If you’re having trouble losing those extra pounds you packed on over the winter, it might be helpful to stop thinking like a dieter and to start thinking like a Level 1 Ice Mage from your favorite videogame instead. Seriously.
It may sound silly to compare something as real and frustrating as losing weight to something as whimsical as a videogame, but according to the scientific community it’s actually a pretty good idea. Recent studies have shown that applying a system of rewards and incentives like those found in popular games to real life can make it easier for people to accomplish major goals such as dieting and paying down debt. And as it so happens, a number of developers have started to come out with some cool smart phone apps that can help you do just that. So if you’re trying to make a major change in your life this year, here are a few things you can download that will make your transformation easier and much more entertaining.
- 1) Endomondo. Having trouble finding the motivation to exercise? Endomondo can get you up and running. This popular new app turns physical fitness into a real life game by allowing users to track and compare their exercise routines with friends and other members of Endomondo’s online community. Your phone will automatically monitor your workouts and provide you with audible pep talks to encourage you to reach your goals. You can even look up local running and biking routes and race against the current champion for the fastest time. Currently, Endomondo is available for free on iOS and Android as well as the new BlackBerry 10 OS.
- 2) Payoff. Think of Payoff as a sort of combination of Mint and FourSquare. This new web-based app is designed to make managing your finances easier by monitoring your cash flow and rewarding you with badges and cash prizes for good behavior. The app will even share your accomplishments over your social networks for some added publicity. In addition to working towards your own financial dreams, you can also view the goals and progress of other users and leave them words of inspiration to keep them motivated. Payoff is currently available for free online and through Facebook.
- 3) Treehouse. Possibly the most aesthetically pleasing educational hub on the Internet, Treehouse makes learning web development, coding and other tech-related skills both fun and easy. After signing up for Treehouse’s monthly service, students will receive access to a myriad of in-depth tutorials and courses related to programming and web development. Every time they complete a course, they receive a badge on their public profile that they can use as part of their portfolio when applying for a promotion or a new job. Though the service costs $25 a month, the education it provides is more than worth it. Just ask Mozilla, Disney and AOL, all of whom are members of the Treehouse community.
- 4) Epic Win. Epic Win is the gamification app to end all gamification apps. It’s also a personal planner, which can be pretty handy. Designed to mimic a classic RPG videogame, Epic Win gives you experience points every time you complete a “quest” like sending an email or going to the gym. You can use these experience points to level up, gain riches and new gear and develop skills to help you defeat villains and bosses that you will encounter on your journey to be epic. The app is currently available for iOS and Facebook, but is slated to hit Android sometime in the near future.
Don’t let the frustrations of the real world stop you from achieving your dream of paying down debt or losing weight. Download these helpful apps today and start living life like it’s a video game. It will be easier to stay motivated and you’ll have a lot more fun accomplishing your goals.