I’m back with an idea to gamify your life. (If you’ve never heard of gamification before, click here)
One thing that many people struggle with (and I am no exception) is exercising. I personally have never really liked sports, and I usually prefer sitting around with a book or playing a video game then lifting weights or running laps. I’d force myself to work out, but it was always so difficult to find the motivation.
I finally went all-out and started this new game for myself. I took several pieces of paper, taped them all together to make one massive piece that could fit on my fridge, and made a very simple board game.
Snaking its way along the map was a path split up into little sections, and I used a magnet that I had gotten as a gift as a little character that represented my progress. Every time I would work out, I’d move my pawn forward. Simple as that. Having that visual was enough to get me excited to run to the gym – I wanted to get to the end of the board!
While originally I had this giant map up on my fridge, this can be a much simpler project too. When I moved into a new apartment (and no longer lived alone), I had at that point finished my giant board and was ready to start a new one. I didn’t want to take over the fridge again, though, so this time I created a much smaller version of the next board and hung it on the mirror in my room. This is the one I’m still going through right now, and I already look forward to drawing the next board!
Creating the character pawn for this was even simpler than a magnet… A simple drawing on a piece of paper/cardstock and some sticky tack and voila!
I made a few rules for myself that you could alter however you like. With a normal 30-minutes-ish cardio routine I moved a space. I liked doing some lighter floor exercises as well – two of those would get me a space. If I went out and played tennis for an hour or more with friends, I’d get two spaces… You get the idea.
As further incentive, I also instituted a bit of a reward system, making little presents and scattering them throughout the board. Once I reached one, I could reward myself! They wouldn’t be anything too major – maybe a bubble bath or a new book. If I saw things at the store that I wanted but didn’t have any urgent need for (movies, video games, books, puzzles, etc), I would sometimes get them, wrap them up, and then keep them in my closet until I reached my goal on my exercise map. Then I could pick something up and unwrap it – so fun!
Creating a game like this can be as simple or as complicated as you’d like. Everything I used is made out of computer paper, cardstock and markers, and I hang everything up with tape, magnets or sticky tack. I’d strongly recommend trying this out if you’re struggling to find motivation for something! I have many other ideas for a variety of other chores and goals that I look forward to sharing.