May has been all about personal growth for me. Setting goals and doing my best to meet them. Some of these goals have been huge like Weight Watchers. However, there are so many smaller goals that I want to achieve but until this month have had to real way to track them. That is, until I discovered Health Month.
Let me backtrack a bit. I am one of those people that constantly think in terms of "shoulds." I should exercise more. I shouldn't drink so much. I should have known better. What do you do with shoulds? They are completely useless and they just clutter your head with even more useless guilt. And who likes Guilty Gwen anyway? Problem is, Guilty Gwen and Should-Do Sheila are totally BFFs and are usually found hand in hand.
So what I would usually do is, after hanging out with the girls for awhile (GG and SDS) I would decide that I was going to make changes. I would make a list of all my shoulds and look at them, then forget about them until I needed to feel guilty again. Not very fruitful, is it? This has been going on for a long time for me - a really long time. I guess you could say that Guilty Gwen and Should-Do Sheila were more than just occasional guests, they were roommates. I started to think that this was just part of life and I would just have to get used to them being there. Like you get used to that little crack on the wall that no one can see but you. Then along came Health Month.
Health Month is an online game that helps you track goals. Like the name implies, many of these are health related, but it's not limited to physical health but mental health as well. Actually, it's not limited to anything. Whatever goal you want to set in order to improve your life is game. And, really, when you improve your life you are naturally improving your health. Right? For me, it's a way to organize Should-Do-Sheila and keep her on track thus preventing Guilty Gwen from ever having a need to come around.
So, it works like this. Each month there is a kind of contest. You choose the rules you would like to follow for that month. These were mine for May:
When you are choosing your rules, choose carefully because once the month starts you can not alter your rules in any way. You can see most of my rules were pretty easy, but all of them were important to me. At this time you also choose your "reward" in you win the game and a "punishment" if you lose. I chose to buy a new outfit for myself if I won and to donate $10 to Health Month if I lost. If you do decide to pay, it's a $5 donation to the developer which is cheap and totally worth it in my opinion.
So, now you are ready to play. You start off with 10 life points. Each day you are asked to check in. If you follow all your rules you get game points and fruit. If you don't you lose a life point. If you still have life points at the end of the month you "win" the game. Sounds simple, right? Well, the game itself is simple, but following all the rules was harder than I thought! I lost 3 life points during May but was able to earn new ones as the month went on or purchase one with fruit. While the month isn't over yet, I can confidentially say I won. More than winning the game, though, I have won something much more important - confidence! So much so that I have chosen 20 rules for next month. How that for confidence?!
In addition to playing this game on your own, you can also choose to be on a team. Teams can compete with each other and other teams making this a giving Health Month a social aspect. Right now I am playing against myself really. It's one thing that I do just for me. It might be interesting to play with someone else or have a team. Wanna play?