If you have a hard time breaking bad habits (or forming positive new ones), the solution may be hidden in a shockingly simple and familiar pastime: gaming.
People all over the world are changing their lives for the better because they have learned how to gamify their routines. There are several ways to jump on board with this trend, and you don’t have to be an experienced “gamer” to get excited about it.
What is gamification?
Gamification is a personal training method that appeals to a person’s competitive nature and provides consistent motivation for a person to improve. It uses visual rewards, such as earning badges or filling in a progress bar, to encourage you to complete tasks and reach goals.
Businesses are already using gamification to engage and motivate their employees. According to a Markets and Markets report, the gamification market is on pace to grow from $1.65 billion in 2015 to 11.10 billion by 2020.
There are several consumer applications for your tablet or smartphone that exist to turn your life into a game. Try Habitica or SuperBetter to get started. All you have to do is set goals, and then list the tasks necessary to reach those goals.
The Habitica app adds a fun fantasy theme to every-day tasks.
Reach personal fitness goals by gamifying your workout routine. Add healthy eating goals by rewarding yourself for eating your daily veggies. You can even add negative tasks, such as “don’t drink soda.” If you reach the end of your day and you’re still soda-free, check it off and receive your reward.
Professionals often use gamification to improve their work life. Add your daily to-do list to your gamification app and check each item off one by one. The more productive you are at work, the more points you will score and the more virtual rewards you will receive.
You can even gamify your personal life. Put grocery shopping, house cleaning and home projects on your gamified app. Those tasks you’ve been putting off will suddenly become top priorities.
Why does it work?
If you’ve ever been motivated to hit the step count on your fitness tracker or to collect punches on a “frequent customer” card, gamification has worked for you. During childhood, your teachers gamified your learning experience with sticker charts. At work, your boss may have gamified your environment by creating goals and offering incentives to the employees who reach those goals.
Gamification works because people are inherently interested in achieving rewards. Tangible rewards, such as free coffee upon the fulfillment of a punch card or a bonus upon reaching a sales goal, are very effective. But if you’ve ever been hooked by a video game, you know that collecting virtual “coins” or “lives” can be just as motivating.
Download a gamification app today to see if this method of motivation works to help you improve your health, work experience or personal life. Share your stories with us in the comments!