I was reading a while back about how people will modify their behavior for "points"—even if the points are actually meaningless—and it intrigued me. I started Googling the topic and came across this site called Health Month that lets you create rules for your life and then awards you points if you follow them. There's a bit more to it than that, but frankly I don't really understand it all yet, which is why I've never mentioned the thing, even through I've been using it since November 1.
Health Month is supposed to be a cross between a game and a social networking site, but the game part isn't actually fun, and the social networking aspect is a little bizarre, since I don't know anyone there. On the other hand, it's been a handy way for me to stay accountable to my little rules and to keep track of my complex new system of eating. The free version of the game allows you to create three rules for yourself, and mine are "no more than three primal meals a week," "no more than three 'whatever' meals a week," and "no more than seven hours of total Internet time-wasting per week."
The food rules are pretty easy to follow. The Internet rule, on the other hand, is driving me crazy—first, because I can't wrap my head around how difficult it is for me limit myself to an hour a day of goofing off. But secondly, and mostly, because I really, really love all that Facebook and blog reading and Scrabble.
I'm going to have to get used to cutting back, though, because my New Life Plan is to keep playing Health Month, adding one new rule each month and consolidating all my old rules into a "follow all old rules" rule. I'm thinking two years of that, and my life will be just about perfect. What could possibly go wrong?