Habit Tracking is probably the best thing I’ve done for myself this year. Here’s what it is, the habits I’m tracking, and a free habit tracker printable so that you can do it too!
I’m a big fan of new years’ resolutions. I love thinking ahead, making plans, and setting goals. (See how I like to think through my goals for the year here.)
However, this year baby Alex showed up nine days early on December 31st, so obviously I was a bit preoccupied during the beginning of the new year and didn’t set a bunch of goals like I normally would.
But about two weeks into the year I watched one of the Money Saving Mom‘s Instagram stories about habit tracking and was fascinated by the idea. I’ve always loved lists so why hadn’t I thought of habit tracking (with a habit tracking printable to make it easy)?
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I’d also been reading Atomic Habits (which I highly recommend by the way) and was feeling really inspired to work on building better habits. So, mid-January I started habit tracking!
What is habit tracking?
Atomic Habits explains the practice of using a habit tracker like this:
Habit formation is a long race. It often takes time for the desired results to appear. And while you are waiting for the long-term rewards of your efforts to accumulate, you need a reason to stick with it in the short-term. You need some immediate feedback that shows you are on the right path. And this is where a habit tracker can help . . . .
A habit tracker is a simple way to measure whether you did a habit.
The most basic format is to get a calendar and cross off each day you stick with your routine. For example, if you meditate on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, each of those dates gets an X. As time rolls by, the calendar becomes a record of your habit streak.
Why you should start habit tracking
I have found habit tracking to be so helpful for me! I think it’s safe to say that using a habit tracker has been one of the best decisions I’ve made this year. I think you should start using a habit tracker for a couple of reasons:
A habit tracker reminds you of your daily goals
My habit tracker printable is posted on my fridge where I can see it multiple times a day so I have a constant visual reminder of the things I want to be doing.
A habit tracker gives daily motivation
Who doesn’t like checking off a chart? Something about it is just so satisfying! And you could even use stickers if that’s your jam.
A habit tracker provides a visual of how you’ve been doing over time
The difference between your daily to-do list and a habit tracker is that with the habit tracker you can see how you did for the entire week or month, depending how you choose to do it. (You can grab a 7-day or 31-day version of my free habit tracker printable at the end of this post.)
What habits should you be tracking?
The answer to this is easy: anything you want! I love checking things off a list so I include some basics on my list like making my bed and getting ready for the day. (Yes, I’m basically a kid and need a chart for these things haha!)
Some of the other habits on my habit tracker include:
- reading to my kids
- my daily water intake
- eating my vegetables
- personal reading
- quiet time
Just think through what you want to be doing regularly (but maybe struggle with a bit) and add it to your habit tracker.
Most importantly, don’t overthink it! You can always change things up later.
Free habit tracker printable
While you can keep track of your habits on any old piece of paper (or on your phone), I really like to have a simple printable that I can print off and stick on my fridge.
I asked Pablo to design a habit tracker printable for me to share with you guys and he kindly obliged. There are two to choose from – a 7-day and a 31-day printable, depending on your preference. I prefer the 31-day myself because I like seeing a whole month at once.
Whether you use my free habit tracker printable or come up with your own version, I hope you’ll try out the practice of habit tracking. I think you’ll find that it really helps as you work to add important habits to your life.
Have you ever done habit tracking? What was your experience with it? Let me know in the comments!