The entire concept behind Health Month is pretty excellent: make changes to your patterns and habits by making it into a game. You get to set rules and then win points every day for following them. You earn fruit, and if your Life Points get too low, you can replenish them (or someone else’s) by using your fruit. And then at the end of the month, if you’ve followed all your rules, you get a FourSquare badge.
I probably don’t have to tell you how intensely I covet the FourSquare badge.
Health Month was created by Buster Benson, the same guy behind the fantastic 750 Words, a site that encourages daily writing by creating challenges and giving badges as rewards. Health Month is a similar setup, only with lots more options. You can totally customize your goals – anything from “Sleep More” to “Exercise Daily” to “Avoid High Fructose Corn Syrup.” There’s even a wheel you can spin to add to the random aspect: sometimes you get extra points, but occasionally you lose points. It’s all part of the fun!
Since I’m just starting out, this month’s rules are pretty basic: take a multivitamin every day (easy) and only allow myself added sugar 3 days per week (…not so easy). The idea is to make incremental changes rather than major lifestyle overhauls.
And, two weeks in, it seems to be working. Despite the fact that I crave cake like no one’s business, I am kicking ass at Health Month.
That said, next month I plan to really bump it up. It should be pretty fun to watch, so if you have any interest in making any changes to your habits or diet or whatever, you should sign up for next month too! Make sure you add me as a friend so we can keep track of each other’s progress, or throw fruit at each other, or whatever.