Lately, I’ve been struggling a bit with keeping up on my daily habits and chores (and, obviously, posting regularly here in the blog) – more often than not, I forget to do part of my routine, or space out on some housework I’ve been meaning to do. So, I thought it was about time to revisit an old friend: HabitRPG. Or, as the site is now called, Habitica.
Boy, how things have changed since I was last on Habitica!
There are lots of new costumes, lots of new quests, and so many new quest-related pets – I’ll probably never be able to hatch them all!
I’ve also made a lot of progress over the years in Habitica…
…I’m actually pretty close to hitting level 90, and I’m excited about that. Habitica’s done a good job of motivating me to get things done – granted, I’ve only been back at it for a week now, but I find myself adding to-do items to my list as things pop up (the mobile app really helps with that) and actually working to get things done, so I can make some more progress with quests I’m working on as well as leveling up my character. I really hope I can stick with this, because I’ve actually managed to get a lot done with this extra motivation. Sometimes that’s all my brain needs – a little extra motivation.
If you need a little boost with motivation and keeping on top of your tasks and habits, but want to have fun doing it, you should check out Habitica. It’s available on the web, as well as for iOS and Android. It’s free to play (but donating or subscribing will get you some extra goodies), and there’s lots to keep you coming back to the site. Four years on, I still recommend it as a great way to help you get things done.
How many of you remember me posting about HabitRPG, the to-do and habit building site/app that turns your life into an epic adventure where you can earn experience for taking the dog for a walk? Well, if you can’t quite remember it, here’s the post I wrote.
I’ll admit – when I first started using HabitRPG, I was thinking “oh, I know me, I won’t stick around for long. I’ll use it diligently for a few weeks, and then stop.” That’s usually how it goes with me – but not this time. Oh, definitely not this time.
Logging in day after day, checking off my to-do list and daily habits and getting experience for them, well, the novelty did wear off after a little while. But then I went on some quests. I fought Vice and got some pretty impressive goodies such as a staff that makes my awesome Mage just that much awesomer. I conquered The Spirit of Spring, The Hedgebeast, and Octothulu and earned quite an impressive menagerie of pets. And most recently, I banded together with all the citizens of Habitica to fight off the Dread Drag’on of Dilatory. The quests are definitely one of the things that keep me coming back.
And I can play with friends, too. There’s two ways to do this – you can have a party of people you go questing with, or you can create a guild and participate in challenges. Either way is a great way to keep yourself coming back. There were some days where I was feeling lazy, and didn’t really feel like logging in and marking my stuff off as done… but then I’d remember I was part of a quest with my party members, and if I didn’t log in, they’d take damage, and I didn’t want that to happen – which motivated me to get off my butt, get stuff done, and help fight off whatever boss we were tangling with at the moment.
Now it’s been around eight months since I got an account and started leveling up my little character. And in those eight months, I’ve developed some good habits. No snacking late at night. Walking every day, and taking short walk breaks when I’m in the office all day. Making sure I actually eat breakfast AND lunch each day. Keeping hydrated by making sure I drink enough water. My habits and daily tasks are constantly evolving, too. When the end of August comes and classes start up again, I’ll likely be adding tasks to make sure I get my homework done. And with the new house, there’ll be new chores too (I expect to be vacuuming a lot more often, given I’ll not only have carpeting pretty much everywhere, I’ll also have a cat!), and of course I’ll need to get into the habit of doing them regularly. And I know HabitRPG will help me with that!
So, if you’re already on Habit, look up the guild The Crafty Nerds. It’s the official guild of The Crafty Nerd (you’ll know you’re in the right place if you see Scooterlou as the guild leader, I mean, come on, who else would name their character after their old scooter but me), and I’d be happy to have you there! And if you’re not, why not join up? It’s free, it’s easy to get the hang of, and will definitely help you build some good habits. Plus, the retro art style keeps things fun, and the wide variety of quests to do, pets to collect, and people to meet in the Tavern will keep you coming back.
One thing that I am horrible at is building new habits – and sticking to them. Sure, I’ll wear my Fitbit for about a week, excited about all the data it provides to me about how far I’ve walked and how many times I woke up in the middle of the night, then forget it at home one day… and sure I’ll say “I’m going to read ALL THE BOOKS this year” and then, without fail, end up on the computer all weekend and watching Law and Order to fall asleep. Or I’ll start a craft project, work on it for a few weeks, and then go “oooh I should start another Doctor Who scarf” and forget about whatever it was I was working on completely.
Yes, that’s my little tiny character, clad in leather armor, brandishing a sword. I need to keep up my good habits in order to earn a helm.
The premise is very simple – build habits and complete tasks, earn XP and gold pieces to spend on in-game goodies to keep you from losing too much health should you forget to complete a given task in a day, or to redeem for real-life privileges and treats. When you log in for the first time, you’ll see four columns – Habits, Dailies, To Do, and Rewards. You’ll also see a little pixel version of your character up in the left hand corner of the screen, which you can customize to your liking. HabitRPG will suggest some habits and daily tasks for you, as well as suggest some possible rewards you can give to yourself – the first thing I did was set up some habits that I’m working on (like wearing my Fitbit every day, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, bringing my lunch to work) and also add some daily tasks I wanted to make sure I did every day (including reading a book for at least 30 minutes, and spending an hour away from the computer – which you might think is easy, but when you work in IT, your entire life is computers!). To-do comes in handy as a reminder list that also earns me gold and XP – and the Rewards section is where you can go spend your gold.
Don’t think that it’s just a cute way to remember to walk the dog and mail out the bills, however. There are QUESTS. (Or, as HabitRPG calls them, challenges.) Yes, you can compete with/against other HabitRPG warriors for the potential to earn goodies while building good habits! Which is pretty awesome. And you can randomly get pets – I picked up a wolf egg when I checked off one of my dailies today. 😀
And so you don’t have to go it alone – you can create parties, join a guild, and more. I’m currently going it alone, as there’s no easy way to share a link to a party so others can join, but if any of you readers join up, shoot me a comment on here or on the Facebook page with your User ID (which can be found either here or here, but you must be logged in) and I’ll add you to my party!
So, for those of you who have some trouble sticking to new habits, or just want to find a new way to make doing all that laundry exciting, give HabitRPG a try! I’m enjoying the heck out of it, and may have freaked out a little when I neglected my chores for a day and though “nooo, my little warrior is going to die if I don’t clean!”, heheh.