The key to building good habits is integrating them into your daily routine. But how can you make sure those positive habits actually stick? Whether you want to drink more water, cut down screen time, or exercise regularly, it’s easier to keep commitments if you write them down.
What Is a Habit Tracker?
A digital habit tracker helps you build positive, life-long habits. It’s also your accountability buddy that makes sure you actually stick to your habit-building strategy.
You can use the weekly habit tracker template to track your positive habit streaks and stay motivated as you make your way toward self-improvement.
Lock in Your Habits With a Habit Tracker
Make it a habit to track your habits. Here’s how a habit tracker can help you make that happen:
- It is fun and customizable. Building habits doesn’t have to be boring. Add colors, pictures, and emojis or embed motivational music to get ahead.
- It gives a sense of achievement. It only takes one click to check off a habit on the tracker, but the sense of achievement is priceless.
- It’s visual. Were you on track all week, or did you miss a day or two? Visualizing progress makes it much easier to keep track of progress and identify obstacles.
- It’s shareable. Your friends can view, react, and comment on your achievements. Plus, friends by your side are like your very own team of cheerleaders!
If you're anything like us, you resolve to start building new habits but soon find yourself slipping back into the old routines. Maybe it's a physical health goal to exercise more, eat better, get more sleep, drink more water. Maybe it's time management, learning new skills, reading more. Whatever your goal, research shows that using a digital habit tracker can help you achieve your goals.
When you quantify, measure, and track your progress, and then receive feedback on your progress, it helps reinforce and reward your efforts. For example, one day of watching your diet probably isn't going to show on the scale tomorrow, but it will show as a positive action on your habit tracker. If you're not familiar with the concept, you might have some questions about getting started, so we've tackled some common questions below.
What is a habit tracker?
A weekly habit tracker is simply a way to measure whether you completed a healthy habit. You can cross off days on a paper calendar if you went to the gym. You can also use a habit tracker template for marking your habit completion. Whatever format you choose, the most important factor is that you're creating visual evidence of your efforts.
Does habit tracking work?
Yes! Habit tracking can be a powerful tool for the following reasons:
- It provides a visual cue that reminds you to act.
- It motivates you by showing the progress you are making. (You won't want to break your A streak by slacking off!)
- It provides satisfaction when you record your success, similar to crossing an item off your To Do List.
What should I track?
Don't overwhelm yourself with unattainable goals. If you've never exercised before, it might not be realistic to make the habit "work out every single day for two hours a day." You also don't need to track habits that you're already doing. If you're already brushing teeth every morning, why create extra work by tracking it? So what should you track?
Start small, such as habits that take two to five minutes to complete. Starting with super-small habits increases your likelihood of sticking with them. You can also choose daily, weekly, and/or monthly habits.
Some easy daily habits might be to read 1 page, stretch for 1 minute, make your bed, floss your teeth, prioritize your to-do list, empty the dishwasher, call one client, or take a walk.
Weekly and monthly habits might be ones that don't need to be completed every day or ones that take a little more time. Examples include doing the laundry, vacuuming, publishing a blog, cleaning your bedroom, or organizing your emails. Other suggestions include using a facial treatment mask, planning the week's meals and grocery lists, backing up files, or changing your sheets.
Monthly tasks could be reviewing budgets, paying bills, or deep cleaning your house (or even just a room!). You could also set a habit of scheduling and reviewing activities for the upcoming month, such as planning date nights, booking health appointments, or registering for classes.
You can also use your tracker to record bad habits that you're trying to avoid. These might be not spending money, no sugar, no alcohol, no caffeine, no smoking, or no swearing.
How do I get in the habit of using a habit tracker?
Sometimes it seems like more work, and in addition to creating a healthy habit, now you also have to create the habit of tracking the habit? Sounds like too much work! But habit tracking can be super-easy, in addition to being helpful.
- First, limit manual tracking to the habits most important to you, maybe three or four habits.
- Second, record the habit immediately. For example, right after you take a walk, mark it on the tracker. If you wait until the end of the day to record everything, you'll forget and the recording task can become a chore.
- Finally, keep the tracker conveniently located, both for ease of recording and for the visual reminder. If you're mainly tracking desk tasks, keep it on the wall next to your computer. If you're tracking tasks such as reading, journaling, and meditating and you do those in your bedroom, keep it on your nightstand.
And as long as you don't overwhelm yourself, you could create a couple of trackers, such as one for work and one for home. Basically, you just want to make things as easy as possible to increase your likelihood of success.
To make things easier for you, you can use this free weekly habit tracker template to build something that works for you.
Bottom line: There's an old saying that to change your life, change your habits. Increase good habits, reduce bad habits, and use a habit tracker to get started!