Do you have trouble sticking to new habits? Are you trying to reach a new goal this year? Find out why Habit Tracking is a great tool to help you achieve your goals. In this post, I share why habits are so important, how you can start using a daily habit tracker, and how to get your Free Printable Habit Tracker.
Your Goals Need Habits
Many people like to set New Year’s Resolutions each year and most of those people give up before the month is over. Setting new goals can happen any time of the year. You don’t have to wait for the New Year to create positive change in your life.
Perhaps you are trying to become improve your health by exercising, drinking more water, or simply going on a quick walk each day. Maybe you are working on your mental health by meditating, journaling, or practicing daily gratitude. Regardless of your big goal, there are always smaller habits that you will need to get there.
Habits become routines over time and routines help you to stay consistent and reach your goals. Creating new habits can be life-changing over time. As many of us know, they can also be really challenging to maintain.
Consistency and accountability play a huge role in the success of any new habit.
This is why a habit tracker can help!
Consistency is Key to Maintaining New Habits
It probably goes without saying that consistency is key to creating any new habit. The more often you do something, the easier it becomes. Eventually, consistent behaviors will become habits but there are a few additional steps that you can take to increase your success. It’s a great idea to keep your new habit tracker in your daily planner, on a bulletin board, or in a good place that you will see on a daily basis. Over time your new positive habits will begin to stick and become
Schedule Your Habits
Think about the tasks that you do every day. How many of those tasks are completed at the same time (or relatively so) every day? I’ll give you an example.
I feed my dog twice a day: when I make breakfast and when I make dinner. Since I’m in the kitchen anyway, this makes sense. We eat and the dog eats. It’s a habit that I created around my existing daily routines.
So, let’s say you want to start taking daily vitamins. Consider taking them in the morning with your morning coffee. Or maybe at night when you brush your teeth. Place the vitamin package within reach/ sight as a reminder or even put a note right on the coffee maker or toothpaste.
Tying new habits to existing routines, or at least performing them at the same time each day, can help you to stick to them.
Find an Accountability Partner
Whether you are trying to start healthy new habits or stop unhealthy old habits, having an accountability partner can make all of the difference. This can be someone who has the same goals as you or simply someone who you trust to keep you motivated and on task. If you both want to start walking every day, walk together. Or if that’s not possible, consider tracking the number of steps you take each day and set a goal together (or see who can get the most steps in). If you want to drink more water, consider a friendly competition to drink a set number of ounces by a certain time each day.
Why Create New Habits?
Creating new habits can be tricky but remembering why you are establishing new habits can keep you motivated. If you are a parent and want to be more active, think about how that will inspire your children, give you more time with them, or allow you to experience more adventures together. What would living a healthier/ more active life mean to you?
Want to create financial habits? Perhaps your goal is a special purchase, vacation, or college fund. Find a way to create reminders for yourself to keep pushing forward. Put a picture on your mirror or as your phone’s home screen. Have a daily reminder on your phone to keep the goal fresh in your mind. Name the savings account after your goal. For example: Beach Vacation Money or New Car Fund.
Habits are easier to maintain if you can remember why you created them in the first place.
Habit Tracking Ideas for your Habit Tracker Printable
Habit trackers can be used for many different things. From healthy habits to routines you want to establish. Your tracker can change with you. Maybe you want a morning habit tracker but you also need a tracker for work each day. With this printable Habit Tracker you can have both. Below is a list of other ideas for your Habit Tracker:
- Wake up earlier
- Go to bed earlier
- Morning Routines
- Vitamins and medicine taking
- Journaling or morning pages
- Daily Affirmations
- Weight training
- Scripture reading
- Healthy meals
- No Snacks
- Water drinking
- No Spend days
- Healthy meals
- No Caffeine
- No Sugar
- No Dairy
- Skin Care
- Hair Care
- Dental Care
- Nail Care
- Time with kids
- Reading to kids
- Time with spouse
- Quiet time
- Self Care
Tracking Habits Visually
Sometimes the best way to motivate ourselves is to see how far we’ve come or to have a visual reminder of our goals. I created this Free Printable Habit Tracker to allow you to do just that.
This tracker allows you to list the habits that you are trying to establish. Next to each item, you will see 31 checkboxes. Each day you successfully perform your task/ habit put a check mark in the box for the corresponding day. I like to put a dot in the days that I don’t accomplish the task. It’s easy to look back and see patterns. For example, if I’m eating more sweets on the weekend I know that I need to find a better substitute for sweet treats.
These small steps can add up quickly to make positive changes in your life. After a month or two you’ll be surprised to see how these little things can help you meet your goals.
Tracking your habits establishes accountability, creates a reminder, and can help you recognize patterns of success or struggle. So if you notice that you tend to skip walking on Mondays, think about why. Is there a way that you can change that? What could you do differently?
Free Printable Habit Tracker Templates
When you receive your Habit tracker file you will receive one PDF file with two different designs. A floral design and a blank (no-frills) design so that you can decorate your habit tracker yourself.
Everyone wants to feel the pride of success but sometimes staying consistent can be a struggle. If you are creating daily habits, an entire month can seem like a long stretch of time before recognizing success. Consider celebrating smaller milestones and incremental success.
Did you drink enough water all week? Reward yourself or find a way to celebrate that success. Did you walk every day for 2 weeks? Treat your feet to a pedicure or a home spa day.
It’s ok to measure success in smaller bites. Success isn’t just about achieving our goals. It takes willpower and determination to keep pushing forward when things get hard and it’s ok to be proud of yourself for persisting through those challenges.
Using a habit tracker is now a part of my daily routine. It has helped me to make small changes that have improved many areas in my life.
Other Uses for a Habit Tracker
While I tend to use my habit tracker to help me create better habits. Sometimes I use it to keep track of daily tasks. For example, I might need to take out the garbage on a certain day of each week. I simply write in the task then I like to highlight the box that corresponds with the day that task needs to be completed. Some other tasks you might want to track could be watering plants, cleaning out your purse or backpack, meal planning, etc. It’s a great way to remember to do important things that you often forget.
Get Your Free Habit Tracker Printables
I’ve created a printable template that you can use to track your habits each day of the month. You will receive a single pdf with two styles a plain white template and a floral template. You can print the template on us letter-sized paper or resize as needed. One nice thing about the PDF format is that you can upload the Habit Tracker PDF file onto your Ipad to track your habits digitally.
Additional Tools for Productivity
If you are looking for more tools to help you with being more productive or managing your time be sure to check out these posts:
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