Once I realised how much satisfaction I received from beating expectations and reaping the rewards, I decided to gamify my life…
Well, I’ve drawn on my competitiveness, my a%*l-retentive tendencies, and have found a way to manipulate myself in order to achieve certain goals. Everything can be scored — and when you score there are prizes!
The more formal way of describing gamification is found here:
“Gamification is the concept of applying game mechanics and game design techniques to engage and motivate people to achieve their goals. Gamification taps into the basic desires and needs of the users impulses which revolve around the idea of status and achievement.”
A number of SaaS products today implement gamification into their products or services — this helps to further engage users and can strengthen referrals and brand awareness . I say if it works for SaaS, it can work for self.
My results? As someone often in trouble by doctors for “burning the candle at both ends,” my gamification started off in a potentially detrimental way; however it has become a useful process to prioritise activities in order to tip-toe closer to a healthy and balanced lifestyle. I say tip-toe as I do not have a balanced life yet (and I’d hate to be in trouble for a misleading post) :)
My personal competitiveness was clearly identified through a family intervention.
About 5 years ago I joined a group fitness website where you would receive a new activity per month (e.g. 100 squats, 1 minute of plank, 100 crunches — per day for a month). When you achieved this you would receive a star beside your name! (the little things in life) :) The terrible thing was, if you doubled the activity, you received 2 stars, 3 stars if you achieved triple, and so on…. I’m sure you can guess what happened next.
I gave myself a set timeline to be at the top of the leaderboard — and the limited time I’d allowed myself meant at least tripling each month’s activity. After being caught sneakily fitting in squats during family gatherings (difficult to squat with a chicken wing and apple cider in hand), I received a family intervention. I had to promise to quit the group once I made it to the top of the leaderboard.
I stuck to both promises :)
Generally, if I’ve taken on a new activity — there’s a spreadsheet for it. It’s become a running joke with family and friends; however it’s a great way to introduce gamification into your life.
My latest spreadsheet included a list of activities I wanted to become daily habits, including:
- water to start the day each morning, followed by a Berocca
- removing make-up, and flossing (yes, I was very lazy prior to this)
- making my bed and keeping the house tidy
- all my physio exercises
- fitness activities
- yoga and meditation
I scored each of them against their timeliness, difficulty, and my hatred of them; and I noted how many times I would realistically like to achieve these. As a competitive person, I like to beat expectation. As a result, I ensured the scores were not easy, certainly achievable; however also beatable. I then determined the potential total scores I would likely achieve in a given fortnight, and identified rewards.
Yes, I really like bad food. We’ll cover my diet another time ;)
The maximum points was something I added given my previous family intervention… I’m learning :)
Are you this ridiculous?
What did you implement and what results did you see?