manageable pieces
My biggest piece of advice is to not attempt to achieve it all at once. If you bite off too much at one time, it’s incredibly easy to get discouraged. Once you have a goal, instead of looking at the big picture, divide your goal into smaller, manageable pieces. For example, if you want to complete Neoquest, you can set a weekly goal to earn ten thousand experience points, which takes a couple hours. While it’ll take more time to finish, this is a reasonable goal that’ll help set a manageable pace. When you exceed your goal, you’ll feel as though you’re putting in more effort, and if you miss one, it’s small enough scale that it’s easy to get back on track.
Also, don’t forget to treat yourself for completing these benchmark goals. Whether it’s a treat on Neopets or offline, don’t forget to celebrate the small victories because they count too. Plus it’ll be a good incentive to keep pushing on.
3. Have a support group
Your neofriends, both current and ones you’ll meet along your quest, will help motivate you to succeed. As you meet a benchmark, don’t be afraid to share your progress – both big and small. They will be there to cheer you along and encourage you to continue.
If you’ve got friends you chat with already, be sure to mention your goal to them. Account improvement guilds are very popular and you can find many people who will support you along your journey. On many neoboards there are also chat groups that will chat about their progress and offer advice to others, without the need to join a guild. No matter where you find it, a supportive voice is important to find and keep.
4. Be accountable to yourself
While it shouldn’t be a sprint to the finish line, if you do want to make serious progress, you do need to set reasonable benchmarks and achieve them. Only you can ensure that you are actively working on your goal and it can be easy to fall into a sense of complacency about not meeting a task. If you can’t meet one of your smaller goals, try to not to worry about it – missing one or two benchmarks isn’t going to put a major dent in your plans. However, when it becomes a habit, this can seriously derail the timeline you developed for successfully finishing.
If you ever miss two benchmarks in a row, take some time to re-evaluate where you’re at. Just like communication is important when you’re working on a group project, ensuring that you’re listening to your needs is crucial. Perhaps modifying your plan or timeline can help alleviate some of the pressure and get you back on track. There are always going to be days that we are busier and can’t spend as much time on our Neopets goals. The trick is to try to identify these times earlier so you don’t get upset or frustrated at missing a small goal. Early planning is key.
5. But…don’t be afraid to take a break
In your quest for you goal, you may end up feeling burned out or overwhelmed at times. If you can’t muster up any excitement or you want to change direction for a bit, that’s ok too. Sometimes taking a break can restart your motivation and set you up to make a ton of progress. Just remember, at the end of the day, Neopets is something we all do for fun and completing a goal shouldn’t take precedence over that.
Similarly, never feel like just because you’ve made progress towards one goal that you can’t take time to work on something else. Monotony can be a huge obstacle, and sometimes changing direction can revive interest.
I hope that these suggestions will aid you in completing your goals. In the end, you will need to determine the best strategy for your use as you are the only one who can determine what your specific needs are. There are plenty of resources out there – guides, neofriends, guilds, etc. – just waiting to help you along your journey, so don’t be shy about needing assistance. Neopets has many supportive communities ready to help and encourage others when needed. Good luck on pursuing your goals!