How To Use Habitica (Formerly HabitRPG) To Build Strong Habits And Hack Your Motivation

There’s an incredibly common anecdote about building habits that gets thrown around all the time:

“It only takes 21 days to form a new habit!”

I debunked this myth in my post on if-then habit formation, but it’s a good point to revisit because the research findings highlight an important fact:

Forming new habits, or breaking bad ones, is really hard.

During the two month period (on average) that it takes to build a new habit, you’re having to use your limited willpower to get things done. Whether you’re trying to run every day, read more often, or practice a new skill consistently, the willpower needed to do it is also being used up by everything else going on in your life.

Ever noticed, though, that getting things done in a video game is usually much easier? 

In video games – especially RPGs – you have to do the same thing over and over again (grinding). However, you usually don’t run out of motivation to do so. Why is that?

In this video, I’ll show you the design aspects that game developers build into their games in order to keep your motivation levels high, and I’ll also show you an awesome app called Habitica that brings these concepts into the real world.

Thomas Frank's HabitRPG

Here’s a look at how I use HabitRPG.

I’ve been using HabitRPG for several months now, and it’s become a staple in my small arsenal of productivity apps.

Ready to turn your life in to a video game?

(If you’re unable to see the video above, you can view it on YouTube)

Video Notes

P.S. – I put a ton of effort into this video and I think it’s my best work to date. I even recorded a guitar track for the background music! If you liked this video and found it useful, I’d be extremely grateful if you shared it with a friend 🙂

If you liked this video, subscribe on YouTube to stay updated when new ones are out!

Thomas Frank is the geek behind College Info Geek. After paying off $14K in student loans before graduating, landing jobs and internships, starting a successful business, and travelling the globe, he's now on a mission to help you build a remarkable college experience as well. Get the Newsletter | Twitter | Instagram

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13 Comments on "How To Use Habitica (Formerly HabitRPG) To Build Strong Habits And Hack Your Motivation"

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JKDOS

Does Taking vitamins really need to be a habit/daily? I take a handful of vitamins each morning, and have been long before HabitRPG.

It comes naturally, and more so than the dreadful “Brush Teeth Before Bed”.

For me, I’d feel like that would be free XP. Almost like making a daily “Go to work”, because obviously I am going to work as not to get fired and become a hobo.

Yousuf

You can assign difficulty levels to task

zohreh

Ohh i found it in Google …

zohreh

Hi …excuse me but I can’t find the app(habit rpg) in playstore …

ghost

It’s renamed Habitica.

Max Tucker

Hey Thomas, firstly, I’d just gotta say; you’re awesome dude!!! grin emoticon Just looking up one of your vidoes completely altered how I go about my life and its extremely impressive all that you’ve achieved!! grin emoticon But I have a few questions: which app is better for tracking and supporting habits in your opinion: HabitRPG or Todoist? Why? (Also if it’s not too much trouble, do you just use HabitRPG for habits only and Todoist solely for stuff you have to do?) Hope this doesn’t bother you ._.

Dandan

Hmmm, this still needs improvement on labels. To give it a more RPG feel, why not add “Daily Quests” (daily important tasks), “Main Quests / Boss monsters” (for the big rocks or very important stuff) and “Side Quests” (for extra tasks)?

Tre

Got here via your YouTube video on habitrpg. Great job! I posted a link for my online gaming clan so hopefully your views will skyrocket!

Jeremy

As a RPG geek growing up, this app is incredibly intriguing … I’ll have to download it and try it out!

Devyn

I love HabitRPG! It’s one of my favorite apps out there. It definitely helps me keep on task. I love your morning ritual.

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