45 Things to Track in Your Habit Tracker + Free Printable!
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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.
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 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 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.
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 monthly habit tracker to help you stay on the right path toward your new habits 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, 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. 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 habits 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 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?
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Oh I forgot to say, I’m going to do the habit tracking on a weekly basis to begin with because it will keep me more motivated to reflect and improve that way. But as I become more accustomed to keeping a journal and tracking my habits I will move onto monthly habit tracking.
Great video. I’ve never been a journal keeping kind of girl but I’ve recently come to the conclusion that if I want to loose weight and improve my health and fitness, it’s not good enough just changing my food habits and going to a class, I really need to journal what I do so it’s not so hit and miss. I feel I need to concentrate all my efforts on this so I’ve just bought a fitness and health journal to start completing and there is a page in there about tracking habits but I just didn’t understand how to use it.
So I googled “how do I use a habit tracker” and your video popped up. I loved watching it and hearing all your tips for a successful habit tracker. Your video has really enlightened me. I’ve never thought about tracking habits before but moving forward I’m really going to do exactly that. You really are inspirational. Thank you.
Hi, thanks a lot for all this valuable information! I’d love to try it out, I see that there’s a free printable available but I can’t find it. Do I need to subscribe to see it?
Gonza, from Argentina.
Hello, yes in order to access the printables you need to sign up to join our free resource library. You can do so by going here. Let me know if you have any trouble accessing the library!
Hi, this was a super helpful post, I want to start a habit tracker from next month, in my bujo, but I was a little intimidated and I really didn’t know which habits I wanted to implement so this was so useful! Thank you.
I’m so glad you found this helpful, and I hope you do start a habit tracker. It is a really incredible tool!
Some good ideas here, but using a bullet journal to track whether or not you’ve use your bullet journal?
Yep, it’s a technique to help keep your journaling on your mind. Think of it as a free gold start for actually using your habit tracker. It is meant to help encourage you to sit down and fill it out every day!
This is the second time I’ve ended up on your blog. I find it has been one of the more helpful ones. I stumbled upon the Morning journal which I started….can’t say I do it every day… lol but now I’ll have to add the tracker to my bujo with that in it. I started using my bujo earlier this year for tracking my finances and paying off debt and it has been wonderful. I have been trying to figure out what else I want to track and with the recent change in my routines has me totally at a loss as to what I want to do and when…
Bullet journaling is so great for continuing to keep track of life even when those changes happen. Enjoy Christine!
Thank you so much! I’m so glad I came across your blog! This is the first time in a LONG time (I’m 50) that I’ve felt NOT super overwhelmed about starting to journal and write (morning pages!!!) and start habit tracking! I can’t wait to get off this computer and start writing!!! Thanks again!
That’s so wonderful to hear, Tanya! I hope you’ve already had a chance to dive right in.
Haha who starts work at 11??? I want that job!
When you work for yourself and you’re not a morning person, you do the best you can! Don’t worry, I worked way late into the night to make up for getting up so late. I wouldn’t recommend it!
I start work at 9p…there are varying hours for all types of jobs. 9-5 isn’t the only one in existence.
Shelby…I’ve been reading through all your posts with interest and plan to begin when my supplies get here. My question is: somewhere on your site (I think) you posted about cutting down a page to include your habit journal kind of in between the weekdays and now I can’t find that post. Do you know what I’m talking about and can you direct me to where to find that? I just wanted to take a look at it again. Thanks.
I think this is the post you’re looking for Robin: https://littlecoffeefox.com/10-bullet-journal-hacks/
Thanks for the list of things to track! It’s great to help us start. Just this year, after looking at all planner and bujo blogs, like yours, I started tracking habits, too. Except, I am using a color-in icons approach, because I felt that would be more motivating for me.
An Academic Planner, I’m so glad you’ve found inspiration here. The fact that you can make it your own is one of my favorite parts of journaling!
Dear Little Coffee Fox,
I just love your pages. They are just lovely.
How about I send you my bullet journal and you add the artwork? My journal is list after list and black and white and not very exciting. I may lack a watercolor gene.
Seriously, You have put together one of the best sites to explain the Bullet Journal method and the means of achieving one that I’ve seen.
Thank you so much Pamela!
This is exactly me… Oh my goodness. I buy the equipment but struggle to get going or better still… To keep going. I so quickly fall back into my old ways. It is comforting to know that Shelby felt the same as I do….
I am the worst at sticking to things.. especially since having kids.i miss having a hobby so much..
Thank you for the great resources and I hope I will now find motivation to stick to my goals.
Habit trackers are definitely a wonderful way to set tangible goals. When you see the progress it’s so motivating! Here’s to habits that stick 😉
You are the first blogger I have bookmarked and following. I’m a newbie with bullet journal and habit tracking. Can’t wait to read up on your posts.
What a complement Julie! Thanks so much and welcome to the wonderful world of bullet jounaling.
What size Leuchtturm do you use? B5 or A5?
I use a Leuchtturm in the A5 size 🙂
I absolutely LOVE the idea of habit trackers. I was on of those kids that loved to get a star on their chart at school for completion of a task. Trackers are just Adult versions of star charts that you get to decide what the reward is ahead of time for success!!!!!
Exactly!! Why shouldn’t grown ups get a little recognition for good work? You’re right on the money, Deborah!
I am trying “focus@will” right now and I was at first skeptical and have found that this is really helpful. I have done some work on my BuJo and getting some issues cleaned up. Thanks for this I might keep it. I am going to see for sure on Monday at the office for the real test. I have this noisy lady next to me and wow, she does not understand the concept of keeping it down. You know, use your “inside” voice. 🙂
Ooh, it’s tough sitting next to a chatty Cathy! It makes it so hard to get into a good work rhythm. I hope Focus@Will helps you drown out the distractions and dive into work! I know it does for me 🙂
Loved this list! I’m thinking about starting a bullet journal / habit tracker soon so this post was super helpful! 🙂
I’m so glad it was helpful, Mara! Good luck as you get started with your soon-to-be bullet journal 😀
Sorry, I forgot to add, that I love the cover on the L1917, but not crazy about the Scribbles at all! Guess I could always cover it if I go with that one with maybe Sticky backed adhesive canvas? Thanks again!
I’m not sure how I stumbled across your blog, but so glad I did! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed looking at the few posts I have so far! (Plan on looking through much more too!) I am new to bullet journaling and your list for habit tracking has really got my mind spinning with ideas – Thank You so much for sharing this!
**Question: I clicked on the link for the notebook you are using and added it to my cart then I went back and was reading the reviews, most were talking about how thin the pages are and how the variety of pens/markers they were using was ghosting to the other side or bleeding and feathering. I know you also have the Staedtler pens linked as well. I have quite the variety of pens & markers, including the Staedtler’s, Ink Joy, Sakura Micron’s, variety of various gel pens, Tombow’s brush markers, Spectrum Noir alcohol markers, and a few more. (don’t laugh, I’m addicted to pens & markers, have been most of my life, lol) My question is are you having any trouble with ghosting or bleed through? Are you only using the Staedtler’s in this notebook? I really appreciate you taking the time to share these ideas, but I want to make sure I get a book I can use a variety of pens & markers that I already have. I ran across another notebook, similar to the L1917, it’s called “Scribbles That Matter – Dotted Journal Notebook Diary A5 – Elastic Band – Beautiful Designer Cover – Premium Thick Paper (Black)”, it says the paper is 100gsm and some of the reviewers state they like it better than the L1917 because of the paper being thicker. Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated for this newbie.
Thanking you in advance for taking the time to reply!
That’s a fantastic question, Sheryl! I also have a vast collection of pens and markers, so I understand you wanting to make sure you can actually use them. To answer your question, the LT1917 does have somewhat thin paper. There is a bit of ghosting, which is something that doesn’t particularly bother me. However, I have never had any bleeding or feathering with regular pens like Staedtlers or fountain pens (I can’t say the same about alcohol or permanent markers). In fact, I regularly use watercolors in my Leuchtturm and it does just fine! You can see an example here. I’ve never had a complaint about the paper quality, so I would definitely recommend it. Of course, if you want to use heavier markers or ghosting bothers you, you might be happier with a thicker paper. I hope this helps you decide which journal is right for you!
I stumbled upon this post in September while looking at new Pinterest ideas, and from here I was led to the world of the bullet journal. Now four months in and sticking with it! Im 53 and have failed at every type of planner I tried. Never did I realize that coloring squares and adding stickers and sketching a flower on top of my smudges and just building my “planner” however I want it to be – fun and silly and pretty and poetic and above all colorful – would be the key to success. I have made trackable progress, REAL progress, in habits I have been trying to get into my whole adult life! My kitchen is clean now when I go to bed more often than not, because of my gently nagging habit tracker, kindly reminding me when I miss and allowing me the fun of adding just a little more magenta and bright purple to the world when I succeed. I look forward to working in it every morning. Its a warm motherly friend, not a cold black and white list created by someone who doesn’t know me. My only wish is that I had known this 30 years ago. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! ????
You describe the wonders of the bullet journal beautifully, Sandra. I’m absolutely thrilled that you found a system that works for you. Isn’t it incredible how making planning just a little fun can lead to a tremendous boom of organization? When it’s enjoyable and not a chore, you suddenly feel like coming back every day. And I love how you poetically describe it as a motherly friend instead of a cold black and white list. That’s exactly how I feel. Thank you so much for leaving this wonderful comment, you’ve really made my day. I hope you continue to see progress and success in your bullet journal journey!
Love this! I had an extra planner for the year, and I had no idea what to do with it – until I saw this post! The planner is a simple week beside a blank page, so I’ve created my own version of this, but I’m excited to look back and see all my pretty colors filling up each week.
I’m thrilled that you enjoyed the post, Kari! It’s incredible how something as simple as adding color for good habits can help increase those habits. It’s like giving yourself a good star. Feels so good! I hope you have fun tracking habits and putting your planner to good use!
My first visit and I truly enjoyed it. Thank you for the input and ideas, they were great. I will be back. It was a pleasure. Keep crafty.
I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for visiting!
Hi Shelby, I found your site through this post on Pinterest. The tracker drew me in since like most people we struggle with keeping up with daily habits. I so enjoyed the post that I read all the ones telling me how to create a bullet journal which I had never heard of. I am organized by nature and usually have to do lists, but putting personal to do’s like remembering vitamins or putting on wrinkle lotion usually don’t go there. Self-care is so important but with three kids and now taking care of my grandma it has gone by the wayside. After reading all of your posts I realized that this method could incorporate not only household to do lists, but personal care and my blog to do list also.
It has only been a few weeks but using this method has been great. I have everything right where I need it, no more little lists. I have managed to stay on track. Having each of these areas of my life covered has made me stick to doing them every day. Do I always do every one, no. But with them in front of me, at least it’s not because I forgot.
The colors make it more exciting and fun, which is great. I would never have guessed they would boost productivity. Colors make each item pop instead of one long, boring list that just blends all together. Coloring in the boxes makes me want to color in more – which I don’t get to do until its done – silly how that reward still works at 45. Fun version of the check mark I guess.
Sorry this was so long, but such a lovely site. Thank You!!
I am so glad you found it helpful, Laurie! The habit tracker has been so massively rewarding for me, so I love hearing how useful it’s been for other people. There is something so simple and gratifying about coloring in a little box because I earned it. I hope you continue to enjoy it and take good care of yourself. Lord knows how easy it is to let self-care fall to the wayside, so any excuse to bolster it is a huge plus in my book!
Wow. I just stumbled upon this. What a great idea! And tracking bad habits is a good idea too(even though we don’t like to). And inspiration through organization-finally someone who speaks my language! 🙂 Love it!
It’s a pleasure to meet you, Katherine! Thank you so much for stopping by 😀 I’m glad you like the post – It’s tough sometimes to look at those bad habits on my habit tracker and fill in the box, but it makes it much easier to be better the next day. Thanks for commenting and happy planning!
I didn’t realize there was a name for this. I’ve been doing it since November. I give myself points for each habit completed and then earn prizes !!! 🙂
All I can think of is an arcade and trying to save up enough tickets for a lava lamp 😆 I think that’s a marvelous way to plan for success – I actually do something very similar in my Goals and Rewards spread. I think I owe myself a king sized candy bar and a lipstick! What kind of prizes do you give yourself?
Wow! What a list. I never thought about tracking my bad habits. To see where you’re going to have to see what you’re doing. The habit tracker is a great way to see what you’re doing to that you can change it. Thank you for the insight.
I’m glad you like the post and thanks for commenting! The habit tracker is one of my favorite things in the bullet journal – it’s just so helpful!
Hmm yes I have to say there are quite a few things here that I should add to my list! Thanks for the reminder????
It’s my pleasure! Thank you for stopping by 🙂
Thanks for the reminder for all the things I need to add in ny tracker btw wonderful ideas some I havent seen before:)