Habit change and learning to improve your own behavior is a big challenge and puts you to the test. You are faced with the fact that you are always your own worst enemy and your biggest obstacle. I'm game for taking this on, but I'm not going to do it on my own. That's where Habitica.com comes in! It's a way to introduce gamification into your sef-improvement experiment. You get to turn all of the addictive and time-wasting qualities of gaming to your advantage in furthering your efforts to make real world habit changes.
First, identify the habits and routines that can improve your life:
There's a FiClub Assessment that takes about 10 minutes to complete to rate how you are doing in the 4+CORE the 4 areas of personal finance (Income, Expenses, Debts, Savings) and in the behavioral core. Everything I share with you is likely to be something I've tried on myself first, so I took my own test.
Income: Level of satisfaction = 6, areas for improvement: secure a promotion at work for extra $20-30k per year, help wife make her translation/localization business profitable.
Expenses: Level of satisfaction = 7, areas for improvement: in control mostly but splurge on vacations and travel without tying it back to a budget. Set the number at the start of the year vs. let circumstances and external events dictate.
Debts: Satisfaction = 10, no debts, no mortgage, no car loan, no student loans, all credit card usage earns cash back or rewards and gets paid off monthly.
Savings: Satisfaction = 7, areas for improvement: in next 90 days, I intend to move all my investments to support my values and meet my plan to hit wealth goal.
Core: No financial stress, could make some improvements on household routines like reviewing the budget together.
If you want to complete the survey yourself and find out where you can focus your efforts for change, here is the SURVEY LINK.
Next, create some accountability for getting started:
This is where Habitica comes in - I joined the app and a party that includes a couple of close friends. These are folks I can use as an accountability system by sharing with them the intentions I declare and the progress or challenges I experience along the way. Peer support and accountability structures have been proven effective by research.
Don't overthink it before starting -> start by tracking your progress and make "research and plan habits to improve ____" a daily task in Habitica. Make creating and refining strategies and habits your first habit, and then build from there. Otherwise, you risk waiting until you have the Perfect Routines planned before you start, and that someday will never come!
We recommend everyone learn one tool for conquering their challenges, whether financial, health or well-being: The Power of Focused Attention and Effort. We encourage you to tap that power by disconnecting all your distractions, avoiding notifications, closing unnecessary windows if you're on your computer, and setting a timer for 25-minutes to focus only on one task. Choose your highest priority - for example, what can most impact your finances in the top area you are intending to improve. This is called the Pomodoro Technique, and there's a funny story behind it. (Test your focus: try resisting the urge to click any links until you get to the end of the post).
Over the course of the days and weeks, you'll learn more about using Habitica and you'll refine the design of your tasks and habits. Using the FiClub survey, you can track progress monthly to see if your financial health and habits have improved. Aside from finances, I've also made health and fitness a goal, so I have my daily workout as a tracked item. I've found that starting the day with physical activity helps me stay action oriented and positive for all the other tasks ahead.
If you want to check out habitica and join our party "Slay the Day", signup at Habitica.com and then send your code to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are at a loss for ideas and strategies for the 4+CORE, take a look at the FiClub mindmap HERE. If you have suggestions or strategies of your own to share, please post to the Comments below - we are all about Community Learning. It's our middle name.
P.s. You made it to the end of the post, so here's a small gift for you - a helper along the quest for a better you: MAGIC POTION OF FOCUS.