Note: I began this post in October 2018. I am in the process of going through all 60-something half-started posts and figuring out what to save and what to keep. This is a keeper.

It was a busy week. I moved out of my home office to a real office. The IT issues required me to log long hours at work, a place that doesn’t like my cellphone.

Some things I usually do during work had to wait. And often I was so tired after coming home that I forgot to do them.

A screenshot of Habitica’s website. It’s a nifty app, I just didn’t use it correctly.

One of these many things I forgot was logging into Habitica, an app that helps you set good habits through a checklist. Each thing you check off counts toward experience for the little avatar you made. The avatar can be a thief, warrior or mage. It levels up, gaining equipment, pets and other things as you progress in your habit-making.

I recently joined a guild so I can complete quests. You can earn points for your group which will be applied toward the quests, our’s were usually battling monsters to get pet eggs.

The bad thing about this type of thing, is you have to be active on your phone or computer. I was trying to cut down on my technology usage. My smartphone is still my computer, gaming center, photography studio, writing desk and mini gym. I use more than I should.

Then it happened. I got kicked out of the guild for not being active enough. You get kicked out of a group focused on good habits for trying to do what you think is a good habit.


I miss collecting eggs of slime, yarn and other exotic creatures only available through quests. But I think getting kicked out is a blessing in disguise.

Because of the guild, I spent more time checking stuff off, rather than actually doing them. I spent more time focusing on meeting the guild requirements, although I admit I didn’t post as much as I probably should have, than focusing on why I joined — to improve myself.

Joining Habitica never was supposed to getting pets, points and the latest outfit for my avatar. It was about becoming a better me. Helping others achieve their goals was icing on the cake, but I logged in mostly for me. I think it’s a great app, I just didn’t use it for the right reasons.

Soon after I was booted from the guild, I looked for another one to join, but soon discovered that there isn’t a guild for people who want to level up but can’t spend all day on their phone. So I deleted Habitica. My little avatar with the pink glasses and bluish-green skin is gone.

Now, I get up a little earlier every day and make a mental checklist before I start my day. I write a list of work of the top three things I want to accomplish that day. This works better than the app did.

I feel more in control and I have something in front of me — a post-it note — reminding me of what I need to do. Hiding my tasks behind my iPhone’s lock screen was just a disaster waiting to happen.

Sure, some of the things on my list aren’t exactly high priority. But they are things that make me feel that I had a good day if I complete them. Helping my kids with their homework, getting one room in my house cleaned, putting that thank you card in the mail.

Getting kicked out of the guild may be the best thing that ever happened to me.