Few weeks ago, we looked at the 1 thing that successful people do regularly with habits that makes them an achiever — they track their daily goals and habits — and this week, we will show you how to do this as well. Something I’ve learned over the past couple of years is, if you track something (it could be your eating habits, work time, exercise, how you spend your income, and so on), you become aware of the reality of that issue.
For this reason, the majority of diet gurus advise you to keep tracks of what you eat for one week so that you can have an awareness of the way you actually eat before starting your diet & exercise regimen.
Tracking your daily habits and the progress you are making towards your goals is another strategy you can adopt to see reality and devise a means through which you can clearly review the things you’ve been able to achieve over a set period of time. Keeping tracks also helps you stay motivated; if I can bring about a change in certain areas of my life and do this once a day for a set period, it encourages me to keep doing it.
If you’ve some habits and goals in mind that need to be tracked, you can learn how to do so in this post.
Mobile Apps You Can Use
Since we are in the digital era, there are myriads of smartphone apps you can use to track habits. Those can offer you an array of fantastic features and benefits, including convenience (they are ideal to use on-the-go) and often almost zero financial investment. However, the issue is, they are generally hyper-focused on only a single aspect, like spending, reading, what you eat, etc. And occasionally, you need to get a more comprehensive big picture, which will help dissect everything linked together.
The Old School Method Is Sometimes the Best
I recommend you try the old school method of using a regular notebook or binder, which speaks to you. This lets you get all your tracking done in one place. You can even make it more personal if you like by using achievement stickers, paper texture, colors.
- First divide the notebook into 3 major sections.
- In the first section of the notebook, list those things that happen through the day as you go. You can use bullet points for this since your focus will be more on sequence or chronology than loads of specifics.
- Design a chart for the other section (you may use this basic technique from James Clear). On the left side, create a column listing every one of the habits you intend working on and across the top, write the days of the week or numbers for the days of the month. Graph paper is perfect for this since it will ensure your tracking stays neat, orderly. However, various templates are available that you can also print out as needed. Or better still, you can just quickly draw out any lines that are needed. Block off or check each habit on the chart as you fill it.
- Divide the third section of your notebook into specific habits that you seek to improve or change. Put down details about them (like date, duration, feelings, who was with you) in the appropriate spaces.
The first section will provide you with a broad context for your behaviors and the second will allow you to see how you are doing at a glance — both for individual habits as well as for collective ones.
Sections that have many Xs missing are those that you need to give a little more focus, or that you may require some help with. The third section will enable you to deep dive into those things you do; so, you will need to muse over them and find specific patterns or correlations.
Once you are sure everything’s set up and have gathered some data, you should make a standing appointment with yourself. For instance, you can choose every Saturday or the last day in the month to go back and do an in-depth analysis of what you have got. A good starting checkpoint you can consider is, looking at the gaps in the second section and then taking a looking at the things that took place immediately prior to those misses.
As you do this tracking, do keep this in mind: Your aim for doing this is not to attain perfection. No one is/can be perfect. You are tracking your habits and goals so that you can become a better version of yourself and don’t end up stagnant.