Create Your Own Simple Daily Habit Tracker and Completely Change Your Life

Do you want to become completely unrecognizable very quickly? Then you’ve got to pay attention your habits. And a simple, effective way to do so is by creating a habit tracker. Why is it important to track your habits?

A big reason tracking your habits is so important is because it gives you feedback. And feedback is, perhaps, the singular most important factor when developing new habits or breaking bad ones.

Feedback helps us know if we are making progress and should keep up on our current path. Feedback also helps us discover if the current plan isn’t working and to make a switch. This is why all elite performers track their habits. By measuring, quantifying, and tracking their progress in a myriad of different ways, they can tell what’s working and what’s not. And this is what separates those in the elite class from those performing at a mediocre level.

But here’s where people get disillusioned. Habits are not a 100-meter dash. They are a marathon. People tend to want to give up as soon as it looks like they are not reaching their goal. But the truth is, it takes time for you to see results when you take up a habit.

In the meantime, though, while you’re inching toward your goal, there’s something you can do. It’s called habit tracking. Habit tracking gives you short-term feedback, which can help keep you motivated until you actualize your goal.

A habit tracker is as straightforward as it sounds. It’s a tool that helps you measure whether you practiced a habit you committed to or not. Habit trackers at their most rudimentary involve crossing off days on the calendar as you continue with your routine.

It can get more elaborate, but that’s what it boils down to. So, each day you practice the habit gets an X and then with time you can clearly visualize your habit streak on your calendar.

the power of habit summary

The Power of Habit

by Charles Duhigg

⏱ 14 minutes reading time

🎧 Audio version available

Buy on Amazon

Without further ado, here is why tracking your habits is so powerful.

Seeing your habit streak reminds you to keep going

The first reason tracking your habits is so powerful is that actually seeing your habit streak in a concrete, non-abstract form serves as a reminder to you to keep going. So, each time you look at your calendar, you see your streak and you’re reminded of your goal and you act again. Science backs this theory up.

According to research, people who track their progress on the road to their goals tend to observe more improvement than those who don’t. That goal could be quitting smoking, losing weight, or lowering blood pressure. Whatever the goal, seeing your streak can help.

For instance, there was a study that involved over 1600 people trying to lose weight. In that study, a certain group of people kept a daily food log while another group didn’t. At the end of the experiment, it was found that those who kept a daily food log lost twice as much weight as those who didn’t. And that’s the power of habit tracking. By logging your behavior, you are better motivated to change it.

Tracking your goals keeps you honest

When you track your habit, you’re more honest with yourself. It’s human to overestimate how much of an effort we put in. But when you measure it, we’re able to move past that biased blindness when it comes to our habits and patterns.

You definitely cannot deny the presence of an empty, unticked box on your calendar where an X should be. And as you know, honesty is half the journey. If you can be honest about your progress, then you can get where you’re going much faster.

Habit tracking can help with motivation on the tough days

Nothing fuels motivation like progress. In fact, it is said, progress is the best form of motivation. When we know we’re getting closer to accomplishing our goal, motivation naturally rises without much effort. This is another advantage of tracking your habits. For every small victory, your motivation gets more fueled.

Especially on the bad days, this can be a very powerful and helpful motivator. It’s easy to let a bad day get you down. But if you’re tracking your habits, you have evidence of your efforts right there. It’s hard proof that you’re putting in the work and making progress, and that keeps you going on the hard days.

Plus, each morning you look at your calendar and see that empty, unticked box, you are motivated to get started because you don’t want to lose your streak.

You get satisfaction from visualizing your progress

Another reason to begin using a habit tracker is for the immediate gratification you get. That satisfying feeling when you cross off another day of completing what you set out to accomplish is heady stuff. Watching your results grow and getting closer to your target never gets old and that satisfaction can give you the strength you need to endure, no matter what.

Habit tracking makes you a better person

You’re probably wondering how habit tracking can make you a better person. Here’s how. Tracking your habit literally changes your mindset. Unknown to you, on the inside you undergo a shift where you move from being fixated on results, to being fixated on sticking with what you committed to, even when it gets rough. So, more than a goal-oriented person, you become a person of principle. And the best part is, you still reach your goals.

So, we now know why tracking your habits is the best thing since sliced bread. But what you’re really after right now is how to create your own habit tracker, right? How do you go about tracking your habits? What habits should you track? Do you have to track all of them or just some of them?

Here are tips for creating a habit tracker.

Old habits don’t need tracking, it’s the new habits that do.

Obviously, you can’t track every single habit that makes up your day. In fact, if you’re already doing well sticking to a habit, there’s really no point tracking that habit too. You’ve mastered that habit already, tracking it is just extra work.

Habit tracking is for the new habits you’re still trying to master. Those habits that you know you struggle to remember. These are the ones you want to track.

Habits are easier to build if they require two minutes or less to complete

In his book, Atomic Habits, James Clear advises you to scale down your new habits until they take a maximum of two minutes to perform.

If the new habit you’re trying to build involves huge tasks that take up a significant portion of your day to complete, keeping up with them will be difficult, if not impossible. But if you make them really small so that it’s hardly an inconvenience or, at least, only a very small inconvenience to do them each day, you’re more likely to succeed.

Your watchword should be consistency over intensity. Because for habits to stick, they need to be repeated as frequently as possible. Daily, in most cases. Of course, not all habits would need to be completed every day. Some need to be completed weekly or monthly.

Whatever the case, a habit tracker can help you ensure you get them done. Such tasks hardly ever become reflex, but with a habit tracker, you can rest assured you’ll have a reminder ready.

It’s okay to miss once but never okay to miss twice

Now, that said, people often get disillusioned at some point on their habit formation journey and that’s because they are not told this part. You will fall off the wagon at some point. It happens to everyone. But how you respond can mean everything for you and your goal.

So, here is one rule you must keep in mind for those days. It’s okay to miss once, but it’s never to miss twice, especially consecutively. Because, generally, the first mistake isn’t the one that ruins you. It is repeating the same mistake afterward that does.

When you miss twice, you’re starting a whole new habit in the opposite direction of the one you initially intended. Always remember that. So, we hope this video helped you. Let us know in the comment section what habit you’re trying to build and how you intend to break down the habits into smaller tasks that make it easier for you to track and follow up on.

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