Psychology of Habitica: Gamify Your Life With This Productivity App

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Forming new habits can be difficult, but it doesn't have to be boring. We recommend you gamify your life with our favorite productivity app, Habitica!

To be clear, I am not the most disciplined human being on the planet. But I do have certain habits I never have to think about, which is really what a habit is. An unconscious behavior you don’t need to think about.  

Every morning I wake up, turn on my lamp, reach for my phone, and check the news. I brush my teeth, shower, make the bed, and dress the same way every single day. My mornings are a groundhog day of habits.

And while I have existing habits, what happens when I want to create new ones? There are all kinds of systems out there including reward charts, earning up to some big reward, delayed gratification, etc.

To explain how to create a habit, we must first understand the 3 main components needed.

Gamify your life with the productivity app, Habitica! There are 3 main components to forming habits.

1. Name Your Target Goals and Make Them Small

The goal, “I want to be emotionally closer to my wife,” is not a habit and is too big as a target goal for habit formation. Instead, state simple goals such as, “I will compliment my wife 2 times a day,” or “I will kiss my wife 2 times a day.”

This sounds rather ridiculous, but building small habits into your life can lead to big outcomes.

Another example might be instead of, “I want to be healthy by exercising every day,” build smaller goals such as, “I will say no to desserts 5 days a week, and I will stand 30 minutes a day.”

 

2. Create Cues in Your Environment

I don’t brush my teeth every time I walk into my bathroom. But I do if it’s in the morning or right before bed. When I’m at home, I make my bed, but on vacation, I don’t make my bed. My environment cues my behavior.

Creating environmental cues is key. On vacation, your daily routines change, but once you get back into your usual environment with familiar cues, your habits return rather quickly.

 

3. Reinforce Yourself with Small, Regularly Timed Rewards

The bigger reward, the lower the likelihood your behavior will change. This is especially true with kids. “If you get all A’s, you will get $100,” vs. “ you will earn $1 for every A on a test.”

Unconsciously, the giant reward suggests the habit is very difficult and will require a much longer view of behavior. Small regular rewards encourage you to move forward consistently.

Our brains are designed for more immediate rewards. Plus, the rewards should allow you to enjoy your new habit rather than just to motivate you.

 

Habitica: Gamify Your Life With This Productivity App

Habitica is a habit-forming, productivity app and a website which allows you to gamify your life by allowing you to establish small, daily habits which result in small rewards.

Habitica game allows you to create Habits, Dailies, and a To Do List. As you complete tasks, you check them off and gain Experience and Gold. Gold allows you to buy rewards which upgrade your Avatar.

Your Avatar represents your progress and your follow through on Habits and Dailies. My Avatar is a Killer Whale riding Rogue with a magical hat and shield.

Dr. Frank Gaskill's avatar in Habitica. Gamify your life with our favorite productivity app!

If you do not follow through on Dailies and Habits, it costs your character health, and should you not be consistent, your character’s level will drop.

But the key for me is the peer accountability portion of the game.

Your peers can see your activity and can also challenge you in real life. The peer component is super cool because it makes for ready-made accountability, not only online, but for families and co-workers to create shared tasks and questions.

Gamify your life with the productivity app, Habitica! Habitica has many features, such as guilds and parties, that allows friends and peers to hold each other accountable.

In my office, I play Habitica with 6 co-workers which allows us to compete and follow-through on our to-do lists. This app has created new habits for me that have actually become automatic.

The peer accountability and the gamification Habitica provides is what I needed in my life to push me into creating new life habits.

As a psychologist, I recommend Habitica to my clients. My families have used this game to help kids make their chores and other activities automatic. As the world is steeped in video games, it only makes sense that companies, such as Habitica, gamify our real lives.

Now download this productivity app on the App Store and Google Play! Game your life, get healthy, and mark off those goals! Habitica is a pure life hack! 

Gamify your life with the productivity app, Habitica! Dr. Frank Gaskill checking off his to-do list!

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