I remember being quite fascinated by the bullet journals when I first saw them on the internet. They were all so pretty, hand painted, like a piece of art for one’s everyday life. I went through pages and pages of beautiful setups, wanting to do all of them at once. Then I realized that I really didn’t have time to do all of that painting, but the principle was still valid. The bullet journals help one organize the days. While I thought my days were pretty organized from the beginning, I really saw the benefit of one particular part of the bullet journaling, namely the habit tracking.
What is a habit tracker?
When I first started with my habit tracker, I wrote down everything I could think of. I tracked exercise, water intake, supplements, writing, watering plants and so on. I soon realized that some of the things were so much of a habit for me that I didn’t really need to track them. Still, it was a great way to see that I had actually never broken the chain of some of my habits, while I was inconsistent at other habits. For example, since I’ve started with 10-minutes exercising every morning for half a year ago, I’ve actually never omitted that habit. I also saw that meditating was a harder habit to establish.
Was it a good thing to track even the habits that I had established? I definitely think it was. Knowing what you need to track and what you don’t become actually one of the strengths of tracking habits. Should one track habits that are already established? Yes, at least for a month, just to see that you actually have an unbroken chain of that particular habit.
The two aspects of habit tracking
Looking closer to the role of a habit tracking it can be divided in two parts:
- Tracking habits as a way of finding out the frequency of a habit. This part of my habit tracking was to find out how often I was doing certain things, like watering the plants, exercising, how much water was I drinking, how much salt I got during the day and so on. As a result of this I chose the habits that I wanted to improve from the list and left the other ones out, knowing that I really didn’t need to track them.
- Encouraging new habits. Habit tracking is a great way of incorporating new habits in your routines. I chose some areas that I knew I needed to improve on and made a bullet of the most important part of that area. For this I took a look at my goals for the month, breaking them down in smaller habits. This month, I’ve put focus on meditation as one of my habits to stick to.
What to do with the habit tracker
A great way of using the habit tracker is to have it in front of you as often as possible. Place it in your filofax, in your journal, on your fridge or anywhere you know you are going to look frequently at. That way you’re going to find it easier to fill in those little boxes as soon as you’ve done one of the tasks. You are also going to be reminded of some of the habits that you want to establish.
In the beginning of the day, your habit tracker will help you with your decisions and help you focus on the tasks you need to complete. Use it as a reminder of your most important tasks.
When the day has ended, you could evaluate the day by looking at the accomplished habits.
- How was the day?
- Could you do better tomorrow?
- Which habits have fallen out?
- Are they important?
Evaluate each month
At the end of the month, I like to take a look at my habit tracker to see patterns, inconsistencies and areas to improve. The previous month gives me feedback on what to track the next month and what I want to get better at. I am also removing some of the habits that I found out were unnecessary to track, looking at worthy replacements for them. If I don’t find a new habit that I want to track, then that’s OK too.
If you want to read more about Bullet Journals, here are some great resources for you:
- Bullet Journal
In all its simplicity, this is the origin of the Bullet Journals with the rules and suggestions of how to track and order your habits and tasks
- Bullet Journals, beautified.
The basics explained with beautiful pictures. Habit tracker is included.
- 23 beautiful ideas for your spreads, both for Bullet Journals and Habit Tracking (which is part of the Bullet Journals)
- Pinterest – When everything else fails, Pinterest will be next to you. Here are some ideas for Bullet Journals and Habit Trackers
- A minimalistic way of doing Bullet Journals and Habit Tracking. I personally love this.
Monthly habit tracker
If you haven’t already done your own habit tracker, and you want to print one out instead of drawing one yourself, you can download my .pdf down below for free.
I would love to hear if you already do habit tracking and how you like it.