Habit tracking has seriously changed my life. I’m not “that girl.” You know the one I mean. She’s up at 6:00am, in the gym with a green smoothie. I admire that girl so much. But I’m not that girl.
I am working hard to prioritize the things I do value, like creating boundaries with my phone. And some days I feel like “that girl.” I make my bed, do my skin care routine, move my body, track my water intake, etc.
…and the biggest part of that journey has been habit tracking
I used to be the kind of person who never followed through on her intentions.
I was the kind of person who had good intentions but never followed through. I could start a habit, like going to the gym, and then lose motivation after a week. Even though I had set aside time in my schedule to go to the gym and work out, I would find an excuse not to go. Over time, this became a pattern that affected other areas of my life. It’s like the habit I was creating was not doing my habits. Oops.
Sometimes it felt like there wasn’t enough time in the day for everything on my plate—and even if there were, it wouldn’t matter because none of these commitments were getting done anyway! They were just nice ideas that no one had actually taken action on yet (or ever).
After reading Atomic Habits by James Clear I decided that having goals was great but wasn’t enough alone; you also needed systems in place for success before making any attempts at achieving those goals.
Atomic Habits by James Clear
Atomic Habits by James Clear is a book that I highly recommend to anyone looking to improve their lives or make any type of change in their life. It gives simple, actionable steps that you can take to achieve your goals. I borrowed it from Libby and then listened to it two more times.
This book describes how habits as the building blocks for his life and career. Most importantly he talks about how each habit is atomic or a tiny habit. I’d never considered it before, but these small actions compound over time resulting in big results! Hopefully…
Creating and using a habit tracker has changed my life for the better.
Creating and using a habit tracker has changed my life for the better. For me, having a way to track my progress is important.
Habit tracking also helps me stay motivated because I can see how much I’ve been able to stick with what I set out to do on any given day or week. If you’re serious about changing your life for the better and want something that will help you achieve your goals (and stick with them), then try creating your own habit tracker. I’m weirdly motivated by checking off the boxes in my habit tracker.
To be honest, when I’m not using my habit tracker I don’t do my habits. As we’ve renovated the kitchen I feel out of checking it, and now the bed hasn’t been made in two weeks. Before that, I had like a 90-day bed-making habit streak. People say that habits will become second nature, but they never ever have for me. I need the reminder.
I found that the best habit trackers were visually appealing and simple.
I found that the best habit trackers were visually appealing and simple. I used to use the app Habit, which has a free version, but if you prefer a different one my suggestions in choosing an app are to make sure it’s simple. It should be as simple as clicking a button or filling in a square. When tracking your habit takes more time than the actual habit then it’s easy not to track it at all.
I’m also really visually motivated, so I like to be able to see what I’m getting myself into and what my progress is looking like. This is a screenshot of my actual habit tracker. It taught me things in January I didn’t realize. Like I said that I was going to prioritize my daily growth, but I pushed it to the end of the day. So it often didn’t get done. Now I START my day with my biggest priorities to make sure they do get done.
There’s no limit to the things you can track.
The great thing about habit tracking is that there’s no limit to the things you can track. It doesn’t matter how trivial or mundane a habit is. I like to track things I know I’m going to do every day so that I always have a win. I’m going to brush my teeth every day, but if I track it then I get a little gold start for doing it. It’s like when you add things to your to-do list just so you can check them off.
My own habit tracking
I track a lot of things! I track my:
- food choices
- water intake
- daily movement
- how often we have sex
- what books I read
- brushing my teeth
- when I get coldsores
- when I take my vitamins
- making the bed
- my mood
And other things that vary. Tracking my food choices helps me see if there’s a pattern when I have a tummy ache. When I get cold sores, and how long they take to heal is information I can bring to my doctor to get a prescription to help prevent them or come up with a different treatment plan. I read an article that said if you were low on b-vitamins you’d be more tired. So I can track when I take them and if that’s true.
Overall, habit tracking helps give me insight into myself and I really like that.
How Habit Tracking Changed My Life
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