I can’t believe it’s been a month already! Last month, I shared a fitness tracker program called Nerd Fitness Academy. If you aren’t familiar, it’s a diet and exercise program that incorporates RPG themes. You choose a class from a handful of standard archetypes (warrior, ranger, monk, etc.), and build a fitness regimen around that class.
In the last month, I’ve lost 15 pounds, eliminated sugary drinks completely, and learned 4 new recipes (the hand pies I shared this week, a perfect stir fry sauce, a tasty bruschetta, and the Weight Watchers 0 Point Cabbage Soup). You can pay the subscription to get the Nerd Fitness course materials, but I’ve been using the progress tracker for free as a way to incentivize my healthy habits. I completed my first level on Tuesday, so I am now a Level 2 Druid according to NFA. Druids are focused on flexibility and agility, a primarily vegetarian diet, and internal balance. Yoga and meditation are popular activities for Druids. Without the course materials, I have chosen my own goals to complete based on the class description, and it’s worked wonders!
I have found this method of rewards more motivating than anything else I’ve tried, but I’m always tempted to add non-fitness goals to my quest log. That wouldn’t give an accurate representation of the work I’m putting into getting healthy, so I looked up HabitRPG again. I tried it a couple years ago, but didn’t really keep up with it, and since then it has changed to Habitica. My progress and rewards were saved from the last time I played, so I made some quick adjustments to my goals.
Habitica makes habit training a game, but in a more literal way. Completing good habits gets you XP and gold while indulging in bad habits takes away your health. You use the gold to buy gear for your avatar the way you would in any game. There are also challenges put up by other players that you can take to earn gems. Gems are used for special items and bonus quests. You can even form groups with friends to fight monsters as an accountability strategy. When you take a monster quest, the monster has a certain strength and health. Completing your daily habits damages the monster, but any uncompleted dailies within the party damages that player. So if you’ve made it a daily goal to drink x cups of water, you’d better do it and check it off your list.
Habitica led me to another great improvement program with point and level incentive. I took a 10 Habits challenge, which automatically added 10 goals/tasks to my personal lists, and one of the goals was Language. The description encouraged participants to set aside some time each day to learn a different language. It suggested Duolingo. This program is so much fun. You jump right in and the tracker lets you set your own daily goal, but then holds you accountable for that goal through the points system. I only set my goal for 20 points/day, but so far I’ve cranked out 100 each day. You get 10 points for each module, and for refreshers, and when you finish a chapter, you get lingots. Lingots let you buy bonus modules and freezes for when you know you won’t be able to access the site. Ich lerne Deutsch!
So I’m feeding my brain and my body all kinds of healthy things right now! I love it!