This is part of a series of posts I’m doing this week about my experiences using Habitica. See below for previous posts. The one single thing that I’ve discovered that helps in ticking off Habits and Dailies is to build up connections between them. I know that conventional wisdom is to change just one thing at a time, but sometimes a lone habit change is just too isolated from the other things you do to be able to survive on its own. I have a number of habits and dailies that I’ve tried out, some of my own, some as part of challenges. The trick is to set things up that support or facilitate doing other things in your list. For instance an item like “sitting quietly for 15 minutes with no distractions” or “daydreaming” can lead into a writing task. Ditto for “take a short walk”, which could also be a warm-up for more strenuous exercise…or a writing task because I find that a nice walk helps me think. 🙂 I’m doing the Writer’s Health Challenge in my guild and the “3 minute stretch break” Habit supports the “stretch wrists and neck” Daily. Not to mention, while taking that break I can “drink a glass of water” which is one of the challenges Habits. (Habits can be ticked off more than once a day, Dailies only once per day.)
If you set things up so that the habits you’re forming or already have support the things you need to do Daily and vice versa, then there’s a nice flow created and nothing seems as onerous. Something like “daydream”, “journaling”, “work on story” creates a natural flow. You might argue that time spent daydreaming or journaling is a waste of the all-too-precious time you have for writing, but the creative mind often needs an empty space and a fallow time to recharge itself, or to get mentally prepared for writing. Sometimes writing goes a lot faster and easier if you give yourself some breathing space between the loud fast over-stimulated multi-tasking things and your writing time.
Want to eat healthier? Add “eat a vegetable” to your Dailies. Put “Cook a meal” as a Habit or Daily. Grocery shopping could even work as a Habit or Daily because if you go more often, then you can buy fresh veggies more often, which are healthier than pre-packaged meals that you can buy in bulk once every week or two. And all those things are linked. If you eat a vegetable daily (specify a fresh, not canned, vegetable), then you will need to buy fresh veggies regularly…and fresh food is something you cook, not something pre-cooked that just needs warming up.
Habitica can help you make improvements in organizing your life, getting things done, and most importantly, developing the good habits you wished you had, but never quite manage consistently. Habitica really helps consistency. Linkages between habits are key. I’d never thought about it before, but once I started adding things, doing things, moving things from section to section, I could really see a pattern of mutually supporting actions.
In this post I looked at some Challenges (there are lots of self-improvement and productivity challenges in Habitica, as well as some that are just for fun) and how habits and dailies can be self-supporting. Tomorrow I’ll write a bit about Parties and Quests.
Below is the full series of posts. For my post of first impressions after I joined Habitica in fall 2015, see The Most Fun You’ll Ever Have With New Year’s Resolutions.