As I work on my small games for NierPixel, I started to recognize how important habits are. Sometimes I would find myself missing a deadline, or not wanting to work on the game that day. This would cascade into an unfinished project. I’m sure you all know where I’m coming from; there are a lot of unfinished projects in the closet.
Recently, I have been reading a book on the subject (Atomic Habits; You can buy it from that link if you want more details). There was one key distinction that really resonated with me. The distinction was that habits are a part of and shape your identity. This might explain why the process was hard for me at first. For all you newcomers, it might be the same situation.
Habits Are A Part Of Your Identity
Habits and identity go together. Some say your self-image is the limiting factor for the actions you take in life. It’s kind of like how if you think you’re unathletic, then you act in accordance with that identity. You ever have a gamer wear that title with pride and get annoyed at someone playing games on their Android phone, calling themselves a gamer? That’s exactly this concept because that person does not fit the image they have of their own gamer identity. This is also where imposter syndrome can come into play; be careful my friend!
Don’t let that hold you back from your creation being made. You and I can change our self-image with time by adjusting our habits. If the habits are the root cause of our current situation, adjusting them is the quickest path to improvement. So, here’s the plan.
Let’s both start from identifying as Game Developers. Once we have that, we can perform the habits any Game Developer would. We work on our game because that’s what we do even if we don’t feel like it. By building up that habit, eventually, it will become second nature. Trust me, nowadays all I need to do is sit in front of my computer as part of my habit routine and I start putting in the time to make my games. For this to really have an impact, focus on maintaining the momentum daily.
Since I’ve started reading that book, my mindset has shifted subtly to change my habits so I can become the developer I want to be and achieve my goals. I’ve been more consistent and dedicated as a result. So, let me give you quick tips to make habit creation easier.
Habit Creation Cliffs Notes
You can create a habit by going through a generic process. You have a craving, seek to satisfy that craving, take an action toward that craving, and finally get your reward. Most habits are formed in this way. For us, we need to give ourselves a strong enough craving that prompts us to move through this process for the reward. Now, here’s the interesting part mentioned in the book, we as humans have more receptors for the expectation of our reward rather than the actual reward itself. Meaning, a strong visualization of what the end-goal will look like can keep us motivated toward our true goals. Thus, our secret sauce is to take advantage of our ability to visualize to keep us on track with any habit.
Focus on the reward; focus on your game being played by millions of people, focus on the way the game will play and watch what happens. Just you wait your game will be done in no time.
Stay tuned for more!!