Heya folks and welcome to a quick bite of some Food for Thought! We’re just finishing the second week of January as we speak and some pretty cool announcements have been made–especially if you’re a Sailor Moon fan. But have you kept up with your New Year’s resolution(s)? The second week seems to be the time when most promises to eat healthier, exercise more, read more comics, etc. come to a close–after all there’s always next year to try something new.
Thankfully, there’s plenty of help out there for those who do want to do something–but might not have the right kind of motivation to help boost them along. From cute RPG-based habit trackers to a zombie jog-chaser, there are plenty of cool ways to keep up all your New Year’s Resolutions and hopefully stick with them!
Personally, I feel that most anyone has the ability to complete a New Year’s resolution goal, whether it’s a daily round of exercise or picking up a new hobby. The problem is, we might be impatient to see improvement, or we might lose the motivation towards keeping track of our progress–a problem that can easily be solved by keeping a calendar, or an agenda on hand for marking off successful days. However, for a pretty comprehensive, interactive way to maintain a steady workload, look no further than HabitRPG to take your daily goals to the next level.
HabitRPG pretty much has all the tools you will need to successfully follow through with personal habit-changing plans with a pretty fun interface to boot! Taking cues from good old RPGS, on HabitRPG you level up as you succeed, lose HP when you fail, slaying your “daily” tasks or your “to-do” list earns you gold for cool class-specific weapons and armor, and much more. It’s pretty cute, very easy to get into, and it is wonderfully free to use.
Basically, I’ve been running with HabitRPG for a little less than a week now, but it’s been pretty helpful for keeping me motivated and staying track with my tasks. What’s key here moreso than the cute JRPG-style game sprites is the ability to track your progress along with the satisfaction that comes with completing daily tasks. For instance, it’s been one of my resolutions to clear my work email inbox to zero everyday to limit clutter–so the minute I finish that “daily” task and check it off as “complete” I earn a set amount of EXP, money, and a distinct feeling of satisfaction. Especially when completing these “daily” tasks consistently earns “streak” bonuses–thus far I’ve been clearing out my inbox five days in a row, and getting that extra bonus PLUS having a clean inbox to sort through has been incredibly helpful.
Now apply that logic to something a little more challenging–like a daily exercise goal, or even a daily writing goal–and cue the immense satisfaction when these tasks are actually completed.
Again, what most people need to help motivate them is a visible tracker of their goals and progress–and HabitRPG certainly fulfills that in a very cute, and very un-pushy way. Someone who has kept up with their resolutions for the long term will of course be a higher leveled player with better equipment; no guilt-tripping here for skipping a day or two, save for a little deduction in HP that is recovered as soon as you level up!
Plus, not only can HabitRPG be used to help keep track of daily tasks, but it can also serve as a nice little agenda to keep track of “to-do’s” throughout the week. Need to be a responsible adult and buy groceries or return those library books? Make each task a “to-do” on HabitRPG, set a due-date, and presto–the second you finish your task you can check it off and collect some much needed EXP and a sense of completion. Plus, HabitRPG is available as an app for iPhone AND Android, so take your habit-changing goals on the road with you!
There is even a bit of a social atmosphere on HabitRPG with a Tavern where players can socialize, friends can form Parties with their own chat-rooms and team up to take on personal quests, and themed guilds that can issue challenges for prize. In short, HabitRPG does its best to follow that “RPG” feel, just with the whole point of the game revolving around you and your personal goals.
How sweet is that?
HabitRPG is a habit-tracker that I would personally recommend as a good start into getting excited about keeping up your New Year’s resolutions if a plain old calendar won’t do–and find in its quiet support and reward system a nice way to ease into disciplining oneself into actively improving.
So now that we have a tool to keep track of our New Year’s resolutions, what can we use to help fulfill them?
If exercise is your goal and you want a little excitement in your routine, try to shake things up with cool apps like Zombies, Run!. Zombies, Run! is a running app that works anywhere you can run–so treadmills are a-okay–and with any level or speed. Simply put in some headphones and let the chilling screams and moans of zombies get the adrenaline pumping as you run for your life in a rather gripping audio-story–like, with a legit plot and everything. It’s pretty neat for a running app especially with all the recent hubub about zombies we hear about nowadays, plus it lets you incorporate your own music tracks and it also keeps track of your running progress.
Also of note, Zombies, Run! has released a 5K Training app which is ideal for beginners that gets you into the habit of running with the necessary exercises and stretching before tackling a long run–a good start for people who want to get in shape but might not realize that you need some proper stretching before any workout! And building up towards a long run is better than hitting the gates without proper preparation.
Getting the Zombies, Run! app will set you back $3.99; the 5K training $1.99, and while it’s not necessary to start adding daily jogging into your life, it may be a cool thing to try out.
Another popular resolution are lists upon lists of “100 New Books to Read” or “20 Books you MUST Read Before You Die”, etc. As someone who basically reads for a living, I can say that reading more is a pretty awesome resolution to have–but of course, don’t think that means you have to pour over the Classics only. Get a head start on some new reading material by picking up a graphic novel, or two, or three–after all, graphic novels are ALL a part of our print culture, too!
If you haven’t read Gene Luen Yang’s Boxers and Saints and are interested in a.) YA books, b.) period dramas, c.) nice art then it’s definitely a must read–and hey, it also won the 2013 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. Another must-read and prize-winner is Saga, that epic space-opera/fantasy comic book series that people are buzzing about–and for good reason. The plot focusses on two lovers from rival extraterrestrial races trying to raise their newborn daughter, Hazel–definitely not something you see or hear about everyday, and the team behind Saga, Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples, handles this story beautifully. By the way, it also won three Eisner Awards and won the 2013 Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story so put that on your “must read for 2014” list ASAP.
And–a personal favorite of mine and just something that everyone should read once in their life–if you haven’t yet checked out Kate Beaton’s Hark a Vagrant you probably should. You could also theoretically knock out a few resolutions (Study history, read classic books) by checking out her absurdly witty period pieces and book summaries. Really, who knew Wuthering Heights could be so much fun
Also, if you just wanted to learn how to do everything/pick up a new hobby as a resolution, this masterpost will probably help steer you in the right direction for cool new reference material to help you achieve your dreams! Avoid “same face” in art, learn how to pull the perfect all-nighter, etc. etc!
Annnd that’s all there is for this week’s Food for Thought! Keep working at those resolutions 😉