The Benefits of Tracking Habits Old School
There’s just something about the tactile experience of kickin’ it old school and writing down tasks and goals.
Research proves that the tactile experience of writing things down helps us remember things better.
Another benefit of using paper and your favorite writing implement is that you can organize things in exactly the way you want them.
There are a ton of ways to use the popular bullet journal, as can be evidenced by searching for the term online.
It can be as pretty and creative as you want. But the real gold in the bullet journaling process is including anything and everything you want or need to remember — everything from work-related projects to family birthdays to goal setting.
And yes, tracking your micro-habits.
Click on the image below to download these cute little mini habit trackers. You can easily trace them or cut them out and add them into your bullet journal.
If you’ve ever downloaded a tracking app, you may have found how easy it is to forget all about entering your details at the end of the day. Out of sight, out of mind.
But by including tracking pages in your bullet journal, you’ll be reminded to take action on them multiple times a day.
As you thumb through to review your tasks for the day, you’ll see the tracking page for drinking water, exercising or any other micro-habit you are working on building into your life.
This constant reminding will make success much easier.
And who wants an app for every micro-habit you are working on building into your daily life?
By using a bullet journal, you can design the way you track your habits any way you want.
After all, what is intuitive for one person isn’t for another.
You never need to worry about a bullet journal having a user-friendly interface because you are the one who designs it.
All in one place you can see laid out in an attractive visual, all the micro-habits you are working on.
You can combine all of them on one page or track each micro-habit separately.
No app can do that.
So, what are some common micro-habits people track in their bullet journals?
Here are a few to get you thinking about all the ways you could utilize this old school method:
- Played with your kids
- Went to bed on time
- 20 minute “no screen time” before bed
- No snooze alarm in the morning
- Dish-free sink
- No soda
- 10,000 steps
- Flossed teeth
- Gossip-free day
- Finished to-do list
- No social media at work
- 8 glasses of water
- 5 fruits & vegetables
- Ate at home
There’s nothing you can’t track with a bullet journal.
So if you’ve been looking for one tracking app to rule them all, consider creating your very own via a bullet journal. Problem solved.
Why Tracking Micro Habits Helps You Succeed
By now you’ve probably heard that micro-habits will help you build lasting change in your life.
But did you know that tracking micro-habits will help you to succeed that much faster?
Let’s look at how this works:
1. Tracking micro-habits helps to keep you motivated. By having a record of what you’ve been doing to make a change in your life, you can’t help but see all the areas where you have succeeded in building that change.
Looking back at those changes is an incredible feeling and helps to give you that added push whenever you feel like you’re not making any progress at all.
2. You can see your progress. This reason goes with the first but takes it a little further than just motivation.
Witnessing your progress shows you what you’ve already accomplished and helps you to see if you’re staying on track for your goals.
This feedback helps you to hold your course, especially when you feel like you’re not doing something big enough to make a lasting difference.
That visible record shows you just how far you’ve come.
3. Actions performed regularly are what become habits. By keeping track of these habits daily, you will feel obligated to perform that habit daily as well, thereby building the habit that much faster than you would if the effort was sporadic.
4. Tracking micro-habits makes you see patterns that help you build triggers that make habits work.
By coupling a micro habit with another action that is already a habit, you’re more likely to succeed.
Tracking shows you what else you’re doing, so you can find those triggers to couple with the micro habit in the first place.
For example, if you already have the habit of brushing your teeth every day, think how much easier it is to a couple that action with the new micro habit of flossing.
By tracking your micro-habits your chance of success in making positive changes in your life will increase exponentially.
You’ll also have the bonus of having built a record of the changes that you’ve successfully made in your life.
A complete history of the positive changes, how they started and how you implemented them means that the next change you make will be that much more likely to succeed.
You create your blueprint in your life and your future.
A little leg work now will mean great strides in the future, and you’ll thank yourself for it.
Tips for Making Your New Micro-Habits Stick
You’ve decided to make some changes in your life.
You’ve even come up with some new habits – small ones – to make the whole process easier.
You’ve even put some of those micro-habits into motion. Good going, You!
Now comes the hard part – making the Micro Habits stick.
How do you make small changes that last?
Read on for some tips that will help keep you on track fairly indefinitely:
1. Start with using your smartphone. By scheduling reminders, you keep the habit front and center in your life.
Decide specific times where you want to get this micro habit done and then set up your phone to let you know when that specific time rolls around.
If you don’t have a smartphone, or like the low-tech option, scribble your reminder on a sticky note and put it where you’re sure to see it.
Something along the lines of “Water – 1:00 pm” should suffice to get the point across.
2. Try a new dialogue with yourself. If your micro habit isn’t time-based, then find other ways to make this micro habit a part of who you are.
Start with “if-then” statements. Something along the lines of “If it’s Tuesday, then today I’m taking the bus and walking the rest of the way to work,” reminds you of that small habit to walk to work more often.
By paying attention to how you speak to yourself, you start to rewire the old thought patterns and make your new micro habit a more natural part of your life.
3. Simplify the routine. Remember, these are supposed to be micro-habits, not major ones.
So don’t get caught up in trying to make grand sweeping changes.
Instead, focus on the small things that you can easily build into your existing routine.
4. Take away the old choice. If your goal is to drink more water, then stop buying soda and juice.
If you want to walk more, don’t park near the building.
By removing the old way, all you have left is your new way.
Think about what needs to disappear out of your life to make your new micro-habits a success.
It’s not hard to make micro-habits stick.
Mostly, you want to stay intentional in what you’re doing and keep focused on the habit itself rather than letting it get lost in the shuffle of day to day life.
By using these tips, you’ll stay on track to make that habit a daily part of your life.