Here she goes again talking about habits. Yes, here I go again because the word ‘habit’ is probably the best word that I used and came to understand in 2020.
It all started when I read Atomic Habits by James Clear. I recommend it to everyone and anyone, and I even signed up to James Clear’s weekly emails which is something I would recommend for you to do too.
Related post: Five Email Newsletters Worth Subscribing To
Habits are the base of everything you do and everything you are. Once you learn to incorporate good habits into your everyday life while getting rid of the bad habits, you’ll become the best version of yourself.
The best thing that I did for myself last year to get on top of my habits was to design a habit tracker to use monthly.
What is a habit tracker?
I guess it kind of says what it is on the tin, but using my bullet journal (yes I am now one of those people), I designed a large grid divided like an Excel spreadsheet that tracks my habits.
I built my template based on something like the below (many ideas and inspiration can be found on Pinterest). I add in the habits that I want to stick to every day and then by filling in the squares each day, I can see whether I’m able to stick to my habit or if I need to adapt and change.
For example, in January I wanted to start waking at 7am each day, so that goes in there. I want to make sure I read each day, so that also goes in there. I decided to give up Diet Coke and chocolate for the month of January so they also go in there. The same thing for 10,000 steps.
How does this help?
The habit tracker helps because you are holding yourself accountable. You are able to track that goal you set out for yourself and determine whether you’re achieving it or completely off-course.
The habit tracker will also give you that incentive to want to colour in those squares each day, helping you stick to what you set out to do. You wont want any gaps in your habit tracker so you’ll be more likely to stick to the habits you started.
There is no point in lying on your habit tracker because the only person you are lying to is yourself. If you miss a day, make a note of it or leave it blank. You’ll be able to go back to the tracker at the end of the month and see how well or how badly you’ve done.
I missed four days of December where I didn’t get my 10,000 steps in and it’s only made me more determined to get my steps in every day of January, so the habit tracker can even be a motivator in itself.
Related post: Five Bad Habits I’m Quitting
The two-day rule
Never miss a habit twice. That’s my rule. Once you miss a habit two days in a row, it’s easier to fall into that habit and keep on missing it.
Say with my 10,000 steps each day. If I miss today and then miss tomorrow, I’ll feel less motivated to get the steps on the third day. However, if I say, ok I missed my steps yesterday so I better get them today, it will make me more likely to reach my 10,000 steps the following day as my head is back in it.
Missing a habit two days in a row causes a ripple effect and leads you down the path of continually skipping these habits. Try not to get into the routine of skipping habits more than one day at a time.
Related post: How I Got My Life Back on Track
Why should I bother?
Creating good habits and sticking at them will probably be one of the best decisions of your life. One way to help you to stick to these new habits is by tracking them and holding yourself accountable.
By creating new habits in my every day life; waking up earlier, reading every day, getting my 10,000 steps in, drinking water etc. I’ve become a better and healthier person.
I want to wake up and tick off my ‘Wake up at 7am’ habit and start my day by already achieving something. The habit tracker works and it will hopefully prepare me in the future to not need to track my habits as they will be ingrained and I will do them naturally.
Do you have any new habits for 2021? Let me know!