I’ve lost count, over the years, of just how many times I have set on starting a new habit and then dropping the ball only a couple of weeks later. My pattern was always the same.
I would come up with a new habit I was certain would improve my life if I was able to implement consistently (be it reading every day, doing yoga, running or coding every day). I would start super excited and would have little to no trouble sticking to my brand new habit for the first few days. Then, life would get in the way, I was faced with a particularly busy day, could not find time to continue my new habit or, the most usual culprit: I would forget.
Life gets busy, so I would forget one day and tell myself its no big deal, I’ll pick it up tomorrow. The problem was that once I forgot one time, it somehow got incrementally easier for me to forget many more times. That’s when momentum would go out the window.
The technique that changed everything for me has been one that brings together two main elements: having a visual reminder and tracking my progress.
Once I discovered the impact that tracking my habits started having, not only in my commitment to improvement but also in the subsequent benefits all these newly engrained habits had in my life, there was no looking back!
After many quick and messy hand-drawn habit trackers, I wanted to kick things up a notch for myself. So, I designed this habit tracker that combines everything I’ve come to realize sets me up for success:
- Setting an Intention: getting clear on my “why”, and what I want the outcome of this new habit to be. Having that in front of me every day as a constant reminder helps a lot!
- Extra Thoughts/Intentions: I also added extra space for either notes throughout the month regarding changes I’ve noticed thanks to my new habits, or little pep talks I need to give myself when setting the new habits in order to keep myself on track.
- Space for 8 Habits: I keep 8 habits per month as my maximum, and usually a lot of them are habits that have carried on from previous months so they are not brand new and difficult to maintain. Anything more than 8 and you’re setting yourself up for a lot of empty boxes and disappointment.
If this is your first time committing to rewiring your brain and creating new habits, I would recommend you start strong with only 3 or 4 habits max. As the months go by and you see yourself checking off all the daily boxes for your habits, you’ll feel much more confident and prepared to start adding more activities to your tracker.
I’ve found this method so revolutionizing for myself that I want to share this free printable with you, so that you can have an amazing month of self-improvement!
Share pictures of your habit tracker on Instagram with the habits you want to build and tag them with #TCYnewHabits so I can see your journey and we can motivate each other!
Remember: small daily changes add up to extraordinary lives.