How Tracking Habits Can Help Them Stick
The best way to make a positive life change stick, is to make it a habit. Tracking healthy, new habits can help keep you motivated, stay on track and see progress! These free printable habit trackers can help you with sleep, food, health, exercise, spending, self care and so much more. Just imagine all of the new, healthy habits you can create!
You can use these habit trackers to track just about any habit you can think of- how much sleep you get, what time you go to bed, when you shut your technology off, how often you jog, when you meditate, how early you wake up, how much money you save… any area of your life that you want to improve is possible!
Successful people often track and measure their progress a long the way. It’s very motivating to see the checkmarks in the boxes as you go along. My favourite part is the reward box at the end of a successful week because hey, sometimes we need a little nudge.
A new habit can sometimes feel nearly impossible to keep. For me, that was waking up early. But, after months of sticking to it, I now wake up 1-2 hours earlier than I used to and I feel great! I’m not tired during the day and I sleep better than ever. That was one habit I really wanted to focus on, but since I was never, ever a morning person before, I kept saying ‘I could never be a morning person!’. It’s wild how one day, it just happens and your new habit is a way of life. Now, I’m working on eating a fresh salad a day.
Habits take a long time to form. I’ve heard 21 days, but for some (like me) I’m sure it’s longer!
I was able to become a morning person, enjoying quiet time to myself each morning because I committed to making it a habit every morning until it became natural. Anything can become a habit. Anything you want- snacking can be either unhealthy or healthy. Movement. How you handle stress. How well you take care of yourself. Your initial response to confrontation. How much money you spend. How you prepare for your day. How well you sleep. The possibilities really are endless and when you think of it, a lot of your life is made up of little habits we have picked up along the way.
A Surprising Fact about How to Form New Habits
How many times have you heard that it takes just a few weeks to develop a new habit? The truth is a bit more complicated than that, but there are scientific ways to help you lock in the changes you want to make.
The myth about behavior becoming automatic in 21 days started when journalists misinterpreted a popular self-help book on Psycho Cybernetics back in the 1960’s. After all, you can probably eat more vegetables starting today, but more complex tasks like playing the violin are going to take more than a month to gel.
It’s always a good time to start forming new habits that will improve your wellbeing and make your life better.
Benefits of using printable habit trackers:
- Plan ahead
- Be consistent
- Spot triggers
- Works as a reminder
- See your progress
How tracking your habits can help you achieve your goals:
Plan ahead. Eliminate excuses by plotting out your course in advance. If you want to wake up an hour earlier, go to bed on time, and dream about the invigorating yoga class and delicious breakfast that await you in the morning.
Be consistent. Regularity reinforces itself. Pretty soon it will be easier to go to the gym after work rather than changing your mind, even if it’s raining or your colleagues are heading out for beer and pizza.
Spot triggers. Kicking a habit requires you to notice what happens right before you bite your nails or buy another pair of shoes. Are you bored at work or arguing with your spouse?
Develop substitutions. Once you know your cues, you can choose a different response. Take a walk or invite a friend out for coffee.
Review your reasons. Go over the reasons why you want to adopt your new behavior. Remind yourself about how drinking water instead of soda will help you slim down, strengthen your bones, and save money.
Personalize your goals. While you’re contemplating your reasons, visualize your future self. Focus on what you have to gain instead of just pleasing others.
Advanced Strategies for More Difficult Habits
What if you’re tackling something as ambitious as managing diabetes or transforming your dead-end dating history?
These ideas will give you an extra boost:
Practice compassion. You’re bound to slip up occasionally. Forgive yourself, and
Team up. Enlist a friend so you can exchange support and encouragement. Eat lunch with a colleague who is trying to lose weight too.
Write it down. Raise your awareness by keeping a journal about your campaign to stop swearing or start flossing. Note what happens on the days you stick to your program compared to the days when you drift back into old patterns.
Remove temptations. Eliminate the triggers that distract you from your objectives. Clear the junk food out of your kitchen or the cigarettes out of your car.
Design obstacles. Make it difficult to give in to your old tendencies. Leave your credit cards at home to prevent impulsive shopping sprees.
Go on vacation. Leave home for a while. Vacations are an ideal time to forge new habits because you can make a fresh start in different surroundings. Sit down to meditate each morning instead of becoming caught up in searching for lost socks or checking your email.
Make daily exercise and healthy eating so easy you won’t even have to think about them. Positive habits make advantageous choices automatic so you’ll stick with them. You’ll also have more energy to help you deal with other challenges.
Habits to Track
Looking for habit ideas to track? Here are just some of the many healthy habits you can use to better your life:
- Daily steps
- Water intake
- Fresh foods
- Screen time
- Bed time
- Take vitamins
- Learn yoga
- Weight loss
- Reduce clutter
- Improve posture
- Call your parents
- Spend more time outdoors
Use these printable habit trackers and help your healthy new habits stick! I’ve included blank templates and pre-filled templates in case you need more habit ideas.
Free Printable Habit Trackers
Track your self-discipline goals with this tracker. Print the PDF version below:
Track your healthy daily habits. Print the PDF below:
Create a healthy sleep routine! Print the PDF below:
Make saving easier with this savings tracker! Print the PDF below:
Try new things! You could discover a healthy habit you love! Print the PDF below:
Track any habit with this simple template! Print the PDF below:
Take your self care routine to the next level with a printable self care tracker. Print the PDF below:
Track your weight loss and health goals! Print the PDF below:
Habit tracking can help keep you motivated to better yourself. I hope you use these free printable habit trackers to inspire a new healthy lifestyle!