Use Case Spotlight: Parenting and Family Life

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Illustration by UncommonCriminal

Hello Habiticans! Last month we looked at ideas from your fellow players for using Habitica to manage mental health and wellness. This month we’re exploring ideas for enhancing your parenting strategy with the help of Habitica’s Tasks, Challenges, and social spaces. These great tips come from your fellow players in the Use Case Spotlights Guild!

Stephonee starts us out with a great way to take advantage of the times when you can be productive (and take a break!):

My main use of Habitica for parenting is my “Nap Checklist” Daily. I find that my brain goes kinda haywire when changing gears from “kid-time” to “nap-time ohmigorsh I have time to do things what?” Rather than trying to mentally make that shift and remember what I need to do during every nap, I have the Daily with the checklist!

It includes self-care things (drink a glass of water, hungry? then eat!, tired? then nap!, etc.), mundane have-to-get-done-before-baby-wakes things (clean off the high chair for next feeding), work things (check work email, check blog for new comments) and I can add things to it temporarily if there’s something special I need to get done during the nap on a certain day.

I check the daily off at the end of the nap (or at the end of the day), regardless of whether I got through the whole checklist or not, because it’s not meant to be a “do everything single thing on the list every single day” thing. It’s just a way to reduce the mental load of remembering ALL those things, and a reminder of what they are and in what order they should be considered. Sometimes I’ll check off an item just to say “I considered whether I should do that, and I shouldn’t so… check it off to cross it out!”

Dan O’Dea reminds parents to model the behavior they’d like to see:

If you make this a daily, put a description of the ONE behavior you want to model (if you have more than one, make separate dailies for each). I’ve deliberately left this unspecified as you will have your own ideas on what behavior you want your kids to demonstrate. A simple example: washing dishes right after supper is done. I hate it when dishes accumulate over several days, and I want my kids to help with that chore if they’re old enough. When they were too young to wash effectively, I made them dry and put away the dishes as I washed them. When they were old enough (and tall enough to reach!) I made them wash while I dried. Then I made them both do it without me and gave them a “schedule” (that is, they alternated washing and drying from day to day). Note: obviously, this does not have to be every day. They’re kids, it’s OK to give them weekends off .

If you make this a habit, put a plus and minus on it. This will be more general (i.e., not a specific behavior, just “a behavior”) and works equally well as a plan for you to create better behaviors (or more consistently doing the task) and for them. Check the plus if you did model the desired behavior(s) and check the minus if you didn’t. In a way, this is like the proverbial “quarter in the swear jar”.

sagestacy notes the importance of maintaining your relationship with your partner when parenting can seem all-consuming:

Habitica and the Parents’ Guild have been helpful for me to maintain my relationship with my husband after the birth of our child. Taking care of an infant is exhausting for both of us–physically, mentally, and emotionally–and so having those dailies and habits to check off reminds me to do little things to preserve our connection, like holding hands, talking about our day, and scheduling a date night.

peach pip gives us great tips for remembering to keep taking care of ourselves even as we devote ourselves to the care of others!

With the birth of my daughter, I transitioned into a new role of a full time mom. I found it much more difficult than employment, particularly because infants don’t provide a lot of positive feedback at first, and tasks that used to be simple had become really challenging, such as eating a decent meal or showering. Additionally, it was much more difficult to stay in touch with loved ones. Habitica helped me celebrate little accomplishments and remember my self-care, as well as stay in touch with loved ones by creating a party together!

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.

And lastly, be sure to take a look at our most recent Guild Spotlight, where we’ve highlighted groups that can provide further support and motivation as you manage parenting and family life!

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Use Case Spotlight: Mental Health and Wellness!

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Illustration by Rosemonkey

Hello Habiticans! Last month, we looked at ideas from your fellow players for using Habitica as you work to make a positive difference in your community and the world! This time, in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, we’re looking at making positive change even closer to home. These great ideas for using Habitica to help manage your mental health and wellness come from your fellow players in the Use Case Spotlights Guild!

sunray notes that a simple Daily reminding us to focus on the good can be an important boost:

I use Habitica to bolster my mental health in the face of chronic illness. Having a Daily to support focusing on the things I’m grateful for has worked really well in helping me stay positive, and the fact that it encourages me to share those things with the people around me strengthens my social connections, too! My Daily is “Express sincere gratitude.” Habitica also helps me meditate daily and make the kind of choices every day that support my best functioning.

Dr_Zoidberg uses the motivation of Challenges to improve their mental and physical health habits:

Habitica has been the most effective tool to date in getting me to change my health and wellness habits for the better. For the last two months I’ve been signing up for challenges that don’t upend my current lifestyle but adjust it enough for the better that each improvement gives a lasting change. I treat my avatar’s life as my own because in the end, that’s what it is. The challenges I choose include physical (steps, exercise, posture, etc.), diet & nutrition, as well as mental well-being/self-confidence. Together the changes have made me happier, more determined, able to recover from “bad days” faster, and I’ve set a long term goal with a specific action plan to get there. I plan to go from little or no exercise weighing ~285lbs to running in a 5K in roughly 13 months time from now. I will adjust every step forward each month based on my progress in the previous, but I’ve set milestones to reach along the way to show exactly how my progress can and will reach that goal. So far I’ve made more progress in the last two months than I have in the last five years. Cheers!

Dagger-13 uses Dailies to face and work through intimidating or difficult tasks that need to get done:

I was a bit wary of joining Habitica when I first heard about it last year, as my coping mechanism for anxiety is to set rules for myself and I was concerned that I might end up using Habitica as an extension of that. However, I am at a stage of managing my anxiety where I can use the system responsibly and as a tool for recovery – I just have to be careful that it doesn’t become a crutch.

I use it as part of my ‘exposure therapy’ – once I identify a ‘task’ I need to expose myself to, I will set it as a daily to give myself the incentive to do it and to make myself accountable. Doing this makes me accountable without having to discuss with others exactly what I’m doing, so it enables me to take external confirmation out of the equation (another comfort mechanism I had – asking others if what I was doing is ‘good’), but if I don’t do it, the task will damage the rest of my party. In addition to this, it works as a relatively harmless ‘punishment’ for not doing the task, so if for any reason I don’t do it I get the damage and move on rather than spiralling into negative self-talk or compensatory behaviour to the same degree that I would have before.

Once I’ve gotten used to exposing myself to the task and it becomes easier, I then remove it from Habitica so that it becomes a more natural habit, one which I don’t have to think about or reward myself for doing. This method gives me the initial push to face my anxiety, and then healthily allows me to let it go.

chikadee provides us with a multitude of awesome examples of ways to use tasks to manage mental health and wellness!

I created an imgur album of screenshots with some explanations here. I have ADHD and some other mental health problems and Habitica has helped me with my self-esteem, self-acceptance, and self-care. The Clean Every Day challenge has helped me realize that any progress, even the tiniest bit, is okay. I struggle with cleaning a lot with my ADHD and cleaning the house is one of the most upsetting and stressful things for me. Habits help me view my progress and see the progress I’ve made even when it doesn’t seem like it. Habitica has helped me find a way to work within my limitations (which sounds bad but I can’t think of a better word). By creating habits and dailies and wording them in a fun RPG way or participating in challenges I’m able to frame what I struggle with and the tools I use to help myself in a fun and positive light. It makes every day living and everyday boring self-care tasks fun. There’s been a marked difference in my ADHD as I’ve gotten better at cleaning and I’ve made considerable progress with my nail biting with help from the BFRB guild (I even created my first challenge!)

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.

And lastly, if you missed it you may want to take a look at our most recent Guild Spotlight, where we’ve highlighted groups that can provide further support and motivation in your mental health journey!

Use Case Spotlight: Making a Difference!

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Illustration by Katy133

In last month’s Use Case Spotlight, we looked at ideas for upping your Spring Cleaning game and getting your home in order. This April, in honor of National Volunteer Month, we’re focusing on tips to help motivate you and keep you on track when you’re working for positive change in your world. These great ideas for using Habitica to make a difference come from your fellow players in the Use Case Spotlights Guild!

Dagger-13 starts us off with some ideas for tasks for making a difference, as well as a great method for keeping track of all your hard work:

I’ve got a number of habits in the theme of ‘making a difference’ – I volunteer at a local arts venue, so that’s on there (I ‘plus’ it each time I help out), and I also attend and help out at a meditation centre (again, a plus each time I attend). I take part in a monthly challenge to pick up and throw away/recycle rubbish I see outside (one plus for every three pieces I pick up) and I have a ‘donate to charity’ positive habit. I’ve also recently set a ‘did a good deed’ habit to encompass other things which I do which don’t have their own habit.

I set all of these to reset weekly, so at the end of the week I can have a look at my total and see how much I’ve managed to do. Doing it this way gives me the motivation to keep going, or to buck up my ideas I don’t put a negative on these as I don’t feel like we have to do these things (there’s too much ‘should’ing in the world!), but I choose to do them and therefore they’re a positive contribution to others.

Shutzie27 uses tasks and tags to help organize their civic activism:

I’m a very civically active person and Habitica is a huge part of helping me keep different ongoing projects going. For example, at the moment I’m trying to make my street safer by getting sidewalks, so I have an “Operation: Sidewalks for ALL” tag and whenever I need to call the city to ask a question a prospective signer may have I put that on my To Do list.

I’m also on my Legislative District’s communications committee and a precinct committee person so whenever I have a task for that it goes on the To Do list with my “LD24” tag. Finally, I have some Habits and Dailies I use as well. One plus-only habit I have is “Protect democracy through civic engagement.” I give myself a plus whenever I attend a meeting of a civic or advocacy organization (for example, today I went to a Phoenix Spokes People meeting) so I plus’d myself.

SweetenedPoison points us to another Guild you can join for tips and support for volunteering (and for fun manga discussions!):

My guild, The Magical Girls is focused on “saving the world” through volunteering, community service, being generally helpful/friendly, and so on. The challenge that highlights volunteering is the Become a Magical Girl! challenge. It’s helped me get started in the volunteering process, as well as a bunch of other Habiticans who are out fighting the good fight or working on their way to getting there 🙂

Scea reminds us that even making a difference for one person is important!

Since I heard how [little] service workers earn, I learned to appreciate their work. Every time I meet one of these persons, I remember how important they are for my every day life, and I try to give them at least an encouraging smile – even if I had a not so funny day. Perhaps I am the only person in a good mood the cashier has seen this day – so I try to be polite and cheer them up with some chit-chat or simply brighten their day by being a happy person. And sometimes my own day wasn’t this bad, too.

Perhaps this is not a big difference I make, but I know that even the tiniest things can make a big difference for another person.

You can see more tips 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.

And lastly, if you missed it you may want to take a look at our most recent Guild Spotlight, where we’ve highlighted more groups that can help give you even more motivation and support as you volunteer and work for causes that matter to you!

Use Case Spotlight: Spring Cleaning

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Illustration by Leephon

In last month’s Use Case Spotlight, we looked at methods for creating and nurturing your connections to the other people in your life. Now that it’s March, we’re switching gears and thinking about the time-honored tradition of Spring Cleaning! These great ideas for using Habitica to up your Spring Cleaning game come from your fellow players in the Use Case Spotlights Guild!

Poscogrubb gives some solid advice to get us started:

Like other tasks that may be unpleasant, spring cleaning will be easier and more fun if you are well-rested and well-fed. On a day that you plan for major spring cleaning, start your day with plenty of light, fresh air, and a great breakfast.

Dan O’Dea gives some great general tips for structuring your Spring Cleaning attack plan:

Spring cleaning: make a list and prioritize. Some general suggestions:

  • Do one room at a time. Finish that before moving to the next room.
  • Exception: certain tasks, like washing windows, are best done at once rather than separately in each room.
  • Pick a place/room to start and set a direction. For example, start at one end of the house and work toward the other end on one floor, then move to the next floor (if you have one).
  • If you have clutter, get rid of stuff. If you don’t have an emotional attachment or a need to keep something, sell it, give it to someone who needs it, recycle it, or toss it.
  • Use the Pomodoro Technique to clean. That is, clean for 25 minutes, take a 5-minute break, clean for 25… like that.

And (it almost goes without saying!), use Habitica to schedule your cleanup tasks.

Liško reminds us that Challenges can be a great motivation boost:

The very first challenge that I did in Habitica was a cleaning challenge.

And this is also my answer to the question on how I use Habitica for (spring) cleaning: challenges! The challenges are often very well made and it helps a lot to have a list of to-dos already prepared for you, instead of having to plan and think of everything thyself. Then I just have to do one task after the other and not think too much about what I might have missed. Also, I find doing challenges very rewarding if one exchanges ideas and progress reports with the other participants in guilds, and just knowing that others work on the same tasks as me, in addition tickles my sense for competition and motivates me more to get my stuff done.

Dagger-13 notes the importance of sorting through your things and evaluating what you actually want to keep, as well as what you could donate to those in need!

I’ve heard of a method which uses three bags/boxes – ‘put away’, ‘give away’ and ‘throw away’. When you tidy up an area, put each item in the applicable box (unless you can put it where it belongs straight away). Then you can go through the boxes every so often and clear them out into their respective destinations – the ‘give away’ box going to friends, family or charity, the ‘put away’ items being put where they belong and the ‘throw away’ stuff being recycled or chucked.

This way, you might not get so ‘stuck’ on one area as you try and decide what to do with each item as you find it. I like to have a charity bag tucked away somewhere – I place items in it as and when I decide they should go, but keep them hidden for a while so that I can be sure I definitely don’t need it. Delaying this way means that you don’t need to fret about getting rid of stuff you still need.

In terms of using habitica for this, I’ve got a ‘give to charity’ habit, but that includes monetary donations. I guess you could set a to-do once you’ve started your boxes to clear them out by a certain date and that way you won’t forget or end up with a million boxes (which would effectively be just moving clutter from several places into one area!)

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.

And lastly, if you missed it you may want to take a look at our most recent Guild Spotlight, where we’ve highlighted groups that can help give you even more motivation for your Spring Cleaning goals!

Use Case Spotlight: Interpersonal Relationships

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Illustration by Aries Faries

In last month’s Use Case Spotlight, we looked at ways to use Habitica to set (and keep!) realistic goals for the New Year. This month, since Valentine’s Day is on the way, it’s a great time to look at methods for creating and nurturing connections to the other people in your life. These great ideas for using Habitica to maintain and improve friendships, romantic relationships, and family connections come from your fellow players in the Use Case Spotlights Guild!

indescribble starts us off with a simple Habit to encourage interaction with others:

I have a ‘ Socialised!’ daily which doesn’t count for those I live with or talk with daily (hubby, child, parents, inlaws etc) but does count for extended family, strangers etc.. I’ve found it has encouraged me to talk to other parents at my child’s school, other students in my uni classes, reach out to cousins for a chat on the phone, talk to random strangers when waiting in line etc..

Dan O’Dea shares some great thoughts on how to make your conversations more meaningful by listening with your full attention:

…Build a habit with a plus-minus system. The habit is, “Monitor your conversations today. For every conversation longer than ten minutes, check one of the following.

  1. If you listened more than you talked and didn’t try to resolve the “problem” unless asked to, click the Plus box.
  2. If you listened more than you talked and gave an answer the other person asked for, click the Plus box.
  3. If you talked more than you listened or gave an answer that wasn’t asked for, click the Minus box.
  4. If the conversation was specifically to answer a question, don’t click either box.

…Doing this sort of thing (listen to how people feel and respecting it rather than judging it on your standards) helps in a lot of ways.

Genleevia shares a Habit to help you cope with the people you interact with often but may find difficult or unpleasant:

Last year, I rented a room in a house with four strangers who I could barely tolerate. Itching to live on my own but unable to justify the cost, I bit down my irritation and resentment toward my housemates and spent several months being deeply, silently unhappy. Then I created a habit called “Think nice thoughts about housemates (they’re people, too!).” When I caught myself spiraling into a dark, resentful place, I’d consciously redirect myself toward positive thoughts and dwell on good interactions we’d had–and tick the positive habit box. If I indulged in the dark spiral, I’d mark the negative habit box. Thankfully, I could delete the habit in the spring when I finally moved into my own place. But while it lasted, the “Think nice thoughts” cue actually worked wonders!

diapasoun gives some tips on using a Daily to keep your long-distance relationships strong:

Many of my friends (especially from school) have moved away from our city, some to other continents; we’re a pretty far-flung bunch. I have a daily, due on Sundays, for checking in with far-off friends; it has a checklist of names. If I’ve checked in with that person that week, or otherwise made sure to keep the friendship connection going, I get to check off their name. Some people are very easy to keep in contact with, but for the people who are harder, the daily has absolutely made me check in with them when I wouldn’t have otherwise.

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.

And lastly, if you missed it you may want to take a look at our most recent Guild Spotlight, which showcases groups dedicated to Setting (and Keeping!) Realistic Goals!

Use Case Spotlight: Setting Realistic Goals

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In last month’s Use Case Spotlight, we looked at ways to use Habitica to motivate yourself and stay organized as you take on your important tasks to prepare for all the fun (and the occasional stress!) of the holidays. This month, as we start the new year, it’s a great time to look at methods for goal setting. These great ideas for using Habitica to set new and realistic goals for 2018 and beyond come from your fellow players in the Use Case Spotlights Guild!

Lalaitha starts us out with great ideas for motivating yourself and your Quest Party to set and achieve New Year’s goals!

In my Party we started a New Year goal challenge about a year ago. We are re-running it this year, since it seemed pretty helpful. The challenge is about finding your main goal(s), figuring out what may prevent you from reaching them, and what you can do to keep that from happening/keep yourself motivated. Then we share that with the Party (or just parts of it, if some of it is too personal), and create Habits/Dailies that can serve as reminders to reach the goal. Each month there’s a Daily for checking in with the Party to tell a bit about how it’s going, and if there’s been any obstacles. This way we can help each other stay motivated and come with advice if needed.

Quite simply, the challenge has a list of to-dos. The first is about listing 5-10 goals you’d like to achieve. From that you should narrow it down to 1-2 goals. Those would be your main goals for the year. That’s the second task. Some of the goals you didn’t select can serve as secondary goals (they don’t have to, that’s up to you), but the main goal(s) is(/are) the most important one(s).

From there you list the things that may come in the way of achieving your goal(s). Then, list the things you can do to prevent them from happening, and keeping yourself motivated. Those could perhaps be used as a Daily or Habit to keep you accountable.

An important step is to write it all down somewhere. That way it’s really set and you will be able to remember it 6 months later.

Daenalia Elvandruile keeps realistic expectations at the forefront, while emphasizing the importance of persistence!

Your New Year’s Resolutions start great! You feel amazingly productive for a week or two and all of January was pretty good on the whole. But. There’s always a but. You’ll take a week off halfway through March … just one week you tell yourself, I’ll just have a short break and get back to it afterwards. And before you know it, it’s November and you’re watching YouTube every day instead of exercising, your last blog post was 200 words 3 months ago and you know that feeling. You hit rock bottom because you did too much.

Instead I’d only pick one major goal. Just one. Then make a plan for what you’ll do on it every week and push yourself to do it even when you had a hard week. Maybe also add a couple smaller goals like doing a plank every day for a minute (not 5 minutes) or cutting social media a little, just 15 minutes less every day or something similar, but I wouldn’t have more than 3 little goals or all your little goals will overwhelm you.

Once you’ve picked your goals, you need a plan. Your major goal might be learning an instrument. So find a teacher/course, dedicate to practicing a set amount each day, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, just at least 6 days a week (I find one day of rest really helpful). You might have a goal as well, like finishing grade 2 work by the end of the year or being able to play a duet with a friend. Thats great! Now you know you have a routine that you must stick to. And your smaller goal? Say you choose exercise. Start small, I can’t stress that enough. Do 10 minutes a day or go to the gym once a week and only increase if you’ve been doing it for about a month and you’ve got motivation.

And last, but not least, try again next year, or even earlier. I want to be tidier and I started with my bedroom in 2015 and it lasted 3 weeks. In 2016 I got all the way to June, hit a rough week and motivation sprouted wings and flew away. 2017 was great, I was fairly tidy all the way through and in 2018 I’m going to try and keep my craft space tidy as well. Little steps to a big goal!

Dlk62385 uses “SMART” goals to help keep resolutions realistic!

SMART goals: Specific Measurable Achievable Relevant Timely. It can be used to help make goals that are specific and geared towards where you want to be and what you are aiming for. I myself need to work on setting due date for my to dos and sticking to them. I am great at breaking my larger goals down into smaller goals to make them achievable but with no due date I tend to wait longer between each of my mini goals than I would if there was a end point to meet.

Gumnos expands on using “SMART” criteria to keep themselves on task.

For my most realistic goals, I consolidate the “SMART” criteria to deal with the aspects that give me the most struggle: prioritization & bite-sized tasks. I find that I flounder if I have a bunch of doable tasks but no clear idea which to do next. So I make sure my to-do list is prioritized, putting The Most Important Thing for any given context at the top.

Likewise, I struggle if I know which project I need to work on next, but haven’t broken that into manageable bits that can actually be completed. So I make sure that the project is decomposed into things I can accomplish in a single time unit.

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, be on the lookout for an upcoming Wiki post featuring more information on using Habitica to set SMART goals, a topic touched on by several contributors to this post.

And lastly, if you missed it you may want to take a look at our most recent Guild Spotlight, which showcases groups dedicated to Holiday Tasks!

Use Case Spotlight: Holiday Housekeeping

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Illustration by weeWitch

In last month’s Use Case Spotlight we featured tips and tricks from Habiticans about using the site and apps to work on better financial habits in anticipation of the holiday season. This month, as the holidays arrive, we’re looking at ways to use Habitica to motivate yourself and stay organized as you take on your important tasks to prepare for this festive time of year! These great ideas for using Habitica to set new tasks and goals related to Holiday Housekeeping come from your fellow players in the Use Case Spotlights Guild!

Dan O’Dea gets us in the mood with thoughts on preparing your kitchen for holiday cooking and baking!

Cleaned my kitchen today, including the cabinets holding my baking stuff. I looked over my pans and tossed everything that had its lining damaged. I still have too many cookie sheets but I’m not overloaded anymore.

Sometimes it’s a good idea to go over your cookware and get rid of the damaged pieces you can’t use.

Gumnos uses To-Do’s to make sure all the decorations, gifts, and other seasonal traditions in their home go off without a hitch!

I usually create to-do items for holiday major tasks: getting decorations down from the attic, hanging lights, tree, other decorating, buying gifts, making cookies, correspondence, etc. Then I use the checkboxes within them for sub-tasks: lights in the kitchen/window/fireplace/etc; set up the artificial tree, light it, hang ornaments; make/bake/decorate various types of cookies (gingerbread, French butter-creams, peanut-butter kiss cookies, etc); ideating gifts for each person, purchasing them, wrapping, & shipping/delivering them; various stages of writing, editing, and sending our Christmas letter. The gifts one gets pretty huge as it’s also where I keep stocking-gift ideas and the list of thank-you gifts for school teachers, church teachers, and extra-curricular instructors.

Fishdye not only gets all their tasks done, they make sure to build in time to enjoy all the  most wonderful things about this time of year!

This year I’ve got 4 things going to help me with holiday organization.

  1. I make a to-do for the annual event I host, Pizza + Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, with a checklist for all the things that need to be done to prepare for it. Same thing with Christmas cards.

2. I use the app “The Christmas List” to keep track of gift ideas prior to the       holidays, and to organize my shopping, since you can sort your list by store!

3. Then I use another to-do for all the things. The checklist for this one includes separate items for ordering & receiving or shopping for/making, and wrapping gifts for each individual or group, decorating gift boxes–anything that needs to be done by Christmas, and even all the family members’ houses we go to on Christmas Day.

    4. I’m excited about this one! This year I’ve also created a to-do called “Necessary Niceties.” Its checklist includes things I always want to do around Christmas, like “watch it snow,” “go for a walk,” and “listen to [Handel’s] Messiah all the way through.” The sort of calm but important things that might get shoved aside for all the gift-giving preparations. And the last item in the checklist says, “Check off anything you didn’t get to, and check off this to-do.” That’s so the “niceties” are actually nice–not burdensome, but opportunities to recharge and live in the moment–to really enjoy the holidays!

You can see more helpful tips 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 Money Matters!

Use Case Spotlight: Money Matters

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Illustration by OuttaMyMind

In last month’s Use Case Spotlight, we featured tips and tricks from Habiticans about using the site and apps to work on Cultivating Positivity. This month, as the holiday season approaches, we’re changing it up and looking at ways to use Habitica to build and improve your financial well-being — particularly in a season that can leave us strapped as we shop for gifts, decorations, and other festive things! Let’s look at some great ideas for using Habitica to set (and maintain!) new tasks and goals related to Money Matters. These come from your fellow players in the Use Case Spotlights Guild!

James uses Dailies and gets extra accountability through the Financial Discipline Guild and Challenges!:

I have used Habitica extensively to work on my finance game. I have dailies every two weeks (on payday) to balance my checkbook, pay my credit card bills, make savings deposits and do my budgeting.

The Financial Discipline Guild is also a great place to share information, with lots of great challenges, too. It’s where I queried the group to find the best budgeting app.

I’m also running a trilogy of Challenges in the Guild and my party to save up for the emergency fund, and also some fun to-dos to work on taxes, charities, and account management.

Shallan combines Habits and Dailies with a spreadsheet to track expenses and savings:

I have tried to keep things simple. I have a Habit, called “Find where you lost gold,” which I click up whenever I enter an expense. I also have a Daily, which I only get to click if I’ve logged all of my expenses for the day. I have a really simple spreadsheet with my budget, which also calculates how much money I have left “for each day” in the month. I find that number really helpful, as it reminds me how quickly $5 here or there stacks up / eats away at my monthly allowance.

I hope to expand this by adding categories, which will help with future budgeting (“fixed” costs, like personal grooming items) and when tax season comes around.

NickyJay creates a daily budget and watches the savings add up!

I created a daily: “Stay within allotted budget.” I set up a budget for every day of the week, varying from day-to-day based on activities and work schedules I usually have during certain days. I set them all up side by side on a spreadsheet. When I don’t use all of my budget for one day, I set it up so it transfers to the next day. Finally, it shows the amount leftover from my allowance at the end of the week, and I take 20% off of that and move that to savings. It’s been keeping me honest and responsible with my spending and it shows me where I’m spending and rewards me for not spending more than I should. Plus, saving is becoming a lot easier.

Fox_town uses a Habit to stop impulse spending in its tracks!

I have a + habit for “Saw something I wanted to buy – but didn’t, because I didn’t need it”. Once you start paying attention, it’s amazing how many times you can keep your dollars in your pocket for something more important. 🙂

This month’s topic generated an exceptional number of awesome tips and ideas — unfortunately too many to share here! But 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 Cultivating Positivity!

Use Case Spotlight: Cultivating Positivity

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Illustration by Katy133

In last month’s Use Case Spotlight we featured tips and tricks from Habiticans about using the site and apps to work on Learning Languages. This month we’re changing it up a bit and looking at not only keeping your mind active, but keeping it happy and healthy as well! Let’s look at some great ideas for using Habitica to set (and maintain!) new tasks and goals related to Cultivating Positivity. These come from your fellow players in the Use Case Spotlights Guild!

Gumnos starts us out by emphasizing the importance of gratitude:

I’ve got an item in my Habit list for thankfulness/kindness. It usually takes the form of going out of my way to thank someone for something that would otherwise go unthanked. Sometimes it’s a genuine compliment. Other times, it’s going out of my way to lend a hand or send a note/tweet/PM of encouragement. They don’t come naturally for me in many occasions, so it helps nudge me over my generally-apathetic nature.

TheOutlandishPeabody wrote a great post with a number of tips! We’re including an excerpt here, but you can read the whole post in the Guild chat!

One thing that has really helped me with a gratitude practice is a bracelet I bought for the purpose. It is woven from 5 strands of leather in a really pretty pattern, and when I notice it on my arm (many times a day), I list 5 things I’m grateful for, or I take stock of my 5 senses (plus body sense). The gratitude obviously “positives” me up, but the 5 sense exercise really makes me mindful, and more mindfulness is associated with greater positivity.

MissBirdee reminds us of the importance of our connections with people who make a positive impact in our lives:

For cultivating positivity, I have a daily for reaching out to friends. This could be anything as small as texting someone I having seen in a while or talking to a stranger to create new friendships. It really helps me to stay motivated to maintain positive connections.

Lalaitha notes the importance of reminding those closest to you that you value them!

Every month for.. quite some time now, I am part of the challenge Choose Your Partner Today. The challenge is about writing why you choose to be with your partner that particular day. Doesn’t matter how small or big the thing is. It really helps to bring out the positive each day, even if you had an argument or things don’t quite work out like you had hoped.

The challenge is hosted in the guild by the same name (Choose Your Partner Today).

 

Last, but certainly not least, a great positivity tip from Habitica’s own heroic bug-smasher Alys:

Each day I write down three things that have made me happy or that I’ve liked in some way. They can be as simple as seeing a pretty flower or hearing a moment of birdsong. They can also be good things that I’ve done or things I like about myself. It’s far from a novel idea and I’d seen it recommended on many websites but I’d always been dubious about how much it could help until my anxiety therapist recommended it as a daily task. It’s surprising how much it helps! Being aware that you need to write three nice things every day helps you focus on the niceness around you.

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 Learning Languages!

Use Case Spotlight: Learning Languages

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Illustration by OuttaMyMind

In last month’s Use Case Spotlight we featured tips and tricks from Habiticans about using the site and apps to learn new things. This month we continue our knowledge-gaining journey and look at some great ideas for using Habitica to set (and maintain!) new tasks and goals related to Learning Languages. These come from your fellow players in the Use Case Spotlights Guild!

nine6s knows consistency is key!

I use Habitica to ensure I consistently work on all factors of a language. I have a daily for each skill, such as Writing, Speaking (I use HelloTalk for that), Reading, Listening/Watching, and Vocabulary. I make sure I am focusing 90% of my language learning being exposed to the language, not on grammar, because most people perfect a language through intensive immersion. And it has worked great for me. Also, for some dailies I set them to every two days since I may not have time for everything. …It helps me keep consistent and never miss a day when I am not exposed to the language.

jiiif uses Habitica with other programs and media to immerse themselves in their learning!

Since joining Habitica a month ago, I’m on a language learning streak! I am currently learning Korean and I’m listening to the Talk to Me in Korean Podcast and revising using the Memrise course “Every TTMIK Lesson (Levels 1-10)”. I created a positive Habit for Korean and a Daily for Memrise. I click on the Habit whenever I expose myself to Korean in general – whether it’s watching a youtube video or listening to the TTMIK podcast or whenever I use a Korean app. I log on to Memrise every day and whenever I’m finished with my Memrise daily goal, I get to click on both my Memrise Daily and my Korean Habit which gets me double rewards! This is proving to be a big motivator and I haven’t missed a day since I started Habitica.

Eri101 pairs Habitica with Duolingo!

I’ve been using Duolingo lately to keep fresh the French I’ve learned over the years. I used to join a monthly challenge that added a habit to do a lesson. Now I’ve made it a daily to better motivate me to not lose a streak in Duolingo (Which allows you to get rewards for maintaining week-long streaks, for those unaware). So far it’s been a great motivator to keep up with lessons and advance levels. I’ve been happily surprised by the number of people I’ve noticed on Habitica that also use Duolingo, so it’s nice to see how others use the apps together!

Sessy reminds us we learn better when we’re havng fun with it!

I find one of the best ways to really have expressions, etc sinking in, is to reread translations of your favourite childhood chapter books – the ones that you read over and over again as a kid – because these have become ingrained into your way of speaking and knowing those idioms adds vocabulary and fluency that you will actually use. Adding a reading for fun daily to your language learning plan can be really effective and make more enjoyable.

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.