Whatever happened to... Habit Judo? October 2, 2015 3:43 PM   Subscribe

A while back on MeFi (2011) apparently user Leotrotsky described an intriguing habit-building system he deemed Habit Judo, which as I understood it was essentially a gamification system for developing habits. I was so intrigued at the time, but I guess I never *surprise surprise* developed the habit of looking further into it. It appears that a spreadsheet of some sort was developed (and mentioned in the Guardian), and even spun off Android and iOS apps, both of which appear to be down. So I've a few questions...

Did/does anyone ever use this, in the past or today, and regardless-- does some version or incarnation of Habit Judo exist to this very day? Cursory examination reveals there appear to be a few sites purporting to host .apk files of the app, but being relatively tech illiterate I can't ascertain whether these are legit or installable, and if they are, I would very much appreciate instructions on downloading these on my android device. Barring that, I would be so grateful for even the simple spreadsheet version, or instructions on how I could try implementing this system.
posted by Perko to MetaFilter-Related at 3:43 PM (13 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

I did this a bit.

Here's a simple spreadsheet that should give an idea of the concept. You can choose "Make a copy" (to keep in Google Docs) or "Download" (to use in Excel) from the file menu to try it out for yourself.

You can fill in the habit names across the top. You'll notice the value under "POINTS" is changing when you type anything new in anywhere. This is intentional.

When you complete a habit for the day, you fill in whatever value is under "POINTS" at the time (it's random between 1 and 10). When you hit tab to move to the next habit, the number of points will change, and that's the number you use for that habit.

The spreadsheet will keep track of your cumulative total of points and let you know what level you're at.

The scores to level up are based on number of habits * average points per habit per day * days to level up, so in this case I have 5 habits with an average score of 5 points per day, leveling up once a week, which means it takes 175 points to get to the next level.

There's a ton of customization you can do, but this should get the idea across.
posted by brentajones at 4:35 PM on October 2, 2015 [2 favorites]

Habitica, formerly HabitRPG does a version of this, including Android and iOS apps as well as a web interface.
posted by ladyriffraff at 5:25 PM on October 2, 2015 [5 favorites]

Habitica is wonderful.
posted by naju at 5:50 PM on October 2, 2015

Yep, Habit Judo sounds a lot like Habitica, which I use daily. Pretty good explanation of HabitRPG/Habitica here.
posted by namewithoutwords at 7:32 PM on October 2, 2015 [2 favorites]

I run the Metafilter Guild on Habitica. I don't think you can link to it directly, but if you search the guilds it's probably to first result. If you join, drop a line and say hello.
posted by Ian A.T. at 7:56 PM on October 2, 2015 [2 favorites]

We can link to guilds in Habitica now! Direct link to the MeFi guild, which only works for you if you have joined.
posted by moira at 10:44 PM on October 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

There's a few similar-sounding systems to Habit Judo in section 10.4: Other examples of this gamification infokit (declaration: I wrote the infokit, so blame me for any errors).
posted by Wordshore at 8:10 AM on October 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

Yay Habitica. I'm not sure if I'm actually making progress, but goddamn I do like getting points for doing things.
posted by klangklangston at 11:24 AM on October 3, 2015 [4 favorites]

I liked HabitRPG, which has since become Habatica, for awhile, but ended up going off it because the HP loss got to be too stressful. I get more than enough anxiety elsewhere, and it keeps me from Getting Stuff Done. I wish the site offered an easy mode, with all carrot and no stick, because I'd go right back to it and be more productive.
posted by Shmuel510 at 3:12 PM on October 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

Next time just shoot me a memail!

Don't use any of the "official" habit judo apps, others have implemented the idea better and more robustly.

That said, recognize that scalability can be a big issue with these approaches, after a while there becomes a lot of psychic overhead when you're running through a dozen or more habit checks each day.

I think of any of these systems only as a temporary bridge between the initial rush of early enthusiasm for a new activity and the actual habitualization after X weeks of practice where it doesn't need regular reinforcement.

The folks in the business of selling habit building frameworks would likely disagree with that assessment, though.
posted by leotrotsky at 3:44 PM on October 3, 2015 [3 favorites]

Habitica has made some very nice improvements recently. One of them is that you can check into the Inn, but still see and do your day's tasks. That might come close to an all-carrots version, though you wouldn't be able to deal damage in a quest while checked in.

I have some dailies where I give myself a "pass" option. To do this, I make a single checklist item named "pass." If I can do the daily, I check off the daily. If I need to give myself a pass, I tick the checklist item but leave the daily undone. The result is no points and no health damage. It does break any streak I had going. This also works for dailies with multiple, specific checklist items. Just check them all off, but leave the daily undone.

Also, I steer pretty heavily toward the optional, positive "Habits" column rather than the compulsory "Dailies" wherever I feel I need to. Really, I think you could potentially skip the Dailies column altogether, depending on what you use Habitica for.

I've done a sort of hybrid/combo, where there's an easy, general Daily (e.g., "check in with your teammates re: the day's dreaded task") connected to a more concrete Habit (e.g. "do a dreaded task"). That could work for a "Make an effort to do one or more of [type of Habits]" Daily. With a bit of markdown, it's easy to make headings-habits to help organize them.
posted by moira at 3:44 PM on October 3, 2015 [6 favorites]

I use ReWire on Android. I found HabitRPG too silly.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 6:48 PM on October 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

Thank you everyone for introducing me to Habitica via this MeTa. I think it is going to help me, and I am excited to try it out. I am also a little worried that it is too silly, so I will keep ReWire in mind for a backup.
posted by seasparrow at 7:50 PM on October 5, 2015 [2 favorites]

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