Been dying to create a bullet journal habit tracker but have no idea where you should start? I can understand that! Luckily, we have an incredible post by Sabine from PawsandPaper to explain how and why you should use one!
Make The Most Of Your Bullet Journal Habit Tracker
How is your exercise routine going? When did you finish your last book? How is the new language you wanted to learn coming along? How often do you really use dental floss? Do you need a little help building your habits? Habit tracker to the rescue!
When I started my bullet journal journey, one of my biggest expectations (apart from getting more organized) was to have something to help me build strong(er) habits.
Before my bullet journal, I used a Filofax planner and had no habit tracker. When I started my bullet journal, I had already heard about the habit tracker and incorporated it right away.
In my Filofax, I could write down “exercise”, “go for a walk”, “take vitamins” etc as often as I wanted. At the end of the day, it was just another item on my long to-do lists and much more often than not the things I originally wanted to turn into healthy habits were not checked off.
Yes, another list. And this is the best one you will ever use. There is something compelling about writing down the habits you want to work on every month and checking in with yourself every day.
If you write this down in your ongoing to-do lists it will, I repeat, it WILL get lost, and you WILL forget those things you wanted to work on.
In a habit tracker, you have everything on one page. Every habit and every day of the month. As the month progresses, the habit tracker will give you a great visual of how you are doing.
The simple act of filling out a habit tracker every day holds you accountable and is a great reminder.
What habits should I track in my Bullet journal habit tracker?
It is entirely up to you. Simple as that. I have seen habit trackers on Instagram where people track whether or not they showered on that day and I have witnessed trackers with which people motivated themselves to learn Japanese.
Anything can go on there.
NO! Wait. I shouldn’t say that. Anything that is really important to YOU should go on there. Especially, budding habits that are not too overwhelming and don’t stretch your willpower to the point where you don’t want to get out of bed anymore.
I used to be pretty sporty and then, well, life happened.
Did I write down “run 10 miles” in my habit tracker? Nope. That’s unrealistic. I started tracking how often I go on walks, do brief yoga sessions, evening stretches and so on.
Small and doable steps that lead you in the right direction. The more often I could fill these out, the more motivation I had to keep going.
If a good majority of days were filled out at the end of the month, I would either stick to the same habits for another month or would step up my game.
What if it’s not working?
Take my quest to become more athletic as an example. Each month I put activities on my habit tracker that are somewhat challenging but can be done almost every day.
If at the end of the month, I really feel like a particular activity (like going on a brisk walk) became second nature to me, I would add something else to my tracker.
Or, if, at the end of the month, I could see that a certain habit doesn’t want to form (yoga……), I will add it again for another month. If at the end of another month I’m still not even remotely the next Adriene (“Yoga with Adriene”), I start to dissect this goal of mine.
There must be reasons other than pure laziness that “yoga” has only been ticked off twice in the past month, right? Right.
It shows me that I have to find something else because it’s just not happening with me and Adriene (Sorry, Adriene. You are wonderful. It’s me, not you!).
For me those reasons were space - I really don’t have a quiet space where I can do yoga uninterrupted for more than 2.5 minutes - and my wrists which are tiny and don’t seem to take to yoga too well.
Right now yoga is not for me and my habit tracker, whether I like it or not, shows me that. Don’t throw a habit that doesn’t work overboard. Substitute it with something that works better for you. I’m on a stationary bike now….
Which habit tracker should I use?
There are three main types of habit trackers. The circular habit tracker which consists of concentric circles that are sectioned according to the number of days in the month.
It looks like a pizza with very thin slices and one big slice was taken out - that’s where you put your habits.
If you have fulfilled a task, you colour in the space in the “pizza slice”. This is more elaborate to make but looks so good in your journal! (Lucky for you, I have affordable circular habit tracker printables in my Etsy shop.)
Go Linear With Your Bullet Journal Habit Tracker
Then there is the good old linear tracker. For this, you write the days of the month on top in one line across the page, the habits on the left and down the page.
When a task is completed, you mark it off on the according to the line. Simple, effective, relatively quick to set up. (Yup, you can find this in my shop as well.)
The third one I would call the box tracker.
Basically, each habit gets a box with all the days of the month, making it look like a little box. A completed task is marked off directly on the date.
Alternatively to boxes, people draw flowers with each petal representing a day or any other shapes in which individual elements represent days.
With all of these variations, I like to add a personal touch. This may be some doodles, drawings, some washi, and very often an inspirational quote or a little monthly mantra.
At the end of the month, your habit tracker can look super colourful - depending on what colours you pick and, of course, how many tasks you completed.
Yeah! I’m on board!
Congratulations on your decision! You adopted one of the simplest and best accountability systems out there.
The simple act of tracking your habits and activities will make you more aware of your strengths and weaknesses.
Your habit tracker will show you if you fell off the waggon too many times or if you can give yourself major props for sticking to a particular routine.
You don’t set a big, massive goal for yourself - your habit tracker only cares if you did the task on this ONE day. Which brings us to the best motivational sentiment of “one day at a time”.
One day at a time you will be able to build healthy habits, your productivity will most likely increase, and you will start working on some harder-to-tackle tasks and goals. Have fun and enjoy the journey!