“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”
― John C. Maxwell
We all have them. Some are good, and some are bad. Whether brushing your teeth or biting your nails, these activities form part of everyone’s daily routines.
So, how do you form a new habit or break a bad one? This is where a habit tracker can help!
Building good habits starts with consistency. A habit tracker helps you to document your progress, motivate you to keep going and help you celebrate success.
Tracking your daily habits might seem daunting at first. But it is the best way to hold yourself accountable, create new habits and achieve bigger goals.
Suppose you’re looking to level up your life by starting and keeping good habits. In that case, a simple habit tracker might be all you need to give you the jump-start and motivation you’ve been looking for.
WHAT IS A HABIT TRACKER?
- Quite simply, a habit tracker is a tool used to measure whether you did a habit.
- The essential elements of a habit tracker are – the habits you want to track and how long you want to track them.
- The most basic format is to get a calendar and cross off each day you stick with your routine. For example, if you meditate on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, each of those dates gets an X. As time rolls by, the calendar becomes a record of your habit streak.
There are loads of different ways you can track your habits. These include:
- Writing in a diary or journal
- On a phone app
- Keep track on excel
- With a tracking system
- Writing in a bullet journal
- In a book on goals and tracking that you purchase
- On a printed PDF
In the end, it doesn’t matter what form your habit tracker takes. What does matter is that you find a habit tracker that works for you and your lifestyle. One that makes it easy for you to update and fits in with the way you usually do things.
WHY USE A HABIT TRACKER?
- The main advantage of using a habit tracker is accountability. You keep yourself accountable to your goals by completing daily, weekly, or monthly actions that bring you closer to your goal.
- If you’re anything like me, you might feel like you have an infinite list of things to accomplish on any given day. Not only can this feel overwhelming, but it also means you’re much more likely to get distracted and lose focus of your original goals and intentions.
- A habit tracker makes goals feel more attainable. Having a long-term goal can be intimidating. So much so that some people never even start. But a daily habit tracker gives you small wins to look forward to every day. You’re physically able to see the progress you’re making, and it helps to fuel you with motivation to keep going. It also breaks your bigger goals into smaller, day-by-day chunks, which allows you to accomplish what you’re aiming for in the long run.
- A habit tracker is a great tool to use with your children too. You may have a goal they are working toward for school or therapy. Or they may just need reminding to brush their teeth or try a new food every day. If you have a large goal to work towards – breaking it down into small achievable steps will make the large goal seem less daunting for your child. You could even use a rewards system for days in a row marked off. And once they start seeing their own streaks – they won’t want to break the chain!
Other reasons why you should use a habit tracker are:
- It will keep your goal at the forefront of your mind.
- Increase productivity
- A time management tool.
- Less procrastination and more action.
- Progress, you can see where you are, rather than guessing where you are at with your goals.
TIPS ON USING A HABIT TRACKER
If you’re ready to take the plunge and create your own habit tracker, keep the following tips in mind:
- Track achievable habits. If you haven’t exercised in the last two years, don’t expect to suddenly be able to work out seven days a week. It’s important to start with a few habits and to make them specific. Try tracking more realistically, like “exercise for at least 15 minutes,” and build yourself up from there.
- Plan your habits. Carve out time every day for your habits, as they are easier to do if you’re consistent with time. Decide if you want to squeeze in that workout at the crack of dawn or after work, and then stick to it.
- Never miss twice. No matter how long your streak runs for, you may eventually break it. Don’t give up or use it as an excuse to indulge in old ways when you do. Instead, admit that missing once in a while is inevitable and promise yourself that you’ll never miss twice.
- Don’t feel overwhelmed if you’re not perfectly consistent from day one. When you set out to build a new habit, you’re committing to a lifestyle change. Each new day is another opportunity to check off all the right boxes and cement those habits, and over time, you’ll see the progress!
What happens if you fall off track?
I don’t want to sound pessimistic. But you may stop using your habit tracker. I’ve been there, so I know how it feels!
Don’t get too discouraged. Life happens to everyone. Things get busy; jobs and family life takes priority. Instead of giving up altogether, decide on a date to start again. Maybe this is next week or in two weeks. In the meantime, allow yourself time to relax and regenerate.
Choose new habits. You may have set the bar too high in your expectations, or you weren’t specific enough with your goals. If you find yourself continually struggling to finish a particular task, ask yourself why. Then change your habits or remove a few that are less of a priority.
Try a new layout. You may get bored with the same structure pretty quickly. Sometimes trying a new design is all it takes to get inspired again.
I would highly recommend that everyone give a habit tracker a try at least once. It’s astounding how many things we do on a daily basis that we don’t even notice.
Whatever your goals are, I hope that you can achieve them with the help of a habit tracker.
Remember, all the little things add up!
Here’s a tracker to get you started on your journey (click to view)