Habit tracking is becoming a new norm for many people – a way for them to successfully incorporate good habits into their lives – and keep them going for a long time to come.
WHY TRACK MY HABITS?
It’s a great motivator.
Choose a habit you care about and that you want to do regularly. Take exercise, for example. It’s important that you care enough about it to do it for the right reasons. Not because you think you ‘should’ do it. Because if that’s the case, your motivation for doing it will wane quickly, and you will be relying on willpower alone to get you through. Don’t fall into that trap.
Whatever habit you choose, be passionate about and enjoy doing it. When you choose a habit to track, consider these added benefits.
Ideally, you will want to do your habit on a daily basis. Or at least every other day, like clockwork. Because the more you do it, the stronger it will become. In this way, it enforces your behavior, thereby strengthening the pathways in your brain, so much so that eventually the habit will become automatic.
Don’t go for a pie in the sky effect. Make sure that the habit you choose can be achieved every time you do it. For example, if you want to be a runner, choosing to run 5k every day (when you’re starting out) is likely not going to work. Instead, make a smaller running goal, then if you want to, work up to 5k, but be sure to not let it become a chore. Remember, you have to be passionate about it.
Work on one habit at a time.
Similar to the previous reason, starting too many habits at once can be unproductive. You’ll have trouble focusing on any one. Your brain has too many tasks it’s suddenly starting to take on at once, and things are likely to get pushed aside.
Instead, start and get going on one habit. Then when you’ve hit a good groove to where you’re practicing that habit almost without thinking, start a new habit. This is called ‘habit stacking’.
HABIT TRACKING – LET US COUNT THE WAYS
Consistency is a key component on the journey of habit tracking. You will want to have a habit tracker to keep you on the path. And yet there are many ways to do this – which one is best for you? Well, it depends on your preference and personality.
Bullet journal. This is a really flexible way to track your habit, whether on paper or digitally. It not only looks good, but is really easy to use.
Printed Template or Notebook Tracker. Many people still love the old school way of actually writing things down on paper. Even better – they love filling in the blanks, and a template is a beautiful way to do it.
Digital app. If you are married to your phone or computer (figuratively speaking) then you should have no trouble tracking your habits using Excel or mobile apps. There are great templates available digitally, as well.
Habit tracking should not be a chore – quite the opposite! The goal is to figure out what habits (and ways of tracking them) that are best for you.