Writing a novel. Running a marathon. Learning a new language. These big goals can be overwhelming, but they are all accomplished the same way - by making progress one day at a time, one new habit at a time.
For something to become truly habitual, it needs to be repeated often - usually daily, sometimes weekly or monthly. All you need to do it remember to repeat them.
It really is that simple.
- Break down your goal into a daily habit that you can track
- Do the thing
- Track your progress
- Keep going
Say hello to The Habit Tracker!
A habit tracker is simply way to measure whether or not you did a habit. It will also help you visualize your goal, track your progress, and motivate you to keep going - and eventually form a lifelong habit. Habit tracking can help kickstart a new habit or keep you on track with habits you need a little help with.
Why Is a Habit Tracker So Effective?
People who track their progress on their goals are all more likely to improve and achieve than those who don’t. One study of over sixteen hundred people found that those who kept a daily food log lost twice as much weight as those who did not. The mere act of tracking a behavior can spark the urge to change it!
It Is Easy To Use
Pick your tracker, and simply cross off each day you stick to your new habit. For example, if you jog on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, mark a X on each of those days. Soon enough, you will have a visual record of your habit streak.
It Creates A Visual Cue
Your tracker is visual proof of your hard work and progress. Its a physical thing that you can place next to your bed, on your desk, on your fridge or wherever you’d see it most often.
It is a subtle reminder to think about your habits every day, and your current streak is a validation of how far you’ve come.
It Keeps You Accountable
It’s one thing to talk about making a change, but actually writing it down on paper keeps you accountable, and makes you stay committed to your goal.
It Keeps You Honest
One can’t argue with evidence. While we are often guilty of thinking we act better than we actually do, when faced with a record of our performance, we have no choice but to accept it. And act on it.
It Motivates You
The feeling that you are progressing towards your final goal is a very strong motivator. Seeing visual proof of your progress makes you want to keep going, and not break your streak.
On any day, seeing the blank on the calendar for the day pushes you to get it done to have the pleasure of crossing it out.
Even more importantly, on a bad day when you’re feeling down, it reminds you of all the progress you have made so far and gives you that much needed nudge to motor on.
It Keeps You Focused on Forming Habits
While tracking daily, your focus is on doing the small task and keeping the streak going rather than the end goal. This focus on the process rather than the result helps that small task become a habit. For example by jogging daily with the goal of running a marathon, the habit you’re forming is that to work out daily.
It Is Rewarding
Just like crossing an item off your to-do-list, marking an X on your tracker feels so good! The sense of satisfaction you feel when you see your success makes you want to do more of the same. And that’s addictive.
Ready to Get Started?
First, pick your tracker. There’s tons of different trackers available out there - from manual to digital, from super involved to the most basic. Choose what works best for you.
Undated Wall Planner
Your basic calendar can work as a simple and effective tracker. If a no bells and whistles approach seems right for you, try this wall planner. All you have to do is add your habit and start crossing off the days.
The calendar includes 12 months, each with a large daily grid giving you lots of space to write, doodle and mark each day’s progress.
Get the Undated Wall Planner here
“Big Things Often Have Small Beginnings” Habit Tracker
This habit tracker is easy to use; simply check off the days where you meet a goal or complete a task.
The tracker includes 12 months, each with a grid, a section for observations and goal planning, and an inspirational quote in a hand-lettered design.
Get the Small Beginnings Habit Tracker here
The Habit CalendarThis Habit Calendar is super straight-forward with a column for the habits you want to track, and corresponding boxes for every day of the month for each habit. Simply check off the habits you've completed everyday. Each month includes space to track weekly and monthly habits.
The Progress Tracker
The Progress Tracker helps you visibly track your progress on your big goals and projects. By breaking down your projects into small wins and tracking the one metric that matters most, you make your daily progress visible.
The Progress Tracker works with pretty much anything you want to track.
Get the Progress Tracker here
Make it fun
There’s so many fun and creative ways you can play with your tracker.
- Marking a simple X or a checkmark in each box is the classic way.
- Add some color by shading the boxes or filling in with patterns like dots and lines. Color code based on your mood if that’s your thing!
- Make it pop with stickers and washi tape to mark significant progress and achievements.
No matter how you chose to fill and decorate your tracker, remember to keep it simple enough that it provides you an immediate visual record of your progress.
Ideas for tracking and habit forming
Want to get into forming new beneficial habits? Start with these super quick ones. Make your habits so easy that you can stick to them even on the hard days.
Things You Do
- journal 1 page
- read 3 pages
- play an instrument for 5 minutes
- meditate 5 minutes
- do 5 push ups / jog 1 mile
- write 3 things you’re grateful for
- make your bed
- weigh yourself / log your food
- take medication / vitamins / supplements
- take a walk outside / walk your dog
- call parent / sibling
- water the plants
- write a thank you note
- draw / paint
- clean your house
- do laundry
- cook meals / bake
- call a friend
- tend to the garden
- read a book
- review finances
- pay bills
- wash car
Things You Do Not Do
Tracker what you don't do - habits you are trying to break
- no alcohol
- no caffeine
- no smoking
- no sugar
- no social media
- no TV
- no online shopping
- no snoozing
How Often You Do
Count how often you do something
- days spent traveling
- time spent reading
- hours visiting parents
- time spent on the beach