Gamification is the strategic attempt to enhance systems, services, organizations, and activities by creating similar experiences to those experienced when playing games in order to motivate and engage users. Gamification is a great way to motivate/trick yourself into achieving your goals. I have started noticing a pattern in my quest to execute my set goals. I have realized that goals that are attached to a form of play, fun, anchor or regimen are easier to achieve.
By gamifying my goals through the use of an app such as Strava (Leaderboard) for running, swimming and cycling, and Calm App (Streak) for meditation; I have stayed consistent with the goals that I want to achieve. The sense of completion with these apps is very fulfilling as the small acts of completing each activity are so gratifying. I meditate every morning for 26 to 30 minutes by listening to guided meditations from Tamara Levitt, Jhay Shetty and Jeff Warren. The streak and the minutes completed section of the app is one of my favourite things to look forward to daily.
One of the ways have used gamification to achieve my goals in the past couple of months in conjunction with the TIME framework (Thankfulness, Insight, Meditation and Exercise) include:
Swimming + Podcast + French Learning + Music
For example, I recently started to learn to swim. One of the tools that have made me swim consistently since November 2020 is the use of a water-resistant mp3 player. I swim twice every day now, all things being equal. While I am swimming, I mostly listen to a podcast as part of my 365 Podcast Listening Challenge, listen to french learning study materials and occasionally listen to my favourite songs of the moment. On most days that I don’t feel like swimming, I remember the dopamine rush from swimming and listening to various audio files that give me joy. The “listening to audio files while swimming strategy” has made all the difference. Because of the mp3 player, I now swim twice a day for a total of 90-100 minutes.
Meditation Streak with the Calm App
Meditation is derived from the old french Meditacioun, Latin Meditation meaning “To think, contemplate, ponder”. I officially started meditating daily during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown in 2020. I started out inconsistently but then I discovered the Calm Streak feature and it has made all the difference. I use the Calm App for guided meditation daily and since December 27, 2020, I have been on a 185 days meditation streak.
I start my day with three guided meditation sessions with my favourite Calm voices: Tamara Levitt (Daily Calm), Jay Shetty (Daily Jay) and Jeff Warren (Daily Trip). The sessions usually last for 26-28 minutes daily. The Streak feature is one of the major reasons have stayed consistent with meditating thus far. Meditation has really changed my life, and my outlook on a lot of things. With the guided meditations, the teachers share different insights and perspectives daily.
Strava App for Running, Swimming and Cycling
One other App that I recently started using is the Strava App. The App is used for tracking physical exercise especially running, swimming and cycling using GPS data. The Strava app is a social fitness network that allows users to track their progress, join Challenges, share photos of activities, and follow friends.
Finding a way to align play with my goals has made all the difference, I execute on these goals through routines, regimens, and gamification (leaderboards, streaks etc). Achieving any goal is not easy but with consistency, persistence, commitment and an eye on the big picture: Every goal is achievable. As author Napoleon Hill once noted: “What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”
All the best in your quest to get better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.