Since we’re very nearly at the half-way mark of 2014, May seemed like as good a time as any to check-in on how my New Year’s resolutions are coming along. And that’s when I realized I needed help if I was actually going to achieve my goals. Some I’m doing okay with: most of my blog goals are on track; but all of my personal goals are seriously lagging behind. Which is where Habit RPG and my little challenge comes in.
Habit RPG is a free application, accessible by computer and mobile (Android & iOS), that lets you track your behaviour and earn XP and rewards for making good habits stick. While there are other similar applications out there that use an RPG model to encourage you to do chores or other things you’d rather not, I like that Habit RPG is habit focused and is very flexible with the types of activities you include, as well as how they are tracked.
The first step to using Habit RPG is to create and customize your avatar. Options are limited, with more extravagant choices available to those willing to shell out for them. Yes, that’s right. It’s a freemium application. Well, sort of. Basically, there are three currencies in the game: gold, silver and diamonds. Gold and silver are earned by completing your tasks & habits, while diamonds need to be purchased in bundles of 20 for $5 a shot. However, if you take the voluntary $5 a month subscription you can purchase diamonds with gold. You also get to disable the ads, get access to unique, subscriber only items and your daily drop-cap is doubled.
The next step, of course, is to add some tasks. Habit RPG allows you to group tasks into one of three categories: Habits, Dailies & To-Dos. Basically, habits are actions you either want to encourage or discourage in your day-to-day life and they can yield rewards or penalties depending on whether this is a habit you want to start or stop. Dailies are tasks that need to (or should) be performed everyday. However, you can actually assign specific days to these tasks, as well as a time of day when it should be performed. The last category of task is the To-Dos. These are tasks that are non-repeating, but still need to get done at some point.
You can also set your own rewards, which you then set a price for in the in-game currency. For example, I could take the 10 gold coins I just got for taking the stairs instead of the elevator on a piece of cake or an episode of Game of Thrones. I could also just use it on in-game goods, like better armour, and seriously deck out my avatar.
Habit RPG also boasts a number of social innovations, including building parties of your friends to earn XP together, to joining a Guild. Guilds are particularly interesting in Habit RPG because they can range from being centered around specific habits, like quitting smoking or running, to fandoms like Bronys or Whovians.
I went ahead this morning and added all of my To-Dos for the month to my list of tasks, as well as daily habits I want to get better at (making the bed, anyone?) and a few things I’d like to do less of. While it’s only been a few hours, I do have to say that seeing that little yellow bar go up every time I complete something is surprisingly satisfying, and knowing that my health will drop if I slip and do something I’d like not to does make me consider my actions more carefully.
I’m going to try out this method of accountability for 30 days and then report back with my results. If anyone would like to join me, email me for my Party group ID.
Disclaimer: I was neither contacted by, nor received compensation from Habit RPG for this post. I am just genuinely curious about the benefits of such a program and want to provide my own, honest opinion.