Do you want to break bad habits and build good ones? A habit tracker is the perfect way to work from a daily level in building better habits!
The Beauty of a Daily Habit Tracker
Do you use a habit tracker in your bullet journal? 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 and habit building.
This handy chart allows me to track and build habits (if that wasn’t obvious) to see how I’ve been progressing toward my goals. I can keep an eye on both positive habits and negative, which is super helpful for being honest with myself.
Without the habit tracker, it’s easy to guestimate my stats. 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 habit formation and tracking 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.
Once you make baby steps to progress habitual, you’re going to start coasting to a better lifestyle!
WHAT IS A HABIT TRACKER?
The most obvious question is, what is a habit tracker? Well, it’s quite simple, a habit tracker is just a tool you can create to track your habit streaks.
You commonly see habit trackers as a central theme in many people’s bullet journal, but you don’t have to bullet journal to use one.
You don’t need an expensive journal or planner to create a habit tracker. All you need is a piece of paper and a pen.
The essential elements of a habit tracker are just the habits you want to track and how long you want to track them. As long as those basic elements are there, you will be able to make huge changes to your habits.
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 great 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.
What Can You Track?
There are a ton of things that you can put in your monthly habit tracker to help you stay on the right path toward your new habit or simply observe your current patterns. Here are 40 different habit ideas 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, you should give meal planning a try. I created a recipe bank that has become essential to my meal planning routine!
- Use planner/bullet journal
- Exercise dog
- Training session with dog, if you have not started training your pup yet, it’s not too late and this intro guide can help you get started.
- No accidents – we love using this to see how Summer is progressing toward potty training. Good dog!
- Work on a hobby – the habit tracker is only one way the bullet journal can help with your hobby.
- Work on a project – business project, home renovation, creative project… this could be whatever kind of project you want! Sometimes 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
- 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 your journal – for me, it’s the Morning Pages.
- Less than X hours on time wasters (Reddit, Facebook, etc)
- Practice – whether it’s your instrument, hand 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.
- Screen time
- Read a chapter of a book
- Call a friend. Or multiple friends. Real conversations boost their spirits and yours.
- Making your bed. It’s a small win to start your day.
- Dinner at the table (without cell phones)
HOW MANY HABITS YOU SHOULD TRACK?
I’ve thrown a lot of habit tracker ideas at you, but don’t worry, you don’t have to do them all! Trying to track too many habits is a sure-fire way to make sure you don’t stick with your habit tracker.
Initially, I would recommend that you stick to just 2-8 habits to track. As you get used to using your habit tracker, you can easily add more and more habits, but at first, it is best to keep it simple.
A simple tip to help you get started with those initial habits is to include filling in your habit tracker as one of your first habits.
There is no right amount of habits to track, but make sure you don’t overwhelm yourself when first starting out.
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 bullet journal 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 like to create beautifully lettered headers with my Tombow brush pens. I sometimes even letter or paint the header with my Pentel Aquash Water Brush Pens. I just love playing around to keep things exciting!
Should I Start One?
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 in graphs 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 monthly habits 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 leads to big results over time. Check out my free printable habit tracker below to get started!
What have you got to lose besides a couple of bad habits?