How to Set-Up A Habit Tracker That Works For You
A few options and ideas on how to set up a habit tracker that will work best for you.
It’s actually quite simple when you think about it.
To achieve most big goals, you simply need to figure out the habits that are required to get you there.
Unfortunately, that’s where the simple part ends.
You actually have to do them. Repeatedly.
Until they become so ingrained and commonplace in your life that you do them without thinking... and without resistance.
But building those new habits that are required and/or removing old destructive habits can feel like such a mammoth task.
It can feel uncomfortable and requires constant reminders and prompts for you to make them a habit.
Which is where a habit tracker can help.
What is a habit tracker?
A habit tracker is essentially a to-do list of the habits that you are trying to set, or trying to break.
A 'to-do' list that you check off each time you complete it.
The idea is that by actioning this new ‘task’ daily (or as required) you are building momentum and eventually your brain no longer feels like this task is uncommon. It then becomes second nature, easy even.
And voila, a habit is formed!
Sounds so easy right?
While there is differing opinions on how long it takes to form a habit, popular consensus seems to be that 30 days is the habit-forming sweet spot.
Honestly, I think this depends on the habit you’re trying to make (or break) – personally I need longer.
Why you should be tracking habits
Some of the many benefits of tracking your habits include:
You’re also more likely to achieve your goal, as tracking provides focus on the habits and actions, rather than a big goal that might seem daunting or too abstract at this stage of your goal journey.
Habit Tracker Ideas
For a habit tracker to work effectively, you need to find a way that works best for you.
Some people love big visual reminders.
Others do everything on their phones and some people like to track their habits in the privacy of their planners or spreadsheets.
Here are a few options to find a habit tracker that will work best for you:
Bullet Journal Habit Tracker
There are loads of inspiration you can draw from when it comes to habit tracking in your bullet journal, and it will depend on how creative you want to get.
You might like the idea of a whole monthly page of a bullet journal/planner dedicated to habit tracking or it might suit you to track weekly instead.
Here are just a few ideas.
This is a fairly simple habit tracker, that's designed for an entire month:
Here is a really colourful example of a habit tracker, focusing on 4 key healthy habits for a month and is great if you really want to focus on something this month:
The below habit tracker is quick and simple to set up on a weekly spread page of your bullet journal. Minimal fuss and easy to keep up to date:
Another simple habit tracker to get into the habit of running. The couch to 5 km running program is designed to be run over 8 weeks, with this simple layout easy to mark off as each of the runs is completed:
This is a monthly tracker that incorporates a full calendar year. While some of these items are more 'monthly tasks', the concept is the same for setting up a habit tracker and could be used for cleaning schedules and self care habits:
Paper Planner Habit Tracker
If you use a more traditional paper planner, you can incorporate a habit tracker where room allows.
Some great ideas include drawing a small table yourself, stamping or printing some stickers to add in to your weekly or monthly pages of your paper planner:
Habit Tracker Printables
A simple printable can be used to track your habits over a 30-day period.
Print it off and place it somewhere that you can easily see and mark off each day.
Enter your details below to receive a free printable Habit Tracker:
Habit Tracker Apps
For those who love apps and keeping track of things digitally, there are some great apps available to track habits and goals.
These have the advantage of being easy to set-up and easy to have on-hand, especially considering we are never far from our phones these days.
Personally, I've used the The Habit Factor app for iPhone and have found it to be really user-friendly and simple. I tried a free version first and then paid $9.99 to upgrade to the full version which had more features.
The great thing with this app is it ties goals and habits together which is a great way to think about goal achievement:
Just some of the other habit tracking apps to consider include:
The 'In Your Face' Habit Trackers
Sometimes you need to be constantly reminded throughout the day that you are working on making or breaking a new habit.
If you're more of a visual person, a habit tracker on your fridge, pin-up board, screen-saver or whiteboard might work best for you.
In the same way we make chore charts for our children, you could incorporate a habit tracker for yourself, posting it up on the wall where it can be seen and followed - until it becomes a habit and you no longer need the constant reminder:
Another place that you see regularly is your bathroom mirror or wall. Using non-permanent markers is a quick and easy way to set up your own habit tracker that you will see often.
Find a way that works for you
The most important thing is that you find the most effective way to track your habits that works for you.
Some people love to have it all on their phone and others need to have a visual reminder up on the wall.
Whether you're wanting to achieve a big goal or to upgrade your life in a particular area, focusing on the actions and habits required is a more effective approach.
I like to think of it as a more ‘tortoise than the hare’ approach to achieving a goal, and we all know how that turns out right?