Habit trackers can help you form long-lasting positive habits. They document your progress, motivate you to keep going, and help you celebrate success. In this post, we’ll discuss how habits are formed and the importance of tracking habits. We also designed custom Blue Summit habit tracker printables that are completely free to download.
Habits can be good or bad, but either way, we all know how hard they are to break. Ever tried to stop biting your nails, quit smoking, reduce snacking, or limit screen time? When a habit is formed, it sticks with you, which means forming a new habit is the most effective way to reach your goals and make positive changes in your life.
MIT scientist Ann Graybiel says, “Habits never really disappear. They’re encoded into the structures of our brain, and that’s a huge advantage for us, because it would be awful if we had to relearn how to drive after every vacation.”
Turning a project or goal into a habit you can repeat daily builds it into our routine until it becomes second nature.
What is a Habit Tracker?
Habit trackers help you document your progress on the positive habits you want to form. They encourage you to keep going and provide clear insight into how well you’re really doing. Habit trackers can come in the form of printed templates, or you can design your own in a planner or bullet journal if you enjoy being creative. There are also several habit tracking apps that are designed to help you form and maintain habits.
You can download our free printable habit trackers at the end of this article. We designed both daily and monthly options as well as templates designed specifically for bullet journals.
Why You Need to Track Your Habits
Humans Are Forgetful
We all have a lot to remember, and, unfortunately, whether or not we floss our teeth or drink enough water on any given day is not top of mind. Habit trackers help you remember all of the habits you are presently working on. It’s a daily reminder that pulls all of your current habits into one convenient location.
Habits Take a Long Time to Form
Building a habit takes time. That’s why they are so tough to break once they are encoded into your routine. Truly forming a habit can take months, depending on what type of habit you are trying to build. Habit trackers help you stay the course by encouraging continuous, daily progress.
Document Your Progress
Habit trackers allow you to see just how far you’ve come. You can look back to see where you began compared to where you are now, compare your results to previous months, and get a sense of whether or not you are succeeding in your goals. Documenting your progress feels good, and it helps you recognize when it’s time to celebrate success.
Without tracking, you will never know where you need to improve or when you have succeeded. Celebrating success is an important aspect of goal setting that should not be overlooked. The act of celebrating, even with a small reward, releases dopamine and endorphins. These happy chemicals provide positive reinforcement that motivates us to keep going—plus, they make habit-forming a lot more fun. Choose rewards that match your success. You might celebrate a one week streak with your favorite tasty treat or an extra episode of your favorite television show.
Habit Tracker Ideas
Health and Wellness Tracker
Healthy habit trackers can help you focus on your fitness and wellness goals. Consider how you can break your larger goals into smaller attainable habits. If you are trying to lose weight, you might set a habit of reaching a certain step count each day. Be specific about setting the habits you want to form. If you want to drink more water, you might build a habit around drinking a glass first thing each morning or drinking a certain amount by the end of each day.
Health and Wellness Habit Ideas:
- Using a standing desk
- Eating vegetables
- Eating meatless meals
- Drinking water
- Dental hygiene
Mindfulness and Mental Health Tracker
Your body and mind are intricately connected. Prioritizing your mental health can improve your mood, energy, concentration, and physical health. Small habits will help you reach your larger, less tangible goals, such as being more present, happy, positive, or grateful. Consider how you can turn these goals into concrete habits. If you want to be more present, build habits such as meditating each morning instead of scrolling news feeds, completing a breathing exercise before meetings, or limiting your daily screen time.
Health and Wellness Habit Ideas:
- Mindful breathing
- Expressing gratitude
- Acts of kindness
- Limiting screen time
- Limiting blue light before bed
Break Down Large Goals Into Habits
You can use a tracker to make progress on larger goals that are broken down into habits. Breaking a goal down into smaller, more manageable pieces makes it easier to accomplish. The large goal will feel less daunting, and you’ll be able to celebrate milestones along the way. If you want a tidier or less cluttered house, but never seem to have the time, you could make a habit of getting rid of one item each day. If you’d like to write a book, set smaller habits around writing a certain number of words each day.
Health and Wellness Habit Ideas:
- Less clutter: Get rid of one item every day
- Write a book: Write 500-1000 words every day
- Speak another language: 15 minutes on Duolingo every day
- Tidier house: Clean one small area every day
- Learn a new instrument or skill: 20 minutes of practice every day
Daily Habit Tracker
A daily habit tracker is a premade grid for tracking your daily habits. It has a list of your current habits going one direction and a box for each day of the month running in the other direction. You can fill in each habit you want to track for that month, and each day you complete that habit, either cross it off or color in the box of the corresponding day. Using different colors for each habit or on different days will turn your habit tracker into a colorful mosaic of success.
The benefit of this format is that you can track many habits at a time. This can also be a downside, however, since it can be difficult to manage a long list of habits, especially if you are just starting out.
Monthly Habit Tracker
A month view habit tracker allows you to track your habits inside mini calendars that are each dedicated to one habit. Each calendar has a 5 x 7 grid with the boxes you don’t need blocked out. Simply fill in each day with an ‘x’ or circle to indicate that you have completed the habit.
Calendar view trackers create a more visual experience, but you won’t be able to fit as many habits on one page. This can be an advantage if you are just starting out since you shouldn’t try to tackle too many new habits at once.
Bullet Journal Habit Tracker
A Bullet Journal is a plain notebook with a dot grid pattern used to intentionally manage and prioritize tasks based on urgency and importance. They are extremely customizable, which makes them an ideal companion for those who want a versatile system that flourishes on creativity.
📘 Learn more about the Bullet Journal system and how to use it at work.
Bullet journal habit trackers take on all shapes and sizes. They are custom designed each month in your bullet journal, generally matching a theme of colors and visuals specific to that month. Bullet journal habit trackers can be a daily grid, monthly calendars, or a whole new design of your choosing. If you want to save time or don’t have the creative urge, you can print bullet journal habit templates to stick inside of your journal.
Habit Tracker Printables
Daily Habit Tracker Printable
Use our daily habit tracker template to track your habits in a daily grid. We’ve left blank areas for you to fill in the current month and the list of habits you hope to achieve.
Monthly Habit Tracker Printable
Use our monthly habit tracker template to track your habits in a monthly calendar view. It’s customizable for any month. Simply black out the boxes you don’t need to create each habit calendar.
Bullet Journal Habit Tracker Printable
Use our downloadable habit tracker designed specifically for bullet journals. Save yourself some time with our convenient bullet journal templates in both daily or calendar formats. These printable pages are sized (5 x 8 inches) to be pasted directly inside your bullet journal. Simply trim the edges to fit after printing.
Habit Tracker Apps
If you’re more of a digital person, you might have better luck tracking your habits with a habit tracking app. There are plenty of options to choose from that offer various incentives for maintaining your daily habits.
Habitica lets you gamify your habits by offering in-app incentives for your avatar, such as battle armor, mysterious pets, magic skills, and quests.
StickK forces you to put your money where your mouth is when it comes to building a habit. Set a goal and an accompanying commitment. For example, you might put $100 on the line to motivate yourself to lose 10 pounds in the next 6 weeks. If you fail to complete your goal, your money will be sent to a person or charity of your choosing.
Other Habit Tracking Apps:
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