If you’ve ever checked out Pinterest or Instagram for BuJo inspiration, you’ve seen lots of examples of habit trackers folks have created for themselves. But, with all of that inspiration comes a bit of decision-paralysis. How do you choose what to track? How much is too much? Here’s ten things to keep in mind when setting up your own habit tracker.
- Track positive steps over negative ones. You’re more likely to be motivated by “Veggies as main dinner side.” rather than “No carbs at dinner.”
- Don’t track too many items. You’ll find yourself totally overwhelmed, trying to keep up with everything. Your tracker will also wind up being so large you’re likely to go crazy drawing it out.
- Include easy wins. Ever made a to do list with things you already did on it, just to make yourself feel like you’d accomplished something? Include something you’re likely to do, anyway, even if you didn’t have the tracker. It’s not fair to include “Made bed” if you already do it 90% of the time, but include things you do most, but not all days.
- …and stretch goals. No use tracking all of the habits you already have! Track some things which will need to remind yourself of on a daily basis.
- Consider tracking things which are not habits, per say, but things like “Low anxiety day” or “Migraine” or your cycle. You could also track your mood, helping you to figure out how you figure out how your habits impact your mood.
- Resist the urge to change the habits you track each month. This may sound appealing, but most of us needs to focus on habits month after month to make them stay. If you feel you’ve mastered a habit, pull it from the tracker, but don’t remove things you only did only some of the time, assuming they’re still important to you.
- Review your list every morning (or, if you’re not a morning person, before you go to bed). Every day. It’ll help remind you what’s important and keep your habits in the forefront.
- Make your tracker pretty. I know, I know. The habit tracker is really about the tracking part, not the aesthetics, but having a pretty tracker will help you to use it more. Because don’t we all want to look at something that’s visually appealing?
- Ensure each item on your list is measurable. Yep, goal-making 101. Record 30 minutes of cardio rather than simply exercising.
- Resist the urge to wait until the beginning of the month or week or you get a new notebook. You can start on a random Thursday afternoon. Think of it as a dry-run for a time you feel important enough to get started.
In case you need some inspiration or ideas:
- 60 Things to Track in Your Bullet Journal
- Fun format habit tracker
- Ben Franklin’s 13 Virtues (sort of a retro habit tracker)
- Lifehacker’s Tip for Habit Tracking
- Better Habits