A good habit tracker can help you build good habits, stay on track with your goals and improve your life overall. What’s amazing about tracking your habits is that you can do it in many different formats. You can use a habit tracker app or utilize bullet journaling if you prefer pen and paper.
So, if you’re determined to make a change and build better habits, you’ll definitely want to look into finding a habit tracker to help you do that and so much more.
We have an example and a template so you can set your own habit intentions.
A habit tracker is a tool you use to track your habit streaks for one or more habits in a given period of time. You can have a simple calendar where you mark each day with an “X” when you stick with the habit. Or you can download digital tracker templates from online stores like Etsy or download the one above.
Your habit tracker can be as simple or as complex as you desire. The key is to have a process that makes tracking your habits as easy as possible.
If you’re looking to get started with your habit tracking, we created a free printable habit tracker, you can find it in the module above. The only thing standing between you and better habits is downloading the pdf that’s designed to make habit tracking effortless for everyone. So, download your free pdf file today and start tracking your habits instantly!
You can track your habits in daily, weekly, and monthly increments. Which one you choose will depend on what sort of habits you’re looking to create.
Daily habit trackers work best for building small daily habits or breaking bad habits. When you track little things in your daily routine like how many glasses of water you drank, 10-minute meditation, journaling, and affirmations, daily tracking works the best.
Weekly habit trackers are perfect for habits you want to track that you might not engage in every day, but on a weekly basis. For example, changing sheets, cleaning cat litter, going to the gym, going to therapy, etc.
And monthly habit trackers are focused on the bigger picture and track monthly habits/goals that you need to be consistent with to achieve your bigger milestones. Monthly habits could be something like reaching out to one new client, watering plants, paying bills, changing the water in a fish tank, etc.
How long should you track your habits?
There are many different suggestions on the internet for how long you should track a habit for it to become a habit. Some say it takes 28 days, others believe it’s 90 days, and you might find that some say it takes six months to build a habit that lasts.
The real answer is – it depends. It depends on a person, on their lifestyle, and on the habit they’re trying to build. James Clear, the NYT bestselling author of Atomic Habits, believes that habit tracking should last forever. “Because once you stop doing it, it is no longer a habit. A habit is a lifestyle to be lived, not a finish line to be crossed,” he writes in his book.
What’s wonderful about tracking your habits is that it’s a flexible system that allows you to fully customize what you want to track and how often. You can track as many habits as you want at once, and they can range from health and wellness to business.
There are no limitations to what kind of habits you can track, as long as they’re important to you and get you closer to your goals. But let’s take a look at some examples of habits that people often track to help you get inspired.
Health and wellness
- Drink 8 glasses of water.
- Consume 2,000 calories daily.
- Go to the gym 3 times a week.
- Go to the gym on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
- Do a yoga class once a week.
- Go on a walk 3 times a week.
- Hit 10,000 steps every day.
- Do 10 minutes of cardio at the gym 3 times a week.
- Take the medication before bed.
- Symptoms: pain-free days, episodes, breakouts, etc.
- Period: length, symptoms, moods
- Mood: happy, sad, unmotivated, motivated, angry, irritated, depressed, etc.
- Take iron, magnesium, and vitamin D daily.
- Get 8 hours of sleep every night.
- Get 3 minutes in a cold shower in the morning.
- Go to bed before midnight on weekdays.
- Wake up after the first alarm in the morning.
- Read a chapter of a book every day before bed.
- No screen time before bed.
- Make the bed in the morning.
- Listen to 10 minutes of a podcast every day.
- Learn a new word every day.
- Spend 10 minutes training the dog every day.
- No spend days: track days when you don’t spend money.
- Cook a meal at home instead of ordering takeout.
- Pay bills.
- Update the budget.
- Transfer 5% of the paycheck into a savings account.
- Pay off credit card bills.
- Do the dishes before going to bed.
- Do laundry on Sunday morning.
- Change sheets every two weeks.
- Take out trash and recycling weekly.
- Water plants once every two weeks.
- Change water in a fish tank once per month.
- Feed the fish on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
- Clean cat litter once per week.
- Clean the fridge every two weeks.
- Spend 5 minutes in the morning practicing affirmations.
- Meditate for 5 minutes during lunch break.
- List 3 things you’re grateful for today.
- Journal for 10 minutes in the morning.
- Pray for 5 minutes before sleep.
- Spend time in nature every day.
- Draw for 30 minutes per day.
- Practice a new painting technique once a week.
- Knit every day for 20 minutes while watching TV.
- Spend 30 minutes practicing hand lettering.
- Reply to social media comments for 30 minutes a day.
- Post on social media every day.
- Work on your course curriculum for 30 minutes a day.
- Reach out to one new prospective client.
- Connect with one new industry leader.
- Publish a blog post.
- Film and publish a TikTok video.
- Spend 30 minutes working on a new project daily.
To ensure habit tracking is as effective as possible, we should discuss all the benefits of habit tracking and whether or not the process works as well as we think.
Helps you build habits
The very first benefit of habit tracking is obvious — it helps you build strong, long-lasting habits. There is scientific evidence that shows that tracking a behavior increases the likelihood of it being established as a habit. And having good habits is crucial for a happy, healthy, and satisfactory life and business.
In his book, James Clear explains that habit trackers help us build long-term habits through visualization. “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,” he writes in his book.
The visualization argument fits in with the habit formation research from Harvard Health that shows three important factors that come into play when forming a habit: reminder, routine, and reward. Having a habit tracker reminds you to stick with the habit, and check-in in with it on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis creates a routine and when you get to see your progress visually, it activates the reward system in your brain.
Helps you achieve your goals
Habits are a crucial part of achieving the goals you set for yourself. One way having a habit tracker helps is that tracking habits increase motivation.
A small study published in 2020 looked into university students and how tracking their study habits will affect their mental health and motivation to study. Researchers found that after six weeks of tracking study habits, students were less likely to experience bad moods and were more motivated during their studies.
While motivation is not a sustainable driving force when it comes to achieving goals (especially long-term), it is a key component to help you get started building habits that will later sustain the discipline you need to achieve the goals you set.
Another way that habit tracking helps you achieve your goals is by encouraging you to celebrate micro-wins. And celebrating wins is a key component of setting and achieving goals that many people tend to overlook.
A small study led by a Professor of Entrepreneurial Management at Harvard Business School, Teresa Amabile, looked into different variables that affect how people feel at work. What researchers discovered was that the strongest indicator of a good day at work was whether any kind of progress (however small) was made.
Your habit tracker can help you keep track of the progress you make in your personal or professional life, which will increase your motivation to continue and improve your confidence in yourself that you are capable of achieving your goals.
Tracking your habits
Creators are busy and their work can easily pile up. So taking the time to decide on the most important habits for your success and then putting them into a tracker can be one of the keys to success for some. Think about the most important tasks to your overall well-being, your relationships, space, and business. Then write those things down in your habit tracker and start tracking!