“Life is habit. Or rather life is a succession of habits.”- Samuel Becket
We all want to become a better version of ourselves. It’s a universal longing. But what sets apart those who actually do something about it from those who only daydream about it?
It’s fairly simple: developing good habits and getting rid of bad ones. Simple, but not easy. Not easy, but not impossible.
So, let’s start getting good habits, improving ourselves, achieving our goals and changing our lives. Here’s how:
Small Actionable Steps
It’s what we do day in and day out that counts. These small, daily habits, however inconsequential they may seem in the grand scheme of things, are the building blocks of our goals and lives.
So while big hairy audacious goals are great for your vision board or vision spread in your bullet journal, they mean nothing in everyday life.
But by breaking down goals into smaller actionable steps, you take them from the realm of daydream to concrete to-dos. You are then able to focus your time and effort on specific tasks that build over time.
For instance, a goal of writing a novel may start with developing the habit of writing 500 words a day. A goal of getting good grades in school may need to start with a habit as simple as not hitting your snooze button in the morning so you no longer get late for your classes.
Simply put, you can’t change what you don’t track. Tracking the things we do every day makes us more conscious and accountable for our actions.
By monitoring our actions, we will also be able to see what’s working and what’s not. Consequently, we can make the necessary adjustments.
For instance, your goal could be developing stronger core muscles and you plan to achieve that by doing as many sit-ups as you can in 10 minutes every morning. It helps to have a daily progress-tracker to note if a) you actually do it and b) how many sit-ups you were able to do.
By the end of a certain time period, you’ll be able to see not just how consistent you were, but also how effective this new habit is in helping you reach your goal.
You might find, for example, that you ended up skipping a lot of days because your body needed time to recover and that there’s not much difference between how many sit-ups you could do at the beginning versus how many you can do at the end.
Armed with this information, you may decide to replace sit-ups with planks. Research says it’s more effective for developing core muscles.
There are many different tools and apps that you can use to track your progress on building a habit, but our favorite is the bullet planner. It’s simple, efficient, and uniquely suited as a habit tracker.
When it comes to creating habit tracker spreads on your bullet planner, you can choose from many different templates or design your own.
You can be artistic or minimalist. You can use different colors or materials. Regardless of your aesthetics or taste or even artistic abilities, you can make a bullet planner habit tracker work for you. Click here to download a free String & Space Habit-Tracker template.
How to Get Started with Habit Tracking
Start with a Goal
What is something you want to accomplish? Now, what are the habits you will need to accomplish it? Be as specific as possible. It also helps to write this all down.
here is nothing stopping you from simultaneously working on as many habits as you want. But if discipline and consistency are not your strongest suits, it’s okay to start with the easiest first. Don’t despise small beginnings.
We all have bad habits we could do without. But, as experts will tell you, it’s easier to replace a habit or behavior than to give it up entirely.
Look at your list of habits and reframe all the negatives into positives.
Break it Down
What is that something that you will need to do every day for the next week, month, or however long your timeframe is? Be as specific as possible.
This is the fun part. Create a habit tracker spread that you will need to mark every day for progress or completion.
Habit-trackers are usually designed to be used for an entire month or a single week. You can use habit-trackers for both short-term or long-term goals. Tailor it to suit your own timeline for your goal.
Rinse and Repeat
If you complete the entire tracking period and you feel like the habit is not quite second nature to you yet, turn to a fresh page on your bullet planner and start over. Track for as long as you feel the need to.
Building a habit requires determination and consistency. You will miss some days or perhaps even fail to meet the deadlines you give yourself. Every day you have to make a choice to keep going.
But having your progress laid out on paper can be just the inspiration and motivation you need, and that can make all the difference.
You can visually track how far you’ve come and how much farther you need to go. The concept of success becomes a trajectory, rather than a destination.
Plus, every day that you do what you set out to do is an achievement in itself.
Using a habit tracker will go a long way in helping ensure that a habit will take root and grow, and eventually lead to the accomplishment of a goal or a lasting life change.
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