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HabitRPG - the fun of gamification

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Hello all,

Hope you're enjoying the spring. emoticon

Gamification is becoming huge in the world of motivation, and I wanted to report back some ideas from another site, HabitRPG.com.

Gamification is a way of using playfulness to influence behaviour. We get hooked on games, so can we use the same kind of fun to get us doing other things?

Getting points and awards on SP is an example of gamification. Competing with yourself or your friends on Fitbit or similar is another.

But Habit RPG takes it further. RPG stands for 'role playing game'. In Habit RPG, you have a little character who can grow, get points and pets, and have different adventures, depending on your behaviour in the real world.

The beauty is, YOU decide what habits you want to make or break. If it's a habit you want to improve say, eat more fruit), you can award yourself points for each fruit you eat. If you want to break a habit (say, eating biscuits), you can decide on how many points to dock each time.

You can also use it for work tasks - points each time you tackle a big job, make a difficult call, or do a pomodoro.

You can award points for the gym, or dock points for days you do nothing.

Each day, the number of +/- points builds, putting you under pressure (positive and negative) to tackle the task. Really helps with procrastination!

This is all great, but here's the aspect I find really cool:

You can gamify the tasks by giving them an imaginative name, eg

'Hit the gym' becomes 'Slay the Fatness Dragon' or 'Buff Your Inner Hero', depending on taste :) (capital letters help for some reason)

I've used this to mark assignments (Magus Mind Meld :) and do other less-than-enticing jobs.

I'm not a fantasy fan at all, but the imaginative approach to doing tough stuff changes your mind set and seems to be working for me! It's something to do with imagining your small tasks as part of a bigger, epic picture.

There are also graphs and other geekery for those so inclined.

Anyway, I'm just posting in case some of these ideas work for you!

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The site is:

Hope you're all slaying those dragons meanwhile!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIS193 3/31/2014 1:07PM

    Great ideas! Thanks for the link to the site!

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MNCYCLIST 3/31/2014 9:33AM

    Not up for another web site, but I love the idea of gamification! Thanks for sharing.

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READNKNIT 3/30/2014 3:53PM

    Cute ideas! Our school district is doing something similar with having kids experiment with earning badges for online work, etc. Kind of an interesting idea, especially if you're really into gaming.



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Reboot (up a**e)

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Have been away from SP for a while, put on some pounds, and finally getting back together.

Part of the trouble was a foot injury which meant I couldn't jog, and stopped going to the gym. But excuses! On and up!

I also turned 50 and this has made me rethink.

My sedentary job means I spend a lot of time indoors and on my butt. This has to change. So I've posted a few outdoor images from inspiring places that remind me of more active times.

I've adopted a new inspiring spirit animal - the flying squirrel. This is an endangered animal which has terrestrial habits but sometimes takes a leap and flies. I love that!

My old Nikki hasn't disappeared, but my new thinking is more about the outside world. Let's see if that makes a difference!

Hope all my lovely SP friends have been good (in all senses) in the meantime!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BAILEYS7OF9 2/16/2014 12:20PM

    Good to hear from you! Bummer about your foot. Hope you get up and active soon! I'm right there with you... was sidelined w/ a hamstring issue.. then when I could get back to moving..ya ya excuses..LOL

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READNKNIT 2/15/2014 12:00PM

    So sorry about your foot! I hope it's better now! It's kind of nice that we both came back about the same time!

Have a wonderful weekend!

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JAVAFLOWER 2/15/2014 10:21AM

    Welcome Back!

Take a Leap and Fly!
love it

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LIS193 2/15/2014 10:19AM

    Sorry to hear about your injury but glad you're back!
Are you going to do The Plan again? I got back with it 2 weeks ago and feel better for it :)

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June reboot

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Been away on work travels for a month, overjoyed to find I've only returned with a couple of extra pounds, despite a lot of bread and cheese!

I was in a great routine before I left, and need to get back into it! So here's the deal:

1. Back to Lyn-Genet The Plan lite for a while.
2. Roast veg, fruit, flax seed, cut dairy
3. Back to gym and/or bike/running

The change of lifestyle during the month was quite a contrast, so here's what I've learned from it.

1. Big breakfast and tiny evening meals works for me.
2. Lots of sleep helps me think more creatively.
3. Being away from TV/adverts/big shops is so refreshing - a mind holiday.

It will be hard to hold onto some of that, but I aim to cut TV time to a minimum and read more.

Also, have been reading a great book recently: Pema Chodron - The Places that Scare You. It's a simplified guide to Buddhist meditation and is mainly about how our thoughts influence our mood and behaviour so much, yet are only ephemeral vapour. That includes cravings and self-criticism :) I've understood this in theory, but this book seems practical as well as compassionate - worth a look!

Have a great June, all!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SARAWALKS 6/4/2013 11:16AM

    Reboot - sounds good! Fits with retiring. I'm returning to running - aiming at running 2 miles each day if I can manage it, more if that gets easier. Big lunch and small dinner works for me and is getting easier to manage now that my life is becoming my own...becoming, not there yet! The big day is August 1st. Lot of cleanup and organizing to do before then...
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SURLYGIRL 6/2/2013 9:50PM

    Glad to see you are back. I like your June plan.

My son-in-law recently lost 20 pounds by going on the Paleo diet (strict for 1 month) No Grains - no rice, bread, potatoes, pasta, oatmeal etc - no grains of any kind and No Dairy. Fruit, Veggies, Lean Meats, Nuts and Legumes Only !

I was thinking maybe I would give it a try.

Hope we both have an awesome June !

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LIS193 6/2/2013 12:10PM

    Welcome back!
Traveling to other countries broadens the mind and unfortunately sometimes the beam as well.. Glad the damage wasn't too bad :)
You have a great plan - let's make this month a great one!! I'm in re-boot mode as well...

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The Plan Week 4 roundup

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Week 1 - 5 lb down
Week 2 - 0.4 down
Week 3 - 0.2 down
Week 4 - 0.2 up

Been keeping to certain aspects of the plan and not others, so this is fair enough.

chia/flax breakfast
weigh-ins and food logging

rigorous ingredient testing. Instead, have been sticking to certain foods I know are straightforward. Also keeping evening meals light and small, and having occasional treats.

This week I went back to normal exercise - gym, bike, so probably building muscle. Hopefully I can now hang onto the new habits while tackling others!

Feel a lot better and healthier than I have in a couple of years, cooking regularly and actually drinking a decent amount of water - result! My OH is losing weight too as a by-product of the different cooking style. emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SARAWALKS 4/25/2013 8:18AM

    Gym, bike - good for you! I would be ECSTATIC if I saw a 5 lb. loss ever again. Keep at it now because the older you get, the harder it will be. I'm nearly 68 and I can definitely tell there's a metabolic factor at work here. But then, there's the sloth factor too...
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LIS193 4/14/2013 11:15AM

    You did great! Learning what works for you and more importantly what doesn't is valuable information. Now we can sort out meals that are good for us.
Great getting back to exercise!
I did my first yoga session in 10 days - time to get back with the program, right?

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My Inner Sloth

Saturday, April 13, 2013

I have a sedentary job so it's always a battle to get enough exercise. Fitbit has shown me that it isn't enough to do 3x a week at the gym/bike and hope that'll make up for basically staring at a computer the rest of the time.

Also, there's lots of research now that confirms sedentary working is bad for you in all sorts of ways: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-19910888

So, having gained some better eating habits thanks to Lyn-Genet's The Plan, the next mission is to tackle my inner sloth. This is she:

and she needs a kick up the butt! If I could become a more antsy person, I'd be boosting my metabolism naturally. So the mission is to build in more general low-level activity as well as keep 3x a week exercise.

On the worst days, Fitbit tells me I'm sat on my butt as much as 80% of the time. emoticon This is terrible. My aim is to shoot for 70% asap, and take it from there.

Look out, sloth! I'm shaking your tree... emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SARAWALKS 4/25/2013 8:15AM

    Me sloth too.
I KNOW you must know Flanders and Swann's song - The Sloth!
I have been singing it all my life.

That's the same thing my Fitbit told me when I first got it. I hate that big % number...but it does motivate you. I think I actually need the gym again. Indoor walking has palled ( SO boring... ) and it is taking so long for spring to come. Sigh.

but I am out more now and yes, finding a better balance, and I can tell that the standing while working is contributing to the whole picture. I still sit when doing my pleasure stuff with kindle and computer, however that will change after I retire & move the personal laptop upstairs.

day by day, day by day! Hang in there and shake that sloth!
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LIZALOT 4/14/2013 5:53AM

    i'm also very sedentary, but don't have a fitbit to nag me. i do have a daughter though, who is due back today, and i hope she and i will get some running in. and yes, i should do 30 mins walking at least.
from one sloth to another...

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STRIVER57 4/14/2013 5:10AM

    why i don't have a fitbit. if you work at home ... there isn't a lot you can do except maybe get a treadmill desk. which i'd love but before i pay for it i need to demonstrate to myself i'll use if by standing enough ... and i don't. maybe soon.

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JOCYMC 4/14/2013 12:18AM

    If I wasn't talking to a fellow sloth I would remind you to keep the exercise low intensity, 30 minutes max a day. Thankfully I can count the gardening I do as exercise otherwise I wouldn't be adding anything except my steps for exercise.

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LIS193 4/13/2013 12:19PM

    Like you I sit on my butt most of the day :(
Let's get moving!

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POINTAFTER 4/13/2013 11:06AM

    LOL! When I saw the title of your blog I thought of the Ice Age movies! emoticon

Yes, sedentary jobs don't work well for the fitness-minded. Move around as much as you can. Walk to co-workers instead of calling on the phone, walk around the office at least once per hour, and tap your feet on the floor just for the sake of moving. If there are other floors in your building, use the Ladies' Room on another floor and take the stairs.

Any movement you can sneak into your day helps.

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