Do you track your habits? Habit tracking is a way to measure your consistency with a habit you’re trying to stick with.
Having a tracker helps you see your progress and helps to keep you motivated.
What Is A Habit Tracker
Habit tracking is a simple way to keep track of the progress you’re making towards a new habit. Let’s say you’re trying to do some form of exercise every day. A tracker is used to mark off the days you completed this task. You can then use this information to see your consistency and adjust things as necessary.
Benefits Of A Habit Tracker
Reminds You To Take Action
A habit tracker is a visual cue to remind you to do the thing you’re trying to turn into a habit. You are much more likely to stick to your new habit if you track it. For any habit to stick, you need to be consistent. Having that visual reminder helps you to take action and be consistent.
Help You Stay Motivated
Seeing the actual progress that you’re making will help you stay motivated. People tend to think that they’ll get motivated and THEN do the thing they are trying to change. But that rarely happens, at least for me. I may be initially motivated to start a new habit but it wears off quickly.
But what I find is that I get motivated AFTER starting a new habit, not before. This is one reason why tracking or planning what you’d like to change is so helpful.
A tracker keeps you accountable. Sometimes we think that we’re doing better than we really are when it comes to our goals/habits. Having it on paper can show us what is really going on. Tracking your habits is a great way to have visual proof of your behavior.
Habits Eventually Become Automatic
After you do a habit for a long period of time, it starts to feel easy. Once the habit feels easy and you do it without really thinking, it becomes automatic.
Kind of like brushing your teeth. I know every morning and night that I brush my teeth. I don’t need to track it because it has become an automatic thing for me.
How To Build Habits You’ll Stick To
Have you heard of habit stacking? It’s this idea that you can group small changes together into your daily routine to create new habits.
One habit at a time
I like to start with one habit at a time. Then I can build on them. It’s much less overwhelming for me and I know that I can handle it.
When I first started working out, I only did it for 5 minutes a day. Mainly because I was out of shape. ha! After doing 5 minutes a day for a while, I started building up my stamina and eventually was able to exercise longer.
If I had come into this habit saying that I would work out for 20 minutes a day, I probably would have failed. Working your way up is much more sustainable.
A habit is something that is triggered by the completion of another habit. For example; when you wake up in the morning you might be “triggered” to start your coffee machine. Maybe this has become automatic.
Now let’s say that you wanted to add the habit of gratitude to your morning routine. Using the example above you could say:
The “trigger” is to start your coffee machine, then the new habit is to write three things you’re grateful for.
This is how you “stack” new habits on old habits. So now, everyday after you start your coffee machine, you know that you do your gratitude. Eventually this will become an automatic habit, just as the waking up and starting your coffee machine did.
In other words: If (trigger), then (new behavior)
Pretty cool, huh?
Having a reward for doing a habit can be a great way to help you stay motivated. Rewards can be simple like allowing for X amount of time to relax. Or once you finish your habit, you can watch 30 minutes of TV. Or after your routine is done you can spend time on social media.
It can be anything that’ll help you stay motivated and take action.
A habit tracker
A habit tracker is a place to track the progress of a habit. It can be very motivating to look at it and see that you’ve kept up with your habit.
How To Use Your Habit Tracker
So now that you know the benefits and how to start making it a habit. What kind of things can you track in a habit tracker?
Well, I’m glad you asked! I’ve come up with a list of 75 things you could track. This list is in no way exhaustive but it’ll give you a good place to start.
- Take Medication
- Wake Up Early
- Go To Bed Early
- No Snoozing
- Deep Breathing
- Water Intake
- Caffeine Intake
- Healthy Eating
- Going To Bed On Time
- Made The Bed
- Time Spent Outside
- Washed Hair
- No Alcohol
- No Smoking
- Written Goals
- Mood Tracker
- Learned Something New
- Listening To A Podcast
- How Much TV/No TV Time
- Time With Significant Other
- Time With Kids
- Read To Kids
- Date Night
- Random Act Of Kindness
- Compliment Someone
- Dinner Together As A Family
- Time With Friends
- Putting Phone Away 1 Hour Before Bed
- Make The Bed
- Water Plants
- Paid Bills
- No Spend Days
- No Spend Weeks
- Morning Routine
- Evening Routine
- Skin Care
- Face Mask
- Meal Planning
- Cooking Healthy Meals
- Logged Food For The Day
- Calorie Intake
- No Soda
- Junk Food
- Hours Worked
- Took Pet For A Walk
- Packed A Lunch For Work
- Finished To-Do List
- Working On Project
- Emptied Inbox
- Getting To Work/School On Time
- 10,000 Steps
- Take Pet For A Walk
- Planned Out My Day The Night Before
- 15 Minute Night-Time cleaning
- Called Family
Choose a habit that you want to start doing every day. Make sure it’s simple and achievable. There is no right way to do it but I do believe that if you want to change your habits, your best bet is to do it one habit at a time and build upon it.
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Do you have anything you’d like to add?