Back in, oh…, 2012 or so. Somebody showed me this weird little habit tracking app/game called Habit RPG. In it, you play a standard NES-style RPG character. You play the game by setting up habits for yourself. If you do the habit, you press a button to get EXP and gold, if neglect the habit, you press another button and lose HP. Gain enough EXP and you level up. Get enough gold and you can buy in-game stuff (armor and weapons, etc). Lose enough HP and your character will die and you have to start all over again.
Back when I discovered the app, its developer had made a Kickstarter. I gave a few bucks to it, used the app for a while, then school got the best of me.
If you want no ability to improve your life (except in one area, your education) go to school full-time. At least that’s how things went for me. for me. No time to exercise, no time or energy to sleep or eat right, it’s not fun.
Funny thing is, things were like that for me after I got a full-time job too, until I got another full-time job, one with a flexible schedule that allows me to work from home.
Now that I finally feel like I have time to breathe, I’ve decided to add some habits to my day, but unlike in The Dark Times I’m actually succeeding!
…. So far.
I’ve been running, meditating, and sleeping 8 hours a night (among a few other good habits) for the last 5 days straight. Now that I have time and energy to do these things, the incentives and disincentives Habitica gives me (apparently they changed their name from Habit RPG since I last used the app) are enough to keep me going. I’m very optimistic that I can keep this up and add more habits.
I’m particularly optimistic about a new habit I’ve added that I want to share with you. I’ve labelled it “Finish task in estimated time”. If I finish a task in the time I estimate, I get EXP and gold, if not I lose HP.
I’ve struggled with the fact that I tend to do everything too slowly. I’m also terrible at estimating how long something is going to take me. This one habit is helping me to solve both problems.
I realize that I could always estimate an extremely long time for a given task. This would give me easy points. My brain, thankfully, doesn’t work that way. I see this as an opportunity to test myself. How little time can I give myself and still not lose HP? It’s making me faster, and helping me to think about how long things take (as well as how to cut that time) in ways I really haven’t before.
I can’t recommend this app enough.