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Jan 04, 2019 07:04:11

The Power of Challenges, Streaks and Badges

by @nicksimard PATRON | 344 words | 🐣 | 83💌

Nick Simard

Current day streak: 0🐣
Total posts: 83💌
Total words: 30969 (123 pages 📄)

It seems so silly to write the following words, but here goes. I can more easily stick with something if it’s some sort of challenge (group or otherwise), tracks a streak of whatever I’m trying to do, and/or provides badges for accomplishments.

The very website where I’m writing this is an example, given that if I miss even ONE day of writing my streak will be reset. I’m hoping that’s a big enough incentive to get me to write 200 words every day.

Another example is that we’re having a step challenge amongst my co-workers and there’s a leaderboard. I’ll never be #1 but I’m trying my damndest to stay within the top half. My wife laughs at me because I haven’t really been concerned with exercise lately and now all of a sudden when a challenge arises, I get all into it.

Going hand in hand with that is my Apple Watch’s activity app, with its 3 rings of celebration. If you’re not aware there’s one for calories burned, one for minutes of exercise and another for getting up and moving around every hour. I love seeing all of those rings be solid, to the point where I walked up and down my stairs to get the last 2 minutes of exercise tonight.

Finally, I’m trying out an app called 10% Happier, which helps you meditate. There’s an upcoming challenge (starts on the 7th) where the goal is to meditate for 15 of 21 days. There will be badges, where bronze, silver and gold will be for daily meditating of 1 minute, 5 minutes and 10 minutes, respectively.

There are 15,000 people taking part in this challenge and I don’t know any of them. And yet, my stubbornness will probably lead me to meditate enough times, for enough minutes that I get a totally made up gold badge.

If these challenges help me be more active, write every day and meditate on a regular basis is there really any harm? Whatever it takes, I guess.

Now, the question is, can I stick with ALL of these while doing them at the same time?

From Nick Simard's collections:

  • 1

    @nicksimard I'm the same :P I need ambitious challenges! Gamification is perfect for that.

    Basile Samel avatar Basile Samel | Jan 05, 2019 03:27:42
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      @basilesamel Yup, there’s a reason so many apps and services use gamification. The brilliant thing about the streaks on 200 Words a Day is that I desperately don’t wanna start over at 0. Like, if I’d been writing for 44 days in a row and then miss one, all of a sudden I get a 1 beside the fire icon. Nobody would know that I wrote for 45 out of 46 days. The stat is 1. I sure as hell don’t want that, haha.

      Nick Simard avatar Nick Simard | Jan 05, 2019 17:35:22
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    @nicksimard I like your approach to "gamefying" your goals to get your motivation going. I have a Fitbit and use the step tracker and social features of the app to complete challenges and compete with others. I have been working on my own journey to better health in case you might be interested. https://medium.com/@brandonwilson_84606/this-is-how-i-will-reverse-type-2-diabetes-3f97ed6ff1e5

    Brandon Wilson avatar Brandon Wilson | Jan 04, 2019 17:33:38
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      @brandonwilson thanks for sharing that post! I haven’t read all of it, but at 11 minutes reading time it sure looks like you put a lot of work into it!

      I’m enjoying this site because I don’t have to feel pressured to write something that feels “long enough” to justify it being a story on Medium. Though for the sake of having new stories there, maybe I should post some of my 200WaD writing with the preface that it comes from here.

      After all, I did write a post about why I rarely edit my Medium stories. I sure as heck don’t edit the things I write here (so far). I like sitting down and pumping out my 200 words pretty quickly. Gives me a sense of accomplishment :)

      Nick Simard avatar Nick Simard | Jan 05, 2019 17:41:55
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