The i-Spy Book Of Life

Friday 3rd April 2015

Part of the reason I write this blog is to motivate myself to finish projects, but another reason is to score points in my very own i-Spy Book Of Life. Gamification could have been invented for me.

The i-Spy Book Of Life a private record of my ambitions and achievements, in the style of the i-Spy books that I loved as a kid. It's split into categories like Sport, Practical skills and Home life. Each category contains ambitions, for items I haven't yet completed, or achievements that I have.

I assign points for each item which I score when I complete the item. The Sport category for example contains items for completing a triathlon (2 points), getting my private pilot's licence (20pts) and learning to paraglide (2pts, achieved in 2005).

The scoring system is based on roughly two full days of effort for one point, more for harder tasks or where I need a bit more motivation and less for easier items.

Some categories read like a bucket list, for example the Geography category contains a long list of places I want to visit: The Arctic (5pts plus a bonus 2 for seeing the Northern Lights), The Taj Mahal (1pt) and The Grand Canyon (1pt) are top of the list.

A number of items reward learning new skills: making glass, cheese, soap, salt and beer (not all at the same time) are all 1 point each.

Some of the items are simple to achieve: going on a hen night scores me one point, and one point every time I fix something on the car myself.

Others are a bit more involved: I score 25 points for living in a foreign country for a year, and I got 21 points for wearing braces on my teeth for 18 months.

A few of them are really hard to achieve: I get a hundred points for living to 100, and 500 points for going into space!

Two important things that I decided when I started making it are:

  1. I don't have a record of the total number of points I've scored. Each item in the book is separate and to combine them together would be like giving myself an overall score in life, which I'm keen avoid.
  2. I don't want to make it public. Obviously I'm telling you that it exists, but I want to be able to put in private items, and I don't want other people judging my ambitions.

What would you put in your i-Spy Book Of Life? Leave a comment below.


Recent posts

Five things I'm going to miss about Cornwall

Five things I'm going to miss about Cornwall

In ten days we're leaving the UK for new adventures in Spain...

Read more

Owning less stuff

Owning less stuff

We're off to Spain for new adventures in a couple of weeks, and we've spent the last three months sorting our possessions into the four S's: ship, store, sell or skip...

Read more

What's this about?

Hi I'm Mat and I'm addicted to new hobbies. I used to think this was a bad thing but now I'm embracing it.

Writing them all up in this blog encourages me to finish projects, and helps me keep track of which ones I've tried.

Also in Midlife crisis...

Audi adventure

Audi adventure

I've never been to Silverstone before, so when a friend suggested a day at the track driving Audi's RS range I jumped at the chance...

Also in Inside my brain...



I always laugh when I hear people struggle to spell words phonetically, when they say random words starting with that letter instead of the standard (if dull) NATO phonetic alphabet...