Day 1 - Intro to the Project

I’ve always been fascinated with habit formation and self improvement. But, like many, my best intentions have largely failed. 

However, there is an element of the obsessive in all of us. For many it’s our work, but often times it can be a specific hobby. For my college friend ManaMatt (named because he was always playing games that had “mana” or magical points), it was video games.

This guy was one of the laziest people I’ve known in college, but he loved games - and not in a passing manner. He was self-disciplined - playing several everyday for periods of an hour or two, then methodically switched to the next game, and the next.

There are two things at work here - A lazy man becoming self disciplined, but also the compartmentalization of self discipline. There are many people who are good at one skill, there are very few people who are good at many skills.

The basic idea of this project is to see if I can use the power of game mechanics to fuel obsessive self discipline in several arenas of my life over a year. I’m going to start slow, starting with one or two programs. Then see if I can expand to more.

There has been a lot of literature and hype regarding gamification lately - I want this to be a practical application of various theories and types of programs using a human guinea pig (me) to observe their successes and failures long term (one year).

This blog will be one part work log and one part exploration of the various issues involved.