Starting Over Options

startingover2x

It’s Wiki Wednesday! Once a month we highlight a helpful post from the Wiki with tips about productivity, wellness, and optimizing your use of Habitica!

It’s a new year, and if you’ve been considering making a new start in Habitica, this is a great time to do it! You could be interested in beginning again for any number of reasons, and so you may be wondering how to best go about this for your individual needs. Habitica offers a few ways to start over that have different degrees of permanence and different effects on your Inventory, Tasks, and Stats . Luckily, the Wiki Scribes have great detailed information to help you choose the best path for your fresh start!

A player wishing to start anew in Habitica can choose from many options. Each option resets different aspects of the game and carries different risks.

Want to know more? Head over to the wiki to check out the full article!

 

Contributor Spotlight: Megan

megan_contrib_promo

Welcome to the Contributor Spotlight Series, where we interview amazing members of the Habitica community! Today we’re chatting with Megan, one of our Moderators and Pixel Artists. She helps manage the community and keep Habitica safe and happy, and she has created some exciting pixel art for us!


Megan, how did you get involved with Habitica?

I don’t remember for sure… I think that I specifically went looking for task gamification and stumbled across the Kickstarter campaign or maybe a blog post somewhere. At first, I wasn’t socially active at all and I didn’t have a party. I was just toodling along on my own. I drifted away for a while, and when I came back I started lurking in the Tavern, and then I started answering some questions, and one thing led to another and here I am—still totally hooked!

What’s your proudest contribution to Habitica?

The Egg pets! I still get almost giddy any time I see one in someone’s profile. I’m also deeply honored to be a moderator. It’s intensely rewarding to be part of this community.

What are your secret superpowers?

Attention to detail, and sleeping—I think my personal best was 14 continuous hours.

What are your secret weaknesses?

Procrastination, mostly because I get easily overwhelmed by the fear of doing a bad job. Also bugs. Adorable pixel art bugs are great! But real life bugs… More than four legs is TOO MANY LEGS. I can mostly behave like a rational person in the presence of bugs, but if I get startled or if they come right at me… there is shrieking. And leaping onto furniture. They might crawl on me, and apparently that is The Worst Thing Ever.

What are your favorite Habitican pets/mounts?

Foxes! The foxes have always been my favorites. I play with other pets and mounts sometimes, but I always come back to the foxes. I particularly love the Base, Desert, and Golden Foxes.

foxes_megan_contrib

 

What are some things you’re tracking in Habitica?

Habits and to-dos have never really clicked for me, but dailies have changed my life. I have depression, and I mostly track things that support my mental health. I like to give them gamified names when I can. So I have Armor Up (put on clothes), Venture Forth (go outside), Healing Magick (take my meds), etc. (I work from home, so wearing real clothes and going outside are actually optional for me most days). It’s like a set of guard rails. Most days, these things aren’t hard, but doing them helps keep the depression at bay. Some days, they are really really hard and I can only do a few of them, but even doing a few helps me get through it.

What do you like to do in your free time?

Read (mostly YA fantasy), snuggle my kitties, draw, journal, craft… Also nap. Naps are the best.

What are your top Habitica tips and tricks?

If something’s not working, change it. Don’t worry about what “should” work, or how much reward you “deserve” for a task. There is no such thing as cheating in Habitica. Do whatever helps.

Where do you like to hang out in Habitica?

Mostly the Tavern, Aspiring Socialites, and Newbies. Lately, I’ve been enjoying Planner Addicts of the Papery Kind.

megan_contrib_tavern
Want to learn about some of the other contributors who make Habitica such a cool place? Check the Contributor Spotlight tag on our blog!

Use Case Spotlight: Health and Fitness

habiticans_eating_healthy_by_aries_faries
Illustration by Aries Faries

 

Happy New Year, Habiticans! January is a fantastic time for a fresh start and new takes on your tasks and goals. Here are some great tips, tricks, and ideas for using Habitica to set (and maintain!) new tasks and goals related to your Health and Fitness. These come from your fellow players in the Use Case Spotlights Guild!

Fishdye uses positive reinforcement:

Rather than having a daily for exercise, I created a positive habit for it called “Exercise . . . DOMINION!” and give myself one click for each 10-minute increment I do. I’ll also create specific To-Do’s for strenuous tasks, like shoveling snow from my driveway; then I’ll get to check off a to-do AND a click for each 10 minutes I spent. I find having an abundance of positive incentives very motivating!

pmcatnip offers a great way to reward yourself for walking:

I have a Habit for walking a mile and a Daily for going on a walk of any distance. That way I never feel like any walk is “too short.” By going on more walks, even short ones, I get more exercise overall and frequently decide to just keep going because I’m enjoying it.

rosedoesthings gives a tip for that all-important but oft-forgotten health staple: drinking more water!

I have a positive Habit for drinking 8 ounces of water. I like the specific quantity because I can feel better about drinking more water rather than just saying “Okay, I drank my glass for the day.”

BardoVelho’s party makes accountability fun:

…I’m running the drinking water challenge “Water:drop:Bending” inside my party, which is actually a bet: if a member skips the self-imposed water daily portion, has to pay a penalty of 100 GP, and the current water benders receive that GP (we do this by Fixing Character Values).

Drosera notes the importance of taking stock of how you’re doing with your health-related tasks:

…The +/- habits for things like “keep to diet” or “eat healthy food” or “went out to eat” helps me see the overall trend of my progress on trying to eat healthier. Which I realize is part of the point of a +/- habit, but for some reason that’s when the light bulb finally went off for me, when I started eating junk food again and saw that my habits had gotten quite a bit redder.

There were so many helpful and exciting tips we couldn’t feature them all here! You can see them all and join in the discussion in the Use Case Spotlights Guild– one of your ideas could be featured next month! Look for an announcement of next month’s theme from Bailey soon.

Also, if you missed it you may want to take a look at our most recent Guild Spotlight, which showcases groups dedicated to Self-Care and Wellness- another important aspect of your health. These Guilds can give you more ideas and some even have themed Challenges to help you unwind and de-stress!

BEHIND THE SCENES: Habitica Staff New Year’s Resolutions!

The “Behind The Scenes” series is a chance for us to give you a glimpse into the inner workings of HabitRPG, Inc., the company that makes Habitica. Every so often, we’ll treat you to some silly staff shenanigans or show you the work that goes into your favorite features. Enjoy!

staff-promo-final

2016 is behind us, and that means that it’s the season for New Year’s Resolutions! Since we’re all working on planning out our goals, we figured that we should let you in on the fun. Besides, this post means that we’re all eligible for the new Official Habitica New Years Resolution Challenge!  If you want a chance at being one of the five users to win 15 gems, you should definitely check it out.

So without further ado, here are the staff’s #HabiticaResolutions!

Leslie, AKA Lemoness:
“I want to get better at staying in touch with my long-distance friends! I’m hoping to build more frequent communication into my schedule. I’m making:

* A positive Habit for reaching out
*A Daily that repeats once a week, on the weekends.”

Sabe, AKA SabreCat:

“My 2017 goal is to drastically reduce the amount of time I spend on video games and social media. To that end, I have:

* A Daily, “No video gaming or recreational Internet”, active Monday-Saturday. Sunday is my cheat day!
* A + Habit “Resist a gaming or social media impulse”
* A – Habit “Fail to resist a gaming or social media impulse”. (I like splitting up + and – Habits so they return to yellow over time.)

It’s already leading to good results on my existing tasks, like the Habits ‘Pomodoro of focused effort’ and Reading, per chapter!'”

Keith, AKA TheHollidayInn:

 

“My 2017 goal is to finish 3 open source projects of my own (I’m terrible at posting my own stuff). 2 code and 1 hardware/code. To accomplish this goal:

*I have a ‘weekly setup daily’ which has the three project items as a check list.
*I then build out 3 todos every Sunday – one for each project. Then, it is my goal to complete those todos before the next week.”

Vicky, AKA redphoenix:

“My 2017 resolution is to go out and have new experiences at least once a month!

I’ve set a Daily for this resolution to pop up every Sunday as part of my weekly reflection, with four checklist items that I’d rotate through depending on where I was in the cycle. Here’s what it looks like:
Do A New Thing!
* Wk A: Research and Pick the next Thing
* Wk B: Plan the Trip
* Wk C: Do The Thing!
* Wk D: Debrief and brainstorm other New Things to do

(Can you tell that I’m as anxious for Monthlies as everyone else??)”

Phillip, AKA viirus:

“My 2017 goal is to be able to run a half marathon by fall. I won’t participate in one, but I want to be able to run the distance by then. As a stretch goal, getting below 2 hrs would be awesome, but not sure if I’d make that.
* A daily on 3 days a week to go for a run
* A positive habit, that I score when a run went particularly well
* One todo each for running 5k, 10 and then 21k”

Wish us luck!

leephon_sweeping

Habit, Daily, or To-Do? Task Type Choice

It’s Wiki Wednesday! Once a month we highlight a helpful post from the Wiki with tips about productivity, wellness, and optimizing your use of Habitica!

sweeping_by_leephon
Illustration by Leephon

Habitica offers three ways to track your tasks: Habits, Dailies, and To-Dos. Sometimes it seems easy to choose what category to put a task into, but now and then you might add a task that is little more complicated to pin down! The Wiki Scribes have just the thing to help you out: a page that gives detailed explanations of what kinds of tasks best fit each type.

…if your task is a one off, make it a To-Do. If you need to work on a habit, like quitting smoking or eating more healthily, make it a Habit. Enter scheduled, repeatable tasks, such as taking your dog for its morning walk, as Dailies. Dailies are also good for habits or once-off tasks that you really need to work on, because you will be automatically penalized for every day you put them off.

Want to know more? Head over to the wiki to check out the full article!

BEHIND THE SCENES: How We Coordinate Work Through Meetings

The “Behind The Scenes” series is a chance for us to give you a glimpse into the inner workings of HabitRPG, Inc., the company that makes Habitica. Every so often, we’ll treat you to some silly staff shenanigans or show you the work that goes into your favorite features. Enjoy!

We get a surprising number of questions about how the Habitica team gets stuff done! While we all use Habitica to manage our personal tasks, a lot of what we do is too big for any one person to manage by themselves. Here’s a primer on how staff and contributors coordinate work and collaborate at HabitRPG, Inc.

staff-promo-final

Remote Work and an LA Nucleus

If you’ve been following the team at all, you’ve probably noticed that while Lemoness and redphoenix are based in Los Angeles, the rest of the team chimes in from time zones across the world. This is in large part because Habitica’s roots are in open source, where non-co-located collaboration is the default. However, we’ve also learned to institute some working structure so that we can keep pushing out improvements on a regular basis! Some of the strategies we’ve found useful are daily standup meetings, weekly updates, and regular in-person meetings.

Daily Standup for Structure: The Full Time Team

Every day at 11 am Pacific (that’s 7pm UTC!) we have a thirty minute “standup” meeting for the full time staff members. Standups are fairly typical in the tech industry, but Habitica does them a little differently. We use the time to update each other on what we’re doing for that day, including flagging stuff that needs intervention or assistance from another staff member, and then finish out the meeting with “picks.” (More on those later.) Basically, we’re each others’ accountability buddies.

As the team gets larger and it gets more difficult to constrain ourselves to 30 minutes or a single time slot, we may start experimenting with a rotating standup meeting or a split standup depending on teams. We’re still small enough that adding a new person to the mix changes the dynamic, so we’re definitely still in the experimental phase as far as figuring what works best for everyone involved!

Weekly Sync-up

Of course, Habitica also relies on a core team of part time contractors in addition to full time staff. A weekly check in on major projects helps us make sure that things keep moving forward. As with the Daily Standup meetings, picks are allowed and encouraged!

So what are “Picks”?

Picks are basically show-and-tell–each team member gets to share with the group something that they’re inspired by, excited about, or that they recommend to at least one other member of the group. Because picks aren’t necessarily work related and they happen on a daily basis, occasionally they’ll veer into tentative or lukewarm reviews (“I am not sure about this TV series that I just started watching”) or even anti-picks (“goat milk in coffee is really not recommended”). Over time, picks become a really good way to get to know each other’s likes and dislikes. For example, viirus really likes Legos.

staff-on-beach
L to R: paglias, Lemoness, SabreCat, and TheHollidayInn, on a walk near our office!

In-person meetings

Some discussions are better had in person, even if you’re a team full of introverts. One thing we’re currently trying out is holding team retreats more regularly. Team members can get some face time with each other, not just FaceTime. We try to do at least one afternoon/evening of non-work activity so that we get to know each other outside of a work context, but also have a big project or discussion scheduled that would particularly benefit from being discussed with everyone in a room. So far these have proved super valuable for everyone to get on the same page and air any concerns that might otherwise get swept under the rug during day-to-day operations.

Separately from the team, Lemoness and redphoenix meet in-person at least once or twice a week, along with any team members in town for work or pleasure. We generally host out of our coworking space two blocks from the beach in Santa Monica, nearby some great restaurants and some really good cookies.

…Ok, maybe the questions about how we work aren’t so surprising. Given that we’re a productivity company, people do expect us to set an example for how to be more productive! We also spend a lot of time thinking about how to maintain peak performance, since we’ve learned from hard experience that long term sustainability is more difficult than “just work harder and longer.”Everyone’s a bit different, though, so in future blog posts we’ll be sharing strategies that work for each individual member of the team. Stay tuned!

rosemonkey_meditation6x

‘Tis the Season to De-Stress: Guilds for Self-Care and Wellness

rosemonkey_meditation6x
Illustration by Rosemonkey

December is a month that brings celebration and fun, but also sometimes stress. Whether you’re stressing from the many tasks you’re doing to prepare for the holidays, your final exams in school, or just feeling the winter blues, Habitica is here to help! This month we highlight some Guilds in Habitica that focus on self-care and wellness: things that are important all year round!

Good Things Today: https://habitica.com/#/options/groups/guilds/6193e183-4dc8-4d50-9744-121c45305b7b

Sometimes we can all get bogged down in negativity, and end up feeling sad and unmotivated. Good Things Today is a welcome refuge of positivity! It’s simple- post three things that make you happy or make you feel good in their chat, and enjoy reading posts from others in the Guild. They even have a monthly “Good Things Today” Challenge so you have a chance to win gems for consistently making your happy posts!

The Basics: https://habitica.com/#/options/groups/guilds/033c9ff6-6fe2-4a94-8bd9-0f4fbbec104e

If holiday and/or end-of-the-year stress has you down and not feeling up to daily tasks or your normal routine, The Basics Guild is here for you! This Guild has some great Challenges related to different kinds of tasks as well as health and self-care. The Basics also has an active and supportive chat, so you can get advice and encouragement from fellow members.

The Mindfulness and Stress Relief Guild: https://habitica.com/#/options/groups/guilds/5b92fb16-8a21-4678-ad85-655f00683c3a

Come to the Mindfulness and Stress Relief Guild to check out a variety of great Challenges and resources to help you with stress management and relaxation! The Guild also has a great, supportive chat space for discussing your pursuit of peacefulness and exchanging information on helpful resources.

These Guilds and many others are here to help you remember to take time for yourself this month. Check them out for a dose of relaxation!

keith_promo

STAFF SPOTLIGHT: Keith AKA TheHollidayInn

Welcome to the Staff Spotlight Series, where we interview members of the Habitica Team! Today we’re chatting with Keith, also known as TheHollidayInn. Keith is an avid engineer who is able to work on both the web version and Android app. He’s also spearheading the upcoming group plans!

keith_promo

What’s your proudest contribution to Habitica?

“API-V3. This was not a solo contribution, but it was the first major project I worked on here at Habitica. The project was also the first time I was able to work with the team. Plus, cleaning code is always a good time.”

What are your secret superpowers?

“I can write a mean math proof. I’m not sure if it is too much of a secret since I have a degree in mathematics. However, when people ask me about what I studied in college, I tell them my last 2 years was doing that proof writing stuff you did in geometry grade-school times 10.”

What are your secret weaknesses?

“Reese’s candies. This become even more evident around the holidays. Peanut butter with chocolate is hard for me to resist.”

Favorite Habitican pets/mounts:

“Skeleton Dragons. I have liked dragons since I was a child. They really brought me into the fantasy world. And, the little skeleton dragon pet is so cute!”

skeleton_dragons-copy

 

 

What some things you’re tracking in Habitica?

“I use Habitica to track all of my current in-progress tasks. I do two things:

  1. Every week I prepare multiple To-dos (with checklists) of projects or study items I want to complete during the week.
  2. I create a To-do each day with a list I need to complete the next day.”

How do you use Custom Rewards?

“I don’t use custom rewards much. I very much like gathering gold and in-game items. But, I do reward myself with a Friday dinner when I have completed my week’s tasks.”

Do you have a daily routine/ritual?

“Yep! And I have Habitica to thank for that. I wake up in the morning to run/workout. Then, I begin working through my To-do lists. I will then take a break to knock out some of my Daily ‘academic studies’ – which include reading non-programming books and learning languages, etc. Then, back to the work list and finally a cleaning Daily to make sure my apartment stays fresh :D”

How do you spend your time when you’re not working on Habitica?

“When I am not working on Habitica, I like to do many things! I read many books, hangout with friends, run 5ks, play video games, and take my dog Izzy to parks.”

Top Habitica tips and tricks?

“Use the Daily feature to get a routine. Start very small, but then slowly build. Once you get into a good routine, you will find yourself very productive. But always give yourself some margin of error. It is okay to miss a day or Daily.”

 

keith_alys_wizard_tower

Favorite Habitica anecdote?

“When I first started contributing to Habitica, I messed up a lot. I had very little experience with MEAN and Github, so I expected some mistakes, but I felt so bad about these mistakes that I messaged Alys apologizing. She told me stories of other contributors making mistakes and really motivated me to continue working on. I really think I would have stopped contributing if it wasn’t for her.”

 

Want to learn more about the people who make Habitica? Check out our other posts in this series:
Spotlight on Vicky AKA Redphoenix
Spotlight on Leslie AKA Lemoness
Spotlight on Sabe AKA SabreCat

Spotlight on Matteo AKA Paglias

Spotlight on Phillip AKA viirus

holidaypreppromo

Use Case Spotlight: Prepping for the Holidays!

holidaypreppromo

Wow, December is going by so fast, and the holidays are fast approaching!  Here are some great ideas, tips, and tricks for using Habitica to be ready for that fun, festive time of year. These tips come from players in the Use Case Spotlights Guild!

Remedie has some great ideas for To-Dos and special tags:

I have To Dos for each present, tagged with “presents”, and each with a checklist: “bought” and “wrapped.”

When I was in college, I also had a tag of “doomy dooms of end-of-semester doom” (or something suitably dramatic), and To Dos for each class, with checklists of anything major that had to be done for that class (projects, papers, presentations, exams.) before I could go home for break. It was always very satisfying to head home for Christmas knowing that I hadn’t forgotten anything.

Mikachu reminds us to keep our goals balanced, which is so important this time of year!

Putting everything I want to do for the holidays into Habitica is also helpful in giving me perspective; I may want to make presents for every family member, decorate my entire house, bake cookies as often as possible, send cards, host a party, watch my favorite holiday specials, go see The Nutcracker, etc. but when all of that is written down, I can see when I’m asking too much of myself and further, I am more easily able to pare down and cut out my holiday tasks so that I’m able to have a productive, happy holiday season, rather than a frantic, let-it-be-over one.

Shulamit offers an idea for a customized Challenge:

I create a challenge with all the things I need to do to prepare for Pesach (Passover). Each room that needs cleaning gets its own task in the challenge, and within that task, I use checklist to further clarify what needs doing in that room. I also add to-do’s in the challenge for preparing the food and the ritual. Then I add a habit for doing 30 minutes on the list.

SingOutLouise suggests a “Holiday Bucket List”:

I’ve had one for Fall (example tasks: carving a pumpkin, drinking apple cider, going to a football game, etc.) and it has been so helpful in giving me fun activities that I wouldn’t make an excuse to do for myself normally (see: go to a haunted house). It’s a very childlike version of self-care that inspires joy and excitement every time I open my ToDo list. I’ll be checking the whole ToDo off this weekend (18 items, check!!!) and getting started on my Holidays one!

There were so many helpful and exciting tips we couldn’t feature them all here! You can see them all and join in the discussion in the Use Case Spotlights Guild– one of your ideas could be featured next month! Look for an announcement of next month’s theme from Bailey soon.

Also, if you missed it you may want to take a look at our most recent Guild Spotlight, which showcases holiday-prep-themed groups. These Guilds can give you more ideas and some even have themed Challenges to give you a jump-start!

winterwonderland_promo_editnov16

Prepping for the Holidays

winterwonderland_promo_editnov16
Habitica’s NPCs are ready to celebrate!

The holidays are a time of joy, togetherness and celebration. But getting ready for all that can really be a lot of work! This month we focus on some Guilds in Habitica that can help you to plan, prepare, and get things done so that you can sit back and enjoy the best parts of the holiday season.

Make Your Home Sweet Home https://habitica.com/#/options/groups/guilds/d33f834c-9c24-4484-9d1c-95dfa323175e

This Guild focuses on making your living space neat, happy, and welcoming, so they are ready to help you prepare to entertain guests or host holiday gatherings. Check out their themed weekly decluttering Challenges!

Financial Discipline Group: https://habitica.com/#/options/groups/guilds/09a66cc6-62d9-4eaf-a705-4ea8ea330544

Are you trying to save money for gifts or other holiday treats? Or maybe you’re trying to reign in your holiday spending this year? Check out this Guild for advice, strategies, and Challenges that will help you spend and save wisely.

Decluttering Devils: https://habitica.com/#/options/groups/guilds/38254464-1fbc-40f3-8565-46e9b8a91f7d

Decluttering Devils are all about creating more space and a feeling of neatness and tranquility in your home. Let their Challenges motivate you to clean up that jumbled corner or closet you’ve been avoiding. You know the one!

Seasonal Decoration Guild: https://habitica.com/#/options/groups/guilds/f065a669-9483-42d4-9562-7f8dd5b8adb7

This Guild is focused specifically on decorating and hosting for the holidays, and features a set of Challenges to help make the holidays stress-free no matter what you celebrate. The chat is full of people sharing pictures, swapping ideas, and getting organized so that you can indulge your holiday hobbies without breaking a sweat or breaking the bank.

These Guilds and many others are ready to motivate you to you set goals, prepare, and work toward a happy, relaxing holiday. And they’ll be helpful when you’re cleaning up after your celebrations and preparing for the New Year, too!