The Beauty of a Habit Tracker
Do you use a habit tracker? You know, that simple little thing that you can find in every month of my bullet journal? Cuz you really should, it is one of the best things you can do for your productivity. This handy chart allows me to keep track of habits (if that wasn’t obvious) to see how I’ve been progressing toward my goals. I can keep an eye on both good habits and bad, which is super helpful for being honest with myself. Without the habit tracker, it’s easy to guestimate my habits. But with the habit tracker, I can track it in a precise, nearly scientific way – which is awesome!
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. I don’t know about you, but I like knowing what’s going on with my time because I want to do a better job of managing my time.
In fact, it was around the time that I started throwing my weight behind my habit tracker that I really began to see significant changes in my life. I was able to see real, concrete progress towards a life without procrastination. Crazy, right? But it totally happened! And thanks in part to the simple and elegant solution of a habit tracker, I now live a life that I’d always dreamed – productive, creative, and fulfilling. I talk about habit building extensively in my eCourse Uninstalling Procrastination because habits are the key to success. Once you make baby steps to progress habitual, you’re going to start coasting to a better lifestyle!
How You Set Up Your Habit Tracker
I love doing this in my Leuchtturm because the dot grid makes it super easy to draw out the chart. Whatever you do, I would suggest you use a ruler. Nothing is more frustrating than wavy, uneven lines! All you need to do is have a column for each day and a row for each habit you want to track. Pro tip: start with the last date and work your way back. You don’t want to find out the hard way that you ran out of room for the last day of the month!
When you reach the end of your day, you sit down and fill in the boxes for the habits you did (or did not, depending on your set up) do. For example, I will fill in the first row’s box because I did complete my Morning Pages. A bit below that, I will fill in a box if I didn’t have a soda. Whatever the positive outcome of that habit is, that’s when you should fill in the box. Or put a check mark through it, or a big fat X- whatever makes you feel satisfied. I like to color them in with Staedtler Triplus Fineliners. The growing rainbow across my habit tracker is extremely satisfying. One day, when I get the 36 pack, I will have a color for every habit!
What Can You Track?
There are a ton of things that you can put in your habit tracker to help you stay on the right path toward your goals or simply observe your current patterns. Here are 40 different possibilities to get you started.
- Water consumption
- Caloric intake is below target
- No soda (coffee/alcohol/junk food/etc)
- Water plants – This is great for people like me, who are absolutely terrible at taking care of my plant babies.
- Cook at home – If you struggle with this one because of time, then Blue Apron is a great option. Everything comes in the exact portion you need along with detailed instructions with pictures. All you have to do is cook it! The meals we’ve made with Blue Apron were absolutely delicious, so I can vouch for this personally. If you want to give it a try, you can get 3 free meals, or get $30 off your first family plan order by clicking my link!
- Use planner/bullet journal
- Exercise dog
- Training session with dog
- No accidents – we love using this to see how Summer is progressing toward potty training. Good dog!
- Work on hobby – the habit tracker is only one way the bullet journal can help with your hobby.
- Work on project – business project, home renovation, creative project… this could be whatever kind of project you want! Some times I just pop in my headphones, zone out to my favorite Amazon Music channels. (Get a 30 day free trial of Amazon Music). I find that I’m much more productive on those projects I’ve been dreading when listening to music.
- Medication – for people who struggle to take their meds every day, this could be just the way to monitor it.
- Symptoms – a habit tracker is a great asset to people suffering from a chronic illness. Track your episodes, spells, and symptoms so you have a comprehensive history to show to your doctor.
- Pay bills
- Publish blog post – don’t have a blog? Start one today!
- Respond to social media comments – another one for bloggers
- Tidy up
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- Sex – this is wonderful for couples. It’s healthy to have an active sex life, and sometimes medication or circumstances get in the way. Track it to see patterns!
- Empty inbox – this is a good reminder for people like me who let their inboxes get out of control. Empty it every day and check it off.
- Write in journal – for me, it’s the Morning Pages.
- Less than X hours on time wasters (Reddit, Facebook, etc)
- Practice – whether it’s your instrument, brush lettering, or foreign language skills, it’s awesome to mark the days you practice.
- Call mom – I’m awful at remembering this. Sorry, mom!
- Spend time in Nature
- Bowel Movements – hey, it’s good to know what schedule your body is on!
- Go to bed on time
- Wake up on time
- Fill out Gratitude Log
- No money spent (This is perfect for developing your financial plan!)
- Empty sink – for folks like me who always leave dishes in the sink!
- Complete homework
- Relax/Me Time – check this box if you felt that you had some time to relax and unwind. If you don’t check it for a few days, you know to make it a priority.
The Possibilities are Endless
I’m sure that with a little imagination, you could come up with a ton of different things to track. The only way this tracker will work is if you actually fill it out every day. You’d be amazed by how little we remember past a day, so don’t try to rely on memory to fill out previous days in your habit tracker.
I would suggest you do something to make that page in your planner more interesting. I like to use color and other pizazz to keep me coming back every day. To keep things fresh, I play around with the headers each month, varying between Micron and Tombow brush pens. Next month, I sometimes even paint the header with my exciting new Pentel Aquash Water Brush Pens. I just love playing around to keep things exciting!
If you haven’t tried using a habit tracker yet, you should definitely start one. Being able to monitor so many aspects of my life has been amazing for building up good habits and decreasing bad ones. I also use my habit tracker to set goals and rewards for myself, which helps immensely with pushing myself to new achievements. I also love being able to look back several months and see my growth over time. Remember that in order to change your life, you must change your habits. Using a habit tracker helps you make the small changes each and every day that lead to big results over time. What have you got to lose besides a couple of bad habits?
P.S. Interested in grabbing a free habit tracker printable? Click the image below or head here to sign up for the Fox Den Resource Library!
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