I don’t drink enough water and I’ve never been good at remembering to; it’s just not part of my daily routine. So I decided to give gamification a shot at reversing this bad habit. Based on Jon Guerrera’s 2012 talk about his system of self-improvement I was inspired to start my own test.
Forget the Apps, Gamifying with Post-It Notes from The Gamification Summit on FORA.tv
I determined that I should be drinking about 100 oz of water during the workday. So I measured the volume of my usual drinking vessel (shout out to IIT Campus Sustainability) and found that it was 20 oz, therefore my goal would be to drink 5 full bottles a day. I worked up a quick scoring mechanism and indicated what kinds of rewards I would get upon completion of each goal.
I tried to identify real motivational rewards as Jon advises, so I thought that cash would be a good place to start. I think I will iterate in the next version so that the reward for full completion is a larger actual item like a specific blu-ray or something for my car because I don’t find the cash to be that motivating. I’m really just interested in the accomplishment at this point. I think I may also attempt to dabble in “activated ability” concept to allow myself to receive non-water splurges (like full-flavored soda) to break up the monotony of tasteless water.
I hope that eventually I will have turned drinking more water into a habit. We’ll see if gamification can help me with this goal.