Nearly a month ago, Seth Godin shared a blog post titled, On New Habits. In it he shares,
Old habits die hard,…You can live on old habits for a while, but the future depends on investing in finding and building some new ones with (and for) your customers. Or your family. Or yourself. The most powerful insight is that you can do it with intent. You can decide that you want some new habits, and then go get them.
The full post is available here. It has a few more lines about customer’s habits and how you should think of them. Well worth the extra couple of seconds to read it in its entirety.
That last sentence from the quote with its charge to “go get them” led me to think, “how could I do that? How could I succeed in creating new habits where I’ve failed to keep my resolutions in year’s past?” It’s something I’ve been working on the last few weeks. (For a truly cerebral look at habits, I highly recommend The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg.)
I shared in one of my first blog posts, You can’t control what you can’t measure; so I thought to go look for a tool to track my habits. Now I know that this sounds like a special kind of hell to some of you. I definitely wasn’t thinking, “I wonder how I can add overhead to not doing the things I’m supposed to be doing?…” My wife has done a pretty good job tracking her resolutions on a wall calendar, but I’d forsaken tracking things on paper awhile ago and I just didn’t see myself going that retro. However, I’ve since found this Super Mario Bros. wall calendar on clearance at Think Geek and ordered it.
Still, I needed a habit tracking system that was as mobile as I am. So I started looking at online articles and in my iPhone’s App Store. I found some great articles (like this one) and looked at all of the recommended apps. And yet, I found most require costly monthly subscriptions or are tied to a single platform (Android, Apple or Windows only), and that bothered me. I didn’t want to always be having to access one device even though it may not be the closest. (See how lazy I can be, I really need this!)
To my surprise, I found the best one (for me) at the bottom of the article I shared in the link above. Habitica resembles an old school role playing game (like the first Final Fantasy and Dragon Warrior games) which may not appeal to many like it did to me. However, it’s free; it can be accessed on all your devices and it combines your recurring tasks called Dailies (even though it can cover a variety of recurrence patterns including weekly and monthly) with Habits tracking (things you might do more than once a day or on a flexible schedule) and a well thought out To Do list. It really packs in a lot of functionality in a pretty simple interface and you get to level up your avatar like you would in a role playing game. His progress is directly tied to your progress. See a pic of the fellow at the bottom of the post.
Many of us are used to putting ourselves last. Who knows? You may have more success reaching your goals by helping your avatar reach their’s.