Habitica will change your life. Really

4 min read

I am always skeptical of techniques (specifically apps) that claim to be “life changing”. Todo software has always been the one thing that never stuck for me. After trying everything from Vikunja to todoist I was ready to throw in the towel on the idea for good. Then Habitica came along, and has changed a lot of things for the better.

For the past month, I have flossed probably 28 days out of 30. On days that I don’t go to the gym, I have been stretching more regularly, and I am now more determined than ever to get at least 7 hours of sleep per night. Each of these are structured slightly differently within habitica, but in all the cases it is the mechanisms in place within habitica that have helped turn these items from otherwise boring checkboxes into fun challenges to complete. These are highly customizable and come in different flavours, which I’ll dive into below.

Habitica promo image showing pictures of characters in the game

Types of todos in habitica


The first type of “todo” within habitica are habits. These can either have a positive component (i.e. something you want to do more of), a negative component (i.e. something you want to do less), or both (which I’ll explain in a minute). I use the habit type for sleeping at least 7 hours a night. If I accomplish it, I hit the “positive habit” button. If I fail to do so, I hit the “negative habit” button. This is a great example of how a habit can be both positive and negative at the same time. Sleeping 7 hours a night is a great habit to have, sleeping less is a bad habit. Another example is publishing a blog post, a positive habit!


For things that should be done at a regular cadence, there are dailies. I use this for both flossing and stretching, and doing the dishes (which has done wonders for saving them from ever piling up). Despite the name, dailies can also be configured to repeat at any time interval, such as weekly. I use a weekly daily to both upgrade software on my computer, and also to clean the house.


These are the more typical task list items, such as remembering to buy bread on the way home. I use this as a general reminders section of things that I need to get done. Crucially, each task can be assigned a difficulty, and the rewards scale with the size of the task. Suddenly, instead of just checking a boring item off of a list, you are working towards getting something fun, such as a new dragon pet.

The magic of teamwork

When I started on this journey, I asked a couple of other people in my life if they would like to come along. Having a party where we all work together is fantastic, and holding each other accountable is automated through the health bar system. If you don’t do your dailies, or complete too many negative habits, the whole group suffers. It sounds silly, but this has sometimes been the sole reason why I will go to bed earlier, to avoid that oh so sad hit to not only my health bar but everyone else’s as well.

Talking to others in my party, it seems that they have also really been surprised at how much of a difference habitica has made. It may just be an app, but sometimes technology has the potential to help us in unexpected ways. In this case, it is the human element and characteristics, which the app then exploits. Nothing new, however we are used to this effect being used in the opposite direction, to either get us to spend more money or more time chasing things that don’t ultimately matter. This time, technology can help us make changes in our life that we may need that little extra nudge to accomplish. If gamification is the way to get it done, so be it.

You can find the code for habitica on GitHub. The wiki/guide for habitica can be found on Fandom