“Fail to plan, plan to fail” – Oh, how I can relate to this! How many times have you attempted to start a new habit, only to fizzle out after just a few days? What is the secret to successfully normalizing a new habit?
Join me in challenging yourself to develop a new healthy habit with this super cute habit tracker printable. Tracking your habits will have you feeling like you’re conquering the world… because you will be!
One of the most effective ways to normalize a new habit is by tracking your progress. I love apps for many things, but when it comes to habit tracking, I am a pen & paper kind of gal.
This tracker is fun, customizable, and easy on your printer ink. Plus, it can be used month after month to help you accomplish your long-term goals.
Habit Tracker Printables are Beneficial
It is challenging to devote time to personal development and self-care, especially as a busy wife, mom, and full-time employee.
If all we do is hope for the best and assume our new habits will naturally fit into our hectic schedules, we are C-R-A-Z-Y! Yet, so often, this is exactly what we do. Then we are frustrated and wonder why we failed.
Mel Robbins shared in one of her latest podcasts, you can be an innie or an outie when it comes to focusing on your habits and ambitions. Innies store everything in their head, don’t write down goals, and never put pen to paper to track their progress.
Outies utilize tools, like a habit tracker, to help them stay on track and accomplish their goals. To successfully establish a new habit, we are going to need to adopt the “outie” approach.
Habit tracking is highly effective because it creates a visual cue that reminds us to act. It is also incredibly motivating to see our progress.
Do you remember Snapchat streaks and how determined everyone was about never missing a day? They were obsessed with maintaining their streak. Well, goal tracking is similar. Once you begin tracking your progress, the last thing you want to do is break your streak.
How I Use My Habit Tracker
I have picked five health goals I want to develop into everyday habits. The healthy habits I am working to normalize include daily devotion and meditation, tracking my macros, moving my body, drinking 120 ounces of water, and taking my vitamins and supplements.
As you can see, some of my goals are easier than others. I am using a stacking technique to help me accomplish my daily goals. For instance, each morning when I fill up my water bottle I get my supplements ready for the day. These two habits are linked, and my brain will not let me do one, without the other.
The same is true for mediation and devotion. I associate the two as one habit, so I can’t do one without the other immediately following.
How Many Habits Should You Track?
The number of habits you track is totally up to you. The biggest thing to consider is not overwhelming yourself with too many changes at once.
Much of the research suggests that starting with 1-3 habits is most effective so you aren’t overloaded with too much change at one time.
Personally, I have found tracking 3-5 habits works well for me. I do focus on picking 1-2 more challenging goals and combining those with 2-3 easier habit goals. For instance, working out every day is more difficult for me, than ensuring I get 120 ounces of water daily.
Start by writing down your most important goals and see where you land. Once you prioritize the habits you’d like to conquer, decide for yourself what is realistic.
Another important note is to give yourself a guide, instead of a hard and fast number. Instead of challenging yourself to work out 7 days a week, be realistic and include a range – I plan to work out 5-6 days per week.
Habit Tracker Printable Challenge
I don’t want a repeat of last month, where I wandered aimlessly and felt I accomplished nothing. I woke up every morning with the best of intentions, only to find myself going to bed frustrated and discouraged.
The day owned me, instead of me owning the day. I finished the month feeling discouraged because I had big goals I didn’t accomplish.
I refuse to let my days own me – I have started tracking my habits this month and feel so encouraged! Tracking is such an essential part of successful habit formation; it is 100% positively impacting my mood, attitude, and determination toward my goals.
I’m also taking my own advice and giving myself a weekly range, instead of a hard number. This extra grace has felt so freeing. I know I want to work out 5-6 days per week, so if I miss a day, I am not frustrated. I simply know I need to get my workouts in during the rest of the week.
Grace is something I need during this busy season of life, and I am sure you could benefit by giving yourself a little grace too.
Tracking = Success. So, are you ready? Download the habit tracker, determine your goals and how you’d like to turn them into habits, and let’s go! No need to wait until the start of a month… Start today!
If you need help identifying what goals you are passionate about, it may help to read my blog post, Theme Word of the Year Ideas. Pick goals and habits that fire you up, yet are still a challenge for you!
Habit Tracking Resources
If you do not currently listen to the Mel Robbins Podcast, I encourage you to listen to it ASAP! She is the Queen of developing and normalizing habits. She breaks everything down to help us understand the science behind our behaviors surrounding habit formation.
There are two books that changed my entire perspective on habit formation and habit tracking. The first is Atomic Habits by James Clear. He provides great insight into how tiny changes can create remarkable results.
The second book is The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. Charles explains that every habit has 3 elements – a cue, routine, and reward.
Examples of Good Habits to Track
- Saving Money
- Paying off Debt
- Daily Reading
- Self-Care Routine
- Home or Work Project Productivity
- Water Intake
- Healthy Meals
- Fruits and Veggie Intake
- Daily Steps