If you want to change the way you look or feel, work with your brain instead of against it to make lasting changes by using the same techniques that video games have been practicing for 20 years.
If you’ve ever played an RPG (role playing game) before, you know how addictive those things can be.
(If you’ve not played, it’s a video game where you build a character, and try to make them stronger and more skilled while trying to equip them with better weapons and armor that you find while doing different quests)
If you’re like me, there’s a tremendous amount of incentive to keep leveling up your character and making them stronger and better. It makes the game more interesting and fun, while giving you satisfaction every time a new item is gained.
Games like this aren’t just designed by nerdy neckbeards, perched between a stack of pizza boxes and their 3 cats. They are designed by psychologists and economists who take into account the way the human brain works, and seek to reward your hard work and keep you engaged.
Here’s a story:
The Panama Canal was the work of thousands of men done over 20 years. The hardest place to dig was known as the Culebra Cut. It was common for landslides to hit during the night and completely fill in days or weeks of digging.
Digging was done by mechanized shovels that could lift 2 tons of dirt in one scoop. These shovels were run by crews of up to 30 men, and had names like “Maiden of Monteverde” and “The Black Eye”.
In order to boost morale, and keep the men working hard during the wet season, the Canal Zone Manager started posting the total amount of dirt excavated by each shovel in the weekly newspaper.
This instantly changed the atmosphere. This new competition resulted in extreme jumps in productivity. It was said that during this time period, the average shovel was removing 6 times as much dirt as the French had removed on their best day, 20 years prior.
Competition creates Success
There’s a reason that games like World of Warcraft and Call of Duty remain so popular. There’s a part of our psyche that wants to know how we stack up against other people.
Gyms like Orange Theory Fitness take advantage of this principle with good results. They display your heart rate publicly on monitors throughout the gym, which is a large incentive to not let yours drop into the ‘rest’ category.
Flywheel, a trendy new take on Spin gives participants points for working hard and keeping their resistance high. Every class has a winner.
When it comes down to it, there are really no winners or losers in exercise. You came, you sweat, and you got a little bit stronger. Great job! Let’s do that again for the next 10 years!
Motivation comes and goes, and self-discipline is a muscle just like any other. It can easily get worn out after a long day of forcing yourself to not stand on your desk, give your boss the middle finger, and go Office Space on the copier.
By using competition and gamification to tap into your secret well of motivation, you can work with your brain instead of against it to create a strong powerful body that actually has healthy habits.
This is why I’ve developed a behavior based gamification challenge that pits you against other users in a 6 week battle to see who can score the most points by completing activities that directly correlate with long term weight loss. This program will run again summer 2016.
- A 8 week home or gym training program
- A nutritional guidance plan
- Access to a full exercise video library.
- Weekly competition updates – crush your opponents and win.
- Best transformation and highest points scored both get prizes.