Changing habits is a game

Interesting post this morning at the BigFish Games blog. A look at the headers will give you an idea of what it's about:
  • Gamers are experts at making and breaking habits: "You enjoy playing games, right? It can be effortless to pick up a game and get addicted. If you play games, you’re already good at what it takes to change a habit."
  • Crash course on game mechanics: "Think about your favorite game. What keeps you going back? Which game mechanics are at play to keep you returning?"
  • How habits are formed: "Habits – both good and bad – are the product of repetition and reinforcement. We do something, we see and like the results (a rush of dopamine), and we do it again. We do this over and over, forming deep pathways in our brain that become harder to change as time goes on."
  • Changing habits is a game: "Behavior = Motivation + Trigger + Ability"
  • One tooth a night: "... it’s easy to think about flossing one tooth. But you can’t floss just one tooth when you start!"
  • Changing the worst habits: "Start by removing at least one of the variables. "
  • Let’s go on a quest: Random Rewards: "Set reasonable goals:"
  • More ways to break a bad habit
Read the whole post to get the full pictures of how to analyze the game mechanics in your life.  

And while you're there, admire the way the writer has used CC images from Flickr with proper attribution.  She had help from a site called Comflight  (http://compfight.com/) which helps you search the Creative Commons licensed photos on Flickr, and gives you the attribution text to use with the image. (Watch out for the NOT free images which will appear at the top of the screen.)

cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo shared by Jonathan_W