Last week we talked about how to make new good habits last and how to break bad habits by re-training your brain. Today, I want to share with you a visual way to keep track of your habits and motivate yourself to keep going!
How a Habit Tracker Can Keep You Motivated to Reach Your Goals (Free Printable)
What a habit tracker is and how to use it
A habit tracker is a page in a bullet journal or a printable that you can put in a binder or on your fridge that helps you track your habits.
It is set up like a graph. The days of the month along the top edge and a list of habits you are working on down the side.
Every day that you complete your habit, you color in the corresponding square.
For habits that you only want to accomplish certain days of the week you can put a dot or X on the days you don’t plan on doing the habit. I put a W on weekends when I don’t plan on doing that habit. If I miss a day, I outline the square to make note that this day was missed.
Just remember, it is easier to make a new habit if you make one new one at a time and do it a little each day toward your goal.
This way you won’t overwhelm yourself and give up.
Plus, the pathways in your brain will actually start helping you do your new habits the more frequently you do it.
Why you need a habit tracker
It is helpful to see which habits you are totally rocking as it can encourage you to keep going. It can also be a reminder of certain things you want to do in the future, but aren’t quite tackling yet.
If you meant to do a certain new habit, but you look back and see you are just not getting it done, you can re-evaluate whether you really want to do this habit or how you could make a better plan for how to accomplish it.
But the biggest reason to keep a habit tracker is that it can truly motivate you.
3 ways a habit tracker can keep you motivated
1. Defeats perfection paralysis:
If you’re anything like me, you get pumped about a new habit when you start working toward a goal and you picture everything turning out perfectly with a capital P.
But then something unexpected happens to derail you and it bursts that perfect bubble, and then it’s harder than you thought it was going to be. You are nowhere near where you wanted to be by now so you think, ‘I will never get there.’
You might not quit right away, but your efforts dwindle and eventually that fire inside you dies.
The habit tracker stops that madness. It keeps you focused on the daily small efforts that lead to the whole.
As you are checking off your daily habits, it is forcing you to look at the habits and not the results.
For example, eating healthy and exercising can sometimes feel like it’s not making a difference on the scale- or is inconsistent at best. But those 2 weeks of having a piece of fruit for a snack instead of a sleeve of ritz crackers is something to be proud of.
Or by tracking a new habit of getting rid of one item every day from your kitchen shelves you can be sure to meet your big goal of having an organized minimalist kitchen in the long haul. Even though you are only dedicating less than 5 minutes a day to it.
Coloring in the little squares will also give that pesky perfectionist side of you something to do besides ruining everything.
2. Healthy Competition:
If you are competitive in nature you can use your habit tracker to compete with yourself.
Try to beat your best habit streak. You had an amazing 6 day streak of not losing your patience with the kids? Try to beat your last record and go for 7 this time!
Or you could compete against a friend with the same goal. Try to be the person at the end of the month with the longest streak. You could even make it interesting and put some money on it or the loser has to pay for dinner out or clean the winner’s bathrooms.
3. Reward yourself:
When you beat your last record or when you make it the whole month on a fabulous new habit, reward yourself.
It will give you something to look forward to while you are striving to get there.
One word of warning though: Don’t set yourself back on your goals with your reward. A donut binge after a no sugar run or a clothing shopping spree after a no spend streak isn’t helping anyone.
Reflect on how far you’ve come. That in itself can be a powerful reward. Take a moment to think about how you used to feel or how things used to be before you changed. It will motivate you to continue to move forward.
Free Printable Habit Tracker
A habit tracker can be a powerful motivator, a visual reminder to take it one step at a time, a way to bring some friendly competition into habit building, and a way to see how far you’ve come.
Because I want everyone to harness the power of habits and start building themselves toward a better future, I am offering a free printable text-editable habit tracker.
To get this habit tracker, and gain access to a growing resource library full of helpful printables, subscribe to the blog below:
This Post is Part of the Habits that Last Series:
Create a new life for yourself with less stress.
- Habits that Last: Less Mom Stress is Possible (Series Beginning)
- 7 Tips on How to Make New Habits Last (and Change Your Life)
- 4 Steps to Breaking a Bad Habit For Good
- How a Habit Tracker Can Keep You Motivated to Reach Your Goals (Free Printable)
- 5 Stress-Causing Habits No Mom Has Time For (and How to Stop Doing Them)
- Keystone Habits: Transforming Your Life by Changing the Way you Define Yourself
- 7 Simple Habits for a Tidy, Less Stressful Home
- How to Find Time for New, Good Habits (and Finally Reach your Goals)
- How I Changed My Unhealthy Habits as an Overwhelmed Mom (and You Can Too)
- How Busy Moms Create Balance with Weekly and Daily Routines
- A Morning and Evening Routine that Will Change Your Life
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