Do you have a new habit you'd like to adopt? Here we lay out the three simple steps to use HeroMode as a Habit Tracker:
- Create an Adventure for the New Habit
- Create a Repeat Quest for the Task Associated With the Habit
- See Your Progress With Metrics and Activity Calendar
We also provide some additional tips to make your habit building journey joyful and successful.
"Remember kids, the only difference between screwing around and Science is writing it down."
-- Adam Savage, MythBusters
"You are what you measure."
-- Dan Ariely, Harvard Business Review
“Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become. No single instance will transform your beliefs, but as the votes build up, so does the evidence of your new identity.”
-- James Clear, Atomic Habits
The Holiday Season is upon us again. Are you planning on making New Year's Resolutions? Do you have new habits that you'd like to adopt? If so, I applaud you. I have so much respect for anyone striving to do more and be better. It takes effort and determination.
Adopting new habits is hard. It's not a one-time push. It's a continuous grind over many days and sessions. And having a habit tracker helps. So here I'll lay out the three main steps of using HeroMode as a habit tracker. I'll also add some extra tips to help make your habit formation journey joyful and successful.
Step 1: Create an Adventure for the New Habit
In a way, isn't it quite an adventure to adopt a new habit? You'll need to take many steps, there may be challenges along the way, you might encounter interesting sceneries, people, and learn more about yourself.
For example, I created a "Monitor drinking" adventure to keep track of my alcohol consumption. While I, very fortunately, have not had serious issues with alcohol, I did feel that my consumption increased during COVID lockdown. It turns out I'm not alone. Studies have shown an overall increase in alcohol consumption during the pandemic. So I wanted to make sure I keep my drinking habit in check.
Above: The first step to tracking your habit in HeroMode is creating an Adventure for the habit.
Tip 1a: Customize Your Adventure to Motivate You
Your adventure comes with a lot of customization options, like color theme, description, and cover image. You can add more personal touches to make the adventure really speak to you. For example, we mentioned that it's very important to identify the deep personal purpose for each goal you have. And you can make it very clear, for instance, by having an adventure cover image.
Step 2: Create a Repeat Quest for the Task Associated With the Habit
After creating an adventure for your habit, the next step is to create a repeat quest that represents what you need to do on the daily (or weekly, or monthly) basis to form and maintain the habit.
For my "Monitor drinking" adventure, I created a repeat quest simply called "No drinking", which I set to repeat every day.
Above: The second step to tracking your habit in HeroMode is setting up a repeat quest associated to the recurring task you need to perform for the habit.
Tip 2a: Repeat the Quest at a Time That Establishes Your New Routine
When creating a repeat quest, you can choose what time to generate each quest. Pick this time to most effectively establish the new habit. For example, when a HeroMode user tried to quit Reddit, they set their repeat quest to be created at 10pm daily, the time that they previously were most tempted to browse Reddit. This way, instead of browsing Reddit, their nightly routine is replaced with swiping the "No Reddit" quest as completed, thereby completing the habit loop.
Tip 2b: Start Small with Just One Repeat Quest for Each Habit
When we make New Year's Resolutions, we can become quite ambitious. Our aspirations are skyhigh, and we can't wait for our future self to be as grand as we envision.
But each New Year's Resolution is essentially our present selves writing checks that our future selves will have to cash. Writing checks is the easier part; actually realizing the actions is difficult. So we tend to over-promise, and make our future selves feel guilty and disappointed when we don't live up to those aspirations.
So when setting up the repeat quest for your new habit, start small. Just have one repeat quest in the beginning, and maybe don't even repeat it every single day, but say, just a few days a week. If the new habit takes hold, you can add more repetition. This is a much better feeling than falling behind on the multiple repeat quests you have to complete.
Tip 2c: Assign Quest Points Motivatingly
You can assign the repeat quest points: 0, 0.1, 1, 2, or 3. The HeroMode point system is meant to motivate, and you can assign point according to how much effort it'll take for you to complete the routine task.
And effort doesn't just mean "time"; it can also be mental energy. For example, not drinking is not typically difficult for me, very fortunately, so I only give this repeat quest 0.1 point. But every week I also have a repeat quest to coordinate a new blog post. For this repeat quest, I give it 3 points, the maximum possible. Because even when I'm not the one writing it, it takes a lot of effort to plan and coordinate. More importantly, this is one quest that I can easily let it slip, so I'm giving it a lot of points to motivate me.
Above: Give your habit's repeat quest more points if it takes more time or mental energy.
Tip 2d: Use Quest Checkboxes to Break Down Habit Actions Into Smaller Pieces
Ideally, the habit action should be quick to complete. But sometimes a new routine can have many subtasks, like working out. In that case, you can use Quest Checkboxes to further break down the habit action into smaller pieces. This way, every single piece of effort is recognized, recorded, and celebrated.
Step 3: See Your Progress With Metrics and Activity Calendar
One of the most important reasons to use a habit tracker is to be able to see your progress. Visualizing your progress is a huge motivator. It just feels good to see how far you have come, and how all your little efforts are accumulating into something bigger and grander.
For example, below is my activity calendar for the "Monitor drinking" adventure. I can quickly get a sense of my drinking behavior, and see that while I still would have some sips here and there, on average I've been keeping it to a once-a-week frequency. I can also see past and current streak by tapping on any day in the calendar.
Above: Visualize your hard work and progress with adventure calendar, where you can see how your new habit is taking hold.
You can also use Adventure Milestones to define meaningful results stemming from your new habit. For example, if you have a new fitness habit, you can customize milestones to be targeted weight, or how long you'd like to be able to run, or how much you'd like to bench press.
That's it! Three simple steps to start tracking a new habit in HeroMode. I hope your journey to your new self will be joyful and successful!