To Reach Your Goals, Track Your Habits

February 21, 2017, Epoch Times

Parents are talented jugglers—always operating with a number of balls in the air. Aiming for fitness, professional, financial, or other goals while managing a household and nurturing children can be challenging.

Recently, I came across a tool that has helped me immensely to keep my priorities straight and to stay on track each day. This tool is as low-tech as it gets—requiring only a pen and paper, but it has been very effective for me.

This tool: a Habit Tracker.

I first saw a Habit Tracker while exploring the trend of bullet journaling on Instagram. (If you’re unfamiliar with bullet journals, dive into #bujo.)

A commonly used page in a bullet journal is a monthly Habit Tracker. On a grid, the days of the month are listed one one axis and a list of actions to be taken each day is listed on the other axis. The actions taken each day are marked on the grid. That is it.

I’ve been surprised at just how motivating filling in as many boxes in my Habit Tracker as possible has been. It may seem rather silly, but I’m pulled toward the goal of filling up my Habit Tracker, and I’ve completed more daily tasks than I otherwise would have as a result.

Rather than including this graph in a journal, I’ve hung mine on a wall in my office where I notice it throughout the day.

Posting it on my wall has offered a number of benefits, including providing external accountability. My children and husband are amused by my Habit Tracker and check it frequently to see how I’m doing. This has provided me another layer of motivation to maintain my good habits.

At the end of the month, I’m left with a powerful visual, which shows me what areas I’ve done well in and which I need to improve upon.

Overall, this very simple method has improved my productivity and kept me more focused on my priorities. I find myself wasting less time and making progress in the things that matter.

If you’d like to try a Habit Tracker for yourself, check out Kara Benz’s blog on the topic at bohoberry.com. Scroll down for an image of her bullet journal habit tracker as an example.

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”

—Aristotle

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