Tracking habits sound wired at first. Habits are something that comes along. You don’t track habits, it just comes to you. Won’t you argue this? Even the definition of habit says, ”a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up”.
Before looking at habit tracker here’s a small story of mine. The story of me and my gym. I love working out and have made it a task to exercise every day.
It has been 4 years since I have been working out. I love Cardio, the sweat makes me feel that I have achieved something.
In the beginning, I remember my trainer always asking me to track my progress. First, I was confused, why would you track the progress? Rather I would argue let’s do the workouts and see what happens.
After 2 months I came back to my trainer and complained, that I don’t see any visible change. Then he asked me a simple question, “how do you know?”. I said I don’t see any change or feel it. At that time my trainer reminded me that, he had asked me to track the progress.
Tracking helps to see progress and helps us to check the results over a long period of time.
Both the Workout tracking and the habit tracker might be different but their end goal is the same. To measure PROGRESS.
Table of Contents
The Habit Tracking guide and Habit tracker template
This article answers some of the simple question based on habit tracking and deep dives into habit tracking and understanding how to make the most out of it.
What is Habit Tracking?
Habit tracking is a simple tracking process for checking whether a habit is performed.
The habit tracker helps you to track your progress over a long period of time. Habit tracker can be a simple chart, a calendar. Tracking basically means you can cross off boxes to show that you have performed the habit.
Habit Tracker Template
I have designed this free habit tracker that you can download for free and use to track over 20 habits for a period of 31 days.
This is printable habit tracker. This is a one-page tracker and easy to stick to fridges, study boards, etc. Make sure to put it at a place where you can see it. If the tracker is not visible then it is of no use.
I have designed this Productive habit tracker to make it easy and simple to track habits. You can download the free habit tracker from below.
How does Habit Tracking work?
So how do you go about this Habit Journal? Working with Habit Tracker is simple. The tracker that we have designed is a one month tracker you can take 12 copies of this tracker. Which means you get a complete tracker for one year.
The Habit Tracker has 20 rows which means you can track a total of 20 habits each month. If you want to track more you can make two copies for one single month.
But we would suggest to just keep one Habit tracker for one month. Complicating things will not help you in keeping up with your habits. Use the KISS methodology which means, Keep it simple stupid.
The easier it is to track your habits, the more likely you are going to keep up with it. Around 90% of the people who start tracking habits give up in one week of starting.
Make sure the tracker is visible, instead of placing it in a remote place. Place the tracker at the places that you are sure will get your attention, like the fridge, work desk, or cabinet.
If the tracker is difficult to access or record, you are more likely to give up tracking habits.
Benefits of Habit Tracking.
Habit tracking will help you to gain new habits that will stick with you for life. But apart from that, it has some other benefits as well. All the content is inspired by the book Atomic Habits. We have expanded on the Idea of the book here.
We have used the Books method and applied to real-life and here are the results.
There are 3 main benefits of Habit tracking you can use these to your advantage.
Acts as a reminder
As mentioned in the book a cue is something that reminds you to do a particular task. It is the trigger that reminds you of that act or habit. The same way the Habit tracker template will help to remind you about a particular task or habit you need to perform.
I can give you my example. One task in my Habit tracker is to create a to-do list. I create a to-do list every day before sleeping. This helps me to focus on the task the next day rather than figuring out what to do.
The habit tracker template has been attached to my board which is on the way to my bed. So before going to bed I always have a look at it. And I will suddenly remember that I forgot to create a to-do list for the next day. This way the tracker acts as a reminder to do a particular task.
Motivates to continue.
One of the most important part of any task to become your habit is, it should continue for a long period of time. You know yourself, how many days do you think you would do a task which you don’t really enjoy. We don’t really follow up with yearly resolutions.
This is where the Habit tracker comes to play. Every time you cross off the box it gives us an amazing feeling of satisfaction. It makes you feel that you have achieved something.
Motivation is something that helps a person to repeat a certain activity. Because human loves the feeling of achievement.
The Satisfaction factor.
A rush of Dopamine always helps a human being and makes him/her feel excited. The same thing happens with the habit tracker. Ever time you cross an item of the list the satisfaction is really amazing.
The tracker helps you to have your eyes on your goals. You will always want that satisfaction to cross thinks off. Even if you miss that one spot, you will feel the guilt. And from the next day, you will be back on track.
Habit tracker ideas
Ok, bro, we got it. We need to track habits, but what the hell are we going to track?
Now, this is more of a personal choice, habit as defined above is something which is regular and hard to give up. I will try to mention some of the basic habits that you can track and one which will help you in achieving your personal goal.
But remember habit is something that is a personal choice, somebody might like to create a habit of not smoking. Then “no smoking” should be mentioned in the habit tracker.
Habit tracking is something that is of importance. I suggest not to put up more than 7-10 habits(that too on the upside). It’s ok if you are tracking only 3-4 habits. Overwhelming with more habits might demotivate you.
Below are some of the general ideas for the habit tracker.
- Go for a Run
- Talk a walk
- Take vitamin tablets
- Take a pre-workout
- Walk the dog
- Wash dishes
- Read book
- 8-hour sleep
- Wake up at 6 AM
- Write an article
- Listen to audiobooks
- Write one thing I am grateful for
- Create a to-do list
- Floss teeth
- Brush twice daily
- 10 push-ups
- Water the plants
- Make the bed
- Note expenses
Though all the above-mentioned tasks are a personal choice you can also have a core value in the list which will help to identify with your character.
My Personal Experience with Habit Tracker
It has been some time that I started using a habit tracker. Before writing this article I have been tracking my habits in my notebook. But found it difficult to reach to my notebook and note down the habit, so then I decided to make the tracker easily accessible.
This is when I decided to create a Habit Tracker. Below are some of the Habits that I have been tracking in the past few months.
- Read for 2 minutes
- Listen to audiobooks
- Write 10 lines
- Go for a Run
- Water the plants
- Create a To-Do List
Yes, these were only 6 habits that I have been tracking. I wanted to keep it to a minimum. Yes, I was not always able to do the task. Some times I was not able to read or listen to audiobooks. But the blank space always motivated me to keep up with the tracker.
The more the boxes are ticked, the better you will feel. The first habit that you will see is read for 2 minutes. I am a person who is not really interested in reading books. So I used the 2-minute rule mentioned in the book Atomic Habits.
The Entire article is an extension of the idea from the book Atomic Habits.
I have been using Habit tracker for more than 60 days and I am pretty good at it now.
In the beginning, you will find it difficult, so make sure it is easily accessible. The easier it is to access the more likely you will keep up with the Habit tracker.
Take the example of reading. I have more than 10 books which I wanted to read. But I had read none of them.
So I decided to analyze what was the issue? The answer was the books were difficult to get access to. I had kept all my books on the shelf. So to read the books I had to remove the book from the shelf and then read.
So I decided to keep the book at my desk(my workplace). So it became easier for me to access the books. Due to which I was able to keep up with the tracker.
Habit Tracker Apps
So if you are a person who is not into tracking habits by using a worksheet then I suggest you download the below apps. But I would suggest you use the worksheet or template. Because even I used to use the apps. But since we have a ton of apps on the phone you ought to forget and not use it.
Anyways if you still insist on using the app. You can use the Momentum habit tracker for iPhone and Habitica for Andriod phones.
Momentum is pretty famous with the Apple environment. You can use the Momentum habit tracker on the iPhone as well as iWatch. Some of the features of the momentum habit tracker are weekly habits, reminders, interactive notification, etc.
Habitica is also available on both iPhone and Android phones. Habitica has more of a gaming style habit tracker and pretty interesting.
Habit is something that will stick with you for life.
It is not yet established how many days it takes for a thing to become a habit. Some say 21, 30, 100 days, etc. In my experience, it takes almost 2 months for a habit to get stick to oneself. I am not an expert so don’t quote me on these stats. This is something I have personally experienced.
It is said, a habit is not a habit unless it is attached to one’s identity. Until you are identified as the runner, daily reader, till then it is not a habit. Hope you guys have something to take from this article. Share the article if you learned something new.