I don’t have birthdays, I level up: How to make everything a game for better success, or, My Top 3 Tools

I don’t have birthdays, I level up: How to make everything a game for better success, or, My Top 3 Tools

I grew up playing Super Nintendo (and sometimes I still do). So, I’m very familiar with single player role playing games. I’ve dabbled in D&D as well…and I tend to make a lot of jokes based on this. My man plays a lot of PC and Xbox games, so I keep myself informed on the games that are being developed, and what makes them so fun, and why people stop playing at any point. Knowing how well challenges and puzzles and levels and bonuses work to motivate us to keep playing, I wanted to modify this idea to work for, well, LIFE. We like rewards, don’t we? Even if it’s just a couple of chimed notes and an icon in a treasure chest, WE WANT IT. Give me that gold star!

What’s better than a gold star? Losing that first 10 pounds, or that last 10 pounds. Feeling like you have the energy to do whatever makes you a badass, AND chase the kids, AND clean the house, AND do your workout, and have an intelligent conversation at the end of the day. Finally finishing those dozen projects that have been stacking up. It’s incredibly easy to get stuck in the daily grind and forget the bigger goals. “I just have to make it to Friday; I can do the dishes and laundry tomorrow; That meeting was rough, I’m going to veg on the couch all night.” I’m familiar with the litany, it tends to drown out all your goals and dreams and motivation is a sea of, I’m sorry, mediocrity. You aren’t mediocre, and you know it, so I want to give you my top 3 tools I use to keep myself from losing the big picture while I watch the bugs pick at the bark on the trees.

These will require a phone or device of your choosing (I’m an Android girl), and I recommend bluetooth headphones. I love bluetooth headphones. I have 2 pairs.

First, is Ingress. This is an Android app for your phone that utilizes your location to turn your real world into a virtual one, where you need to take over locations, collect energy, get weapons, and protect your bases. The key is, you have to actually BE in the real world location to interact with it in the game. Which means, you have to walk, or run, or in some other way ambulate to the game’s landmarks. There are a handful near my house, so when I go out fitnessing, I hit them each up, earn my points, and keep going. I switch up the order so I don’t get bored. There’s a few parks in the area I still need to explore for checkpoints, and since it’s finally getting warmer, this will happen very soon. Listen, don’t drive to your locations, ok? That’s cheating. I’m not cool with cheating. We won’t be friends anymore. Biking is cool, as long as your bike doesn’t have a motor. And extra bonus points to anyone who rollerblades, because who does that anymore? Pics, people! Take over locations, get energy, gain points, level up, collect items, stay active. Winning!

Second, is called HabitRPG. This literally turns your life into a game. You enter the things that you want to do on a regular basis and schedule the frequency (Work out 4 days a week with heavy weights, work on your pet project every night for 2 hours, cook a meal, etc.) along with things you want to avoid doing (eat pizza and drink beer, take the elevator to your 2nd floor office, watch several hours of TV) and you enter what you did. The things that you set as your goals will earn you points, the things that you set as what you want to avoid will take away points. You create a little avatar and make them look how you want, and with your points you can buy special clothes and accessories. It’s a pretty big community, and there are events to participate in. So, while Ingress is great for the physical activity aspect, HabitRPG is great for whatever you want to focus on. Since you create your own goals and can change them at any time, it’s infinitely customizable, and can be a great tool to help you stay on track.

Third and last is my current favorite workout app, Skimble. I’ve used quite a few workout apps on my phone, and this one is staying at the top of my list. They have hundreds, if not thousands, of premade workouts, in every intensity, for whatever length of time you want to spend, and will focus on whatever muscle groups you are looking to work. You can make your own workouts too, and target exactly the way you want to. Just don’t make it too easy! This isn’t a game persay, but it’s such a great tool, I need to share. You can save workouts for offline mode, and if you get the paid version there are more workouts and interactive virtual trainers, but the free version is just fine. I have about 50 workouts saved on mine, so I have a variety to pick from, and don’t get bored…though I do spend too much time sorting through them to pick the one I want. Not all of the workouts are home-runs for everyone, but there are visual and audio explanations of each of the moves, which is why I think this app is so spiffy. It’s great for experts, but it’s also great for absolute beginners. And generally, the workouts require minimal equipment, if any at all, and will definitely make you sweat! This app will also keep track of the workouts you do, so you have a record, and you can post your completed workouts to facebook if you’re in a challenge group or have an accountability buddy.

And there you have my top 3 tools for greater success! Have any other that you love? Share with the class!

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