Keeping it Delicious and Nutritious: Guilds for Food and Cooking

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Illustration by KusSv

 

Last month, we looked at Health- and Fitness-related Guilds as we started off the New Year. Now we’re exploring another important aspect of your health: fueling your body and delighting your senses with delicious and wholesome food! Whether you’re totally new to eating healthy, or you’re a nutrition and food-prep pro, you can find fellow Habiticans who are excited to share tips, tricks, recipes, and more. Join us as we highlight a few of the Guilds in Habitica that focus on Food and Cooking!

The Chef’s Special https://habitica.com/#/options/groups/guilds/0f2c28ff-35db-47eb-a459-5466dcd7d958

The Chef’s Special is a place for cooking fanatics to connect! Guild members share recipes, talk technique, and share their favorite tips for making delicious meals. They also have some fun Challenges that will inspire you to try new things!

Vegetarians and Vegans: https://habitica.com/#/options/groups/guilds/1a7d0075-d590-4aaf-b671-52c5a514a8cf

Are you a lifelong vegetarian/vegan? Thinking about becoming one? Or maybe you are just looking into ways to reduce the amount of meat you consume for health or environmental reasons? If any of those apply to you, check out the Vegetarians and Vegans Guild for tips, recipes, and discussions of how to stay healthy on a diet that omits or reduces use of animal products!

Foodies: https://habitica.com/#/options/groups/guilds/2ed36580-011f-4abb-94fc-e52022f38f6f

This Guild is for everyone who loves food. Join discussions about recipes, restaurants, nutrition, and food-related culture from around the world,. This Guild also hosts a number of Challenges that can help you explore fun new food horizons or even help you pursue healthier eating habits!

Veggie Cooking Club: https://habitica.com/#/options/groups/guilds/30af590a-74d4-4e68-9e72-558a75c6c64d

If you love eating plants, this is the Guild for you! Open to those of all dietary persuasions, this group offers a great chat space for sharing veggie-forward recipes and exploring the best that the wide world of fruits and vegetables has to offer. Veggie Cooking Club is also home to a monthly Veggie Cooking Challenge!

These Guilds and many others are here to help you pursue nutritional goals as well as discover new and exciting foods and recipes. Check them out and get cooking! And if you’re looking for more advice on upping your Food and Cooking game, be sure to read this month’s Use Case Spotlight, featuring tips and tricks from fellow Habiticans!

Contributor Spotlight: shanaqui

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Welcome to the Contributor Spotlight Series, where we interview amazing members of the Habitica community! Today we’re chatting with shanaqui, one of our Moderators and Challengers. They help manage the community and keep Habitica safe and happy, and run lots of  exciting Challenges including Super Socialite and New Years Countdown!

shanaqui, How did you get involved with Habitica?

I think I just wandered into the Tavern one day, learned about socialite tiers, and decided to use my all-too-abundant spare time for something positive. I have less free time now, but I’m self-employed, so it’s easy to drop in.

What’s your proudest contribution to Habitica?

I’m pretty proud of the New Year Countdown challenges. It was just a passing idea to spread some gems around at the end of 2015, and then suddenly loads of people were participating and even donating gems for prizes; I was getting tons of messages from people who loved it; and incidentally some of the tasks benefitted charities or encouraged people to do positive actions in their communities. I started saving up gems to run it again as soon as we got to September!

What are your secret superpowers?

I can type at 100wpm, allowing me to ninja Alys. That’s a superpower, right?

What are your secret weaknesses?

I tend to resort to passive-aggressiveness and have to work really hard to keep a lid on it. Oh, you said secret… well, I’m actually not a very organised person. I like making lists more than I like sticking to them.

What are your favorite Habitican pets/mounts?

Pet-wise, hedgehogs! Mounts, I have an enormous fondness for the dragons; the first thing I hatch after using Keys to the Kennels is a red dragon, so I can dress my avatar up like the Welsh flag ready for game days. I also have high hopes for the upcoming hippos. But for now, hedgehogs and dragons reign supreme.

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What some things you’re tracking in Habitica?

Books! I have habits not to buy books impulsively, a to-do for reading a set list of books per month, a daily for making time to read no matter how busy I am, a daily for writing reviews for my blog… These will probably surprise nobody. Also, from necessity, my class schedule: it’s an intense diet of cell biology, human biology, evolutionary biology and neuroscience, this year, which is exciting but takes a lot of planning and scheduling.

What do you like to do in your free time?

Read! I know, it’s a shock. Also crochet, gaming, sometimes writing, and when the weather is cool, walking. I like to do a lot of learning in addition to my actual BSc, so I practise my languages and play chess problems.

What are your top Habitica tips and tricks?

If you’re feeling a lot of resistance to doing a Daily, it’s a good idea to reconsider it — whether that means changing the difficulty, only doing it on alternate days, or dropping it entirely. It’s a sign that it’s not working for you, not aligning with your goals or just not that important to your life right now, even if it’s something you feel that you should like.

Where do you like to hang out in Habitica?

I’m nearly always in the Tavern, but I also love the Legendary Book Club guild and the Short Term Goal Accountability guild. Rare is the day I don’t check into those guilds, and the support from other members of the STGA guild is probably one of the reasons I’ve had so much success with Habitica.

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

BEHIND THE SCENES: Our Beloved Pets

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!
Many of you have seen our fancy pixel pets on display next to our avatars, but in honor of today’s love-filled holiday, we wanted to show you some of the real-life pets that we adore. Enjoy!

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Autumn frequently uses Stealth, so it can be tough for Sabe to capture a photo.
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On the other hand, Sabe’s dog Menchi is a more outgoing adventurer…
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…as is Watson the Basenji! (Elementary, my dear pup!)
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It’s fitting that Verily the cat is so fond of decorations, since her owner is Leslie, the Seasonal Sorceress!
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Verily is always on the alert for new ways to earn gold and experience…
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…and never misses the opportunity to battle a Boss!
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Meanwhile, Vicky’s dog, Ruby, is thrilled at the prospect of checking off her “Exercise” Daily with an awesome hike.
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Since brain is just as important as brawn, Ruby also makes sure to spend time organizing her tasks…. her tasty, tasty tasks.
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After a hard day improving your Strength, Intelligence, and Perception, don’t forget to get plenty of rest to boost your Constitution!
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Phillip’s cat Muffin is a constant coding companion…
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…even when he falls asleep on the job!
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Keith’s dog Izzy is eager to meet you 😛
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Plus, his cats Talulah and Pilgrim know that being in a Party with friends is a great way to stay accountable to your tasks… even when your only To-Do is “Sit on the Rug.”
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Beth’s cat Beauford has lots of Dailies, including “Test Pillow Softness”…
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…”Play Sports”….
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…and even “Model on the Catwalk!” (Believe it or not, Beth made that bandanna herself.)
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Alys’ cat Anya might need to add “Studied Reading Comprehension” to her Dailies, but at least Kissy the dog can click the (+) on her “Sharing Graciously” Habit!
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Meanwhile, Alys’ cat Ben is prepared to leap into battle, dragons or no.
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Cantras’ dog Alvin says, “Don’t let anyone make you feel silly about the stuff you love! Even if you love a ball wrapped in an old sock.”
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Alvin also wants you to know that when your tasks are hard, you should never be afraid to ask for help.
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Megan’s cat Taz doesn’t even WANT to look at all those dark red To-Dos!
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Meanwhile, Megan’s other cat, Casper, shows us that he knows quite a few tricks, including rolling over for kibbles!
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Hulk the bunny needs to consult with her owner, shanaqui, about which class to choose. Should she be a Rogue, since she’s so good at disguise?
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Or should she be a Mage, since she’s so good at studying?
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This is too exhausting for Hulk. Time to Rest in the Inn.

We hope that you enjoyed meeting our real-world companions 🙂 Even though none of them are Gold, Red, or Cotton Candy Blue, they make up a spectacular menagerie.

Until next time!

Establishing Your Tasks

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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!

In last month’s edition of Wiki Wednesday, we highlighted some fantastic advice from the Wiki about Starting Over Options. Whether you’ve started fresh for 2017, or you’re just looking to re-evaluate your Tasks, you might be wondering where to start when you’re thinking about new Habits, Dailies, and To-Dos. Luckily, the Wiki Scribes have great detailed information to help you decide what Tasks to list, and what categories may work best for them!

Consider your current tasks, aspirations, and struggles.

If you’re looking for a planner, or something to balance work and play, you may want to add all different areas of your life: habits, scheduled tasks, chores, one-time tasks, recreation, etc.

If you want to establish stronger daily routines, you can focus on that area of your life. You can break tasks into very small steps using checklists or adding notes to your tasks (visible on mouse-over).

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

Use Case Spotlight: Food and Cooking

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Illustration by KusSv

As we continue into 2017, it’s a great idea to continue evaluating your health goals for this year as well as setting new ones. Here are some great tips, tricks, and ideas for using Habitica to set (and maintain!) new tasks and goals related to Food and Cooking. These come from your fellow players in the Use Case Spotlights Guild!

Mari offers some great ideas for setting up Food and Cooking-related Tasks!

I have a variety of general and specific Habits, Dailies, and To Do’s. Habits: Eat Junk Food (-) and Eat 1 Healthy Meal (+ or -). Dailies include Pack Healthy Lunch and Track 1 Thing each day, and then weekly Plan Meals and Prep Healthy Food/Meals. To Do’s vary and may be Try New Food/Recipe, Farmer’s Market, or Freezer Seal special veggies or soup so I have it readily on hand. Habitica helps keep me organized, motivated, and on track which makes eating more healthfully much easier!

SpawnofElvis has some Habits and Dailies to help encourage cooking:

Last year I was trying to cook more regularly, and made ‘cook a meal’ a daily item. It worked really well. This year I want to go 100% vegetarian, and I have come up with a habit: choose the vegetarian option, and a daily: eat fresh veggies. I just joined the Vegetarians and Vegans guild to help with my resolution to go all the way. In the past, learning to make Indian and Japanese dishes has helped encourage me to cook vegetarian more often at home. It’s restaurants that are the hard part for me

StormyScribe is combating food waste in a big way!

I keep track of the perishables in my fridge and pantry with a check list in a to-do called “Use it or lose it.” I also keep a Meal Plan to-do where I can slot in leftovers to make sure they don’t go bad. Finally, I have a – habit I click when something goes bad. This system has really helped me cut out food waste (and cut the grocery bills….).

Dan O’Dea uses To-Do’s to explore new culinary horizons:

I’ve always used Habitica to-dos for grocery lists – now I’m also using it to make at least one “new” food per week. I have piles of cookbooks of all sorts, but it’s easy to get into a rut (e.g., Meatloaf Monday) or just wing it (a casserole today). I want to make eating more interesting, and also involve my wife more (she’s not a cook), which is important as both our children are away at college, so there’s an added benefit to that.

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 Health and Fitness- another important aspect of your well-being. These Guilds can give you more ideas and some even have themed Challenges to help you pursue healthy goals!

Starting a Happy, Healthy 2017: Guilds for Health and Fitness

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Illustration by James Danger

January is a great time to re-evaluate your goals for your physical health and fitness! Whether you’ve set specific goals for the New Year, or whether you’re already on an ongoing journey to better health, you can find fellow Habiticans who are excited to join you and help support you. This month we highlight some Guilds in Habitica that focus on Health and Fitness!

Health Nuts:

https://habitica.com/#/options/groups/guilds/b422b8a5-8d66-4197-9f91-d4edb8610264

This Guild has something for everyone looking to improve their health! Check out their active and supportive chat to talk about your challenges and successes, or take a look at the large variety of Challenges offered by Guild members to help give you a boost of motivation.

The Road Goes Ever On:

https://habitica.com/#/options/groups/guilds/d3d13d83-8c0e-4a18-aa24-cab1127b238f

The Road Goes Ever On encourages you to exercise with a fun twist: your activity translates into miles walked on a Guild journey across the world! You can see how far they’ve walked on several progress trackers linked on their Guild page. You can join, and help get them all the way across the Atlantic and beyond!

Evidence-Based Fitness: https://habitica.com/#/options/groups/guilds/fd345cc5-da2e-4651-8b64-78dc0d6d5d1e

This Guild focuses on improving health and fitness by using the scientific evidence to help work out the best and most effective methods. Their chat is an ongoing discussion of the latest research as well as Guild members’ own experiences with different techniques and strategies.

These Guilds and many others are here to help you get on track with your New Year’s Health and Fitness goals. Check them out and get on the road to a healthier you in 2017!

Starting Over Options

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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!

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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!