If you want to change your habits, you have to know if you’re changing them.  I would say there’s no better tool to do this than habit tracking, but I’m confident it’s the ONLY way to change your habits successfully, i.e., permanently. 

Habit tracking can make a significant difference in keeping consistency with your habits.  Here’s how.

Immediate Feedback: When you track your habits, you get immediate feedback on whether you’ve completed them.  This feedback helps you stay on track and provides a sense of accomplishment.  Imagine having a calendar where you cross off each day you stick with your routine.  Over time, this calendar becomes a record of your habit streak.

Increased Awareness: Awareness proceeds change, but only 100% of the time.  Habit tracking keeps you honest.  Often, we think we act better than we actually do.  Or, we choose to remember certain things while conveniently forgetting others, i.e., selective memory.  We become more aware of our actions by measuring and recording our behavior.  It’s like shining a light on our habits, making it harder to ignore them.

Trial and Error: Like a chef refining a recipe through trial and error, we improve our habits by adjusting and experimenting.  If one approach doesn’t work, we tweak it, just as a chef adjusts the amount of an ingredient.  Habit tracking allows us to see patterns and make informed adjustments.

Strategic Focus: While tracking all your habits might be overwhelming, focusing on a few essential ones is more effective.  Consistently tracking a few critical habits is better than sporadically tracking many.  Simplify your habit tracker to include only your most important routines.

Methods for Habit Tracking:

Bullet journal: This method of organizing your life using a notebook allows you to create a system for tracking habits.  It’s flexible and customizable.

Digital apps: Various habit-tracking apps allow you to log your habits electronically.  These apps often provide reminders and visual representations of your progress.

Calendar or spreadsheet: A simple calendar or spreadsheet can work well for manual tracking.  Mark each day you complete your habit, and watch your streak grow.

Before Jerry Seinfeld was a household name, he was asked for advice on being a better comedian.  Seinfeld said the key was to write jokes every day.  To make that happen, he hung a huge annual calendar on the wall and put a big red X every day he practiced his craft.  “After a few days, you’ll have a chain.  Just keep at it, and the chain will grow longer every day.  You’ll like seeing the chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt.  Your only job is not to break the chain.  Don’t break the chain.”

Unequivocally, my most successful clients tracked and shared their progress consistently.  Clients that didn’t (or don’t) were (or are) far less (but still) successful.

Remember, consistency is vital when it comes to habits.  Whether you choose manual tracking or digital tools, find the best method for you and stick with it!

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