Why do I need a Habit Tracker
Let’s accept that the average person has way too much going on. Finding a healthy balance in work and personal life is a struggle for even the most disciplined. And honestly, we all have a little bit of procrastinator inside us. However, there is a simple way to make deliberate action in creating good habits.
Habit tracking helps you visually watch yourself progress towards your goals. It offers immediate opportunities to build on your past success and watch yourself grow. The value is that it helps you be honest with yourself on what you’re doing well and what could use some more work.
How many times have you asked yourself questions like these:
How many times did I work out this month?
How many times did I cook dinner?
How many times did i post to Instagram?
Habit tracking offers a smart way to keep up with the recurring tasks that you might forget to do. Most importantly, it takes the guesswork out of small stakes goals.
There’s a unique and meaningful power in setting a goal, watching its progress over time and ultimately checking it off the list. Seeing this concrete progress builds self esteem and sets you up to take on even bigger goals.
How do you setup a habit tracker
There’s an app for everything, but I actually love using a simple pen and paper.
For me there is something transformative about taking the time to sit down with my goals and hand write what I want to accomplish.
In the first column, make a list of meaningful things that you want to complete. Then draw a circle for every time you want to complete that item in the month.
If paper isn’t your thing you can always go digital. If you’re the type of person that lives and dies by your desktop, you can set up your habit tracker as a spreadsheet or a Word doc. If you’re more web focused, you can even use Trello as your primary habit tracking tool.
If mobile is more your speed there are a lot of apps available.
But before you dive into the deep work of building out the habits you want to track, first you have to establish your motivation. Why are you inspired to do this specific thing? It’s best to focus on the end result. By reaching this goal it will add something meaningful to your life.
Then you want to set a schedule that works for you. It’s not realistic to work on every single habit every single day of the month.
For example, having an active Instagram account is very important to me. The problem is that in months where I felt too busy, this was the first task that dropped off my radar. In one month, I only posted 5 times. I wanted to set an achievable goal that I knew i could stick to. I set the goal of posting 12 times a month. This allows me to consistently show up in my followers feed, but makes the goal achievable enough for me to wrap my head around actually accomplishing the goal.
The next key step is putting the habit tracker somewhere that you look frequently. For me that’s the refrigerator. Every morning you have a visual prompt that reminds you daily that you have goals that you want to achieve.
At the end of the day you get the reward of filling in those bubbles.
Even greater than that is over time, these habits will become so ingrained in you that you no longer have to even track them.
What should you track
I only recommend tracking a few things to start. For beginners, this should be a small list between 5-10 things. With that being said, this is a great way to organize goals in a variety of spaces in your life. You can focus on health and fitness, marketing goals, daily creativity, literally anything you can imagine. Here are a few ideas:
Personal habits to Track
- Completed Chores
- Practiced a language
- Read a chapter in a book
- Woke up early
- Planned before bed
- Called a family member
Health and Wellness Habits to Track
- Took Medication
- Lifted weights
- Drank 8 glasses of water
- Listened to an Inspirational Podcast
Creative Habits to Track
- Journal Writing
- Took photos
- Creative Writing
- Practiced Sewing
Content Creation and Marketing Goals
- Posted to Instagram
- Published a blog post
- Sent out an email
- Scheduled Facebook and Twitter Posts
- Created a Facebook Ad
- Added new items to your online shop
Project Specific Goals
Another awesome way to think about your habit tracker is to break down your big projects into bite size tasks. Writing is one of the more challenging goals for me to continually do. I break down the process of writing a blog post visually to help me make sure that I am prioritizing each of the important steps.
Those steps include: research, writing the first draft, editing, sourcing the photography or illustration for the post, publishing, doing the search engine optimization of the post, publishing, and finally creating and pinning a Pinterest graphic for the post.
When thinking about trying to tackle all of these tasks, it feels daunting just to do one blog post. By breaking it down into a series of steps, I can tackle the smaller parts one step at a time.
What do I do if I’m not hitting my goals
The beauty of the habit tracker is that it helps you see when you’re falling behind.
The challenge is that when you get too far behind it can make you feel like you’re not accomplishing anything. This is why it’s so important to start small. Taking on a small set of goals will set yourself up for success.
Another key element is building time into your day to work on those habits. One of my personal keys to success is waking up a little early to give myself time to work on my personal goals before I go to work.
Unfortunately when I get home, I’m usually wiped out. I don’t feel like putting in the energy to do certain types of tasks. But because I’ve accepted that part of myself, I leave the easier tasks for the nights when I feel a little tired.
It’s also nice to learn how you can maximize your weekend. Saturday mornings have recently become a prime productivity morning for me. Sundays on the other hand are reserved for leisure time, so I like to prioritize reading and finding inspiration on those days.
Tiny steps lead to big growth.
What habits are you interested in working on? Let us know in the super secret Curious Tribe Facebook group.