Hello fellow Looters! Long time no see! I would talk about it but I feel the topic of my article this week is actually very relevant to me disappearing for a few weeks. I am here today to talk about balancing life and Magic.
Now, we all love Magic. Many people call it the greatest game ever made and I would not disagree. I’ve spend lots of time playing, watching, researching, and talking about Magic. I have attended almost every type of Magic tournament even aside from the Pro Tour (And with any luck, I will eventually get there too). Just like my goal is to eventually make the Pro Tour, we all have our personal Magic goals. Some may just want to dominate their local FNM, some people want to build fun EDH decks, and some people like to play the finance game (Steamflogger Boss? Really?). Either way, Magic is almost like a second life for most of its enfranchised player base.
That being said, we all still have regular lives. Most of us have jobs that require 30 to 60 hours of our time each week. We have girlfriends and wives (hopefully not both…) that we’ve promised portions of our life to. For some of us, Magic, while it may be a big interest of ours, is not our only interest. There are many other hobbies and activities you want time to do. Not all my friends personally play Magic either. Even reading this article is time spent not playing Magic! (I’m a monster…) I could go on and on about the things in life that are not Magic and it would waste way too much room on this page so I will stop there. The main point being, there are a lot of things that can stop you from completing your Magic goal. In this article I want to go over ways that you can meet your Magic goals.
This step may seem simple but it is very important. Your goal must be two things: achievable and well defined.
Achievability is important especially when trying to balance Magic (or anything for that matter) with real life obligations. Additionally, you need to take a one step at a time approach. Stick to more short term goals. The reason being is, if you set a goal like “win worlds,” it is not very realistic if you haven’t even taken down an FNM or Game Day. Not saying it’s impossible but it is much more likely that you will complete an achievable goal and you can set a new one after that. A lot of people like to dream big (me included) but it is important to focus on the steps or you may get discouraged. Give yourself battles you can win!
Defining your goal down to the letter is also important. Skipping this step can make you feel lost in the woods and take away some of the accomplishment when you reach it. If your goal is win an event, winning a draft and winning a PPTQ are completely different things.
My current Magic Goal is to make it to an RPTQ. I have made the top eight of the last three PPTQs I have been to but I have not been able to break the threshold yet. My goal is very well defined and achievable. I have the time to attend a PPTQ every other Saturday and the means to build the deck I want to play.
Now that you have your goal, plan the details. The stricter you make it, the more likely you are to follow it. If you plan is, “I will watch more videos of drafting in order to get better.” Well…there is not much accountability there. Try something like, “Twice a week, I want to spend an hour a day watching someone draft and I want to draft once per week.” You can even plan what days of the week. I tend not to go that far as life will sometimes throw curve balls at you but if you can set aside a set day, that is even better!
Now, if you remember, my personal goal was to make it to an RPTQ. The best way I found to do this was to make a list of PPTQs within a certain distance (achievable) that I would attend in order to have a reasonable chance of winning one of them. During the week I research decks, listen to Podcasts, and watch people play other standard decks in the meta. I wish I had more time to play test but this is just more of knowing how much time you have and how to spend it.
Out of all of the steps, this is the most important as it is what so few people actually do. All of the previous steps were all to help make this step easier. Now that you have found your path, walk it! Attend the PPTQs you said. You only put them on your list because they were close and you could afford them and they were on days you were free. Make the plunge and start listening to the Magic content you wanted or reading more articles (like the lovely ones available on this site =D).
I have been going to the PPTQs on my list and so far it has caused me to get better at playing these events. My play has gotten tighter, I make less mistakes, and I have a good Magic rhythm going.
In all reality, these steps can be used to tackle anything in your life. From other hobbies, to work, to something else you have always wanted to do. If you wanted to lose weight. Set a goal weight, plan how you will lose the weight, and then execute.
Now Roy, you didn’t really cover much about planning your life around these steps. Well, this part is so specific to each person that will read this that it wouldn’t really provide much value for me to do so. You are going to know your own limitations so use that as a baseline for your goal. Use it as a restriction and an obstacle to overcome in your planning. Finally, make sure life does not stop you from following through. You wouldn’t have made the goal if a part of you didn’t really want it to happen.
With that being said, that is all I had for you this week! I hope you found this helpful and I hope it motivated you to chase after one of your Magic goals. Feel free to comment what your goals are as I would love to hear them. I will keep you guys posted on achieving my goal and maybe write articles about more future tournaments I attend. Thank you for reading and I see you next time! (Don’t think it works like that…)
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