I think most of us bullet journaler’s favourite pages are the monthly habit tracker pages. They just look so cute and at the beginning of every month you just feel so motivated to fill it ALL out. This month, you are not going to slack, you are going to do ALL the things and fill out the tracker, so at the end of the month you can look back and be proud.
Then you almost never do. Your tracker looks most of the time kind of empty and it stresses you more than increases your productivity and motivation. It stresses me anyway. I hope I am not alone with this.
I like habit trackers. It is a great way to see what you did each month and how often you did it. But there are always some rows that are nearly empty – working out, oops, and there are rows that are always full, making it almost kind of pointless putting them into a tracker.
So how to get the most out of this tracker? How to use it everyday and carry out the goals that you set for yourself? I just know realise, that this blog post is not only bullet journal related, but also self-development 🙂
As the name says, it is a HABIT tracker. I think most of us actually forget this and put like all types of stuff in there, just to have a lot to do and cross off, and at the end of the day, you realise that you never even got around to do all these. I know, there are some people, that also put stuff into habit trackers, that they only want to do like twice a week, or occasionally. If it doesn‘t frustrates you, then go ahead. But I think a habit tracker is for tracking things, you want to make into a habit, so you have to do them everyday. At least, that is what I think a habit tracker is. (Do you agree? Or you have a different view? Share it with me in the comments!)
I collected some tips, that you could do to get the most out of your habit tracker. I hope these are going to be helpful for you! If you have any more tips, please, share it with me and others down in the comments section!
Choose only a few habits at once
This is my biggest mistake. I see habit trackers online that are jam-packed and I like the way it looks. It kind of motivates me, because it looks like I am going to be busy and that is a great feeling. But actually, it is very overwhelming.
You DON‘T have to put many things in your habit tracker. If most of it stays empty every month anyway, that is only going to upset you. Please, do not put so much pressure on yourself and try to make 15 things into a habit every month. That is not going to work. Focus on one or two things, that you want to create into a habit. It takes time, to form a habit and fully integrate it into our lives. It is hard enough, to pick up only one new habit, it is nearly impossible to pick up 10 in one month.
I know, you think: „but it is going to look very silly if I just put 3 things in my habit tracker. The page is going to look empty and it doesn‘t look so cool like others habit trackers.“
Well, it actually doesn‘t really matter, if it doesn‘t look so full like others habits trackers. Believe me, they also don‘t fill out most of them. It is just so much that they would have to do every day in case to fill them out – so don‘t be worried about this. Ask yourself: do I want to really pick up some new habits and improve my life or do I want my habit tracker to look pretty and full? I would always choose the former.
You can also put something else on that page. Like a mood tracker – that is what I am going to do in May. That way, you can see your habits and your mood all on one page!
Try to „don‘t break the chain“
This tip actually ties in with the last one. I think I already mentioned this method in one of my earlier blog posts. So with habit trackers, most of the time, you want to do each thing every day. That is really not easy. Actually, that is really hard. Don‘t forget, that you actually change your life by doing this, you change your daily routines and by doing something every day it is going to change a lot in the long run. So yeah, it is of course hard to do.
So make a game out of it. Image, that every day that you accomplish the task, it is going to add to a chain. And if you don‘t do it, it is going to break the chain. That is what you don‘t want. So just try to not break the chain.
30 days is actually a long time to do something every day. Life gets in the way, or you get sick, or there is something else that keeps you from doing the task. So if you think, it is nearly impossible for you to do the task you want to do every day, cut the time. Set 7 days as a goal. Then you can‘t break the chain for 7 days. Or two weeks. Whatever floats your boat. It could even be like 3 days – that sounds like me trying to get into working out, haha.
Check in daily
If I don‘t check my habit tracker daily, and not just once but multiple times, at the end of the day I just sit there and ask myself: how is my tracker so empty for the day? It is because I just kind of forget what I wrote in my tracker. If you want to pick up new habits, chances are, these tasks are actually not part of your life now. So if you don‘t remind yourself that you have to do something new that day, that you normally wouldn‘t do, you can easily forget. Then you sit there at the end of the day with your tracker and can‘t fill in anything, and feel like a mess. Not a good approach.
I am also guilty of not even checking my habit tracker every day. Most times, I just feel mentally so bad (I don‘t even know what is happening to me now, maybe I explain in a blog post, if you would read that, please let me know), that I don‘t touch my bullet journal for days. Then, when I finally do, I have already forgotten what I did 4 days back and can‘t even fill out my tracker properly. That is bad if you are really serious about picking up new habits. If you don‘t want to fill in your journal every day, you can just pick up your phone and make a quick reminder in your calendar. Afterwards you can still fill up your tracker.
Adapt your habit tracker
Also guilty of this (this blog post makes me think about my bullet journal game a lot, haha): at the end of each month, don‘t forget to adapt your habit tracker. Don‘t just mindlessly copy everything you wrote in it last month. Think about if you really want to keep all of these task? Are there too many? Sort out the most important and limit them to 2-3. Are there some that you already picked up as a habit? Get rid of them. Even if it feels nice to fill it out every day, but it doesn‘t give you anything in a habit tracker. It only creates a feeling, that you accomplished something (which is true), but you have to carry out the new habits and reward yourself by filling them out!
Try tracking on weekly/daily pages
You could also try tracking on your weekly or daily pages. You maybe see this a lot with water or like mini trackers. I find that quite useful, because it is more likely that you use your weekly or daily page everyday, so you don‘t even have to go to your habit tracker, you can do everything on your weekly/daily. I think it makes it easier to actually fill out a tracker.
But also, it is only applicable if you don‘t track a lot of things. You can track maybe 3-4 things on your weeklies or dailies, but not more. But that is not a bad thing – just concentrate on a couple of tasks.
Make your habit tracker pretty
Okay, so this tip is for those, who just can‘t seem to use their trackers. It is a lot easier if you find it pretty. There are a lot of ways to make the tracker pretty and of course you can find a lot of ideas on Pinterest and Instagram. I leave you some pictures from my Instagram, where I show you some of my trackers and my Pinterest board of bullet journals!
Do you see how guilty I am of all the above? My habit tracker pressured me so much, that I had to write this blog post. Currently, I am setting up a new bullet journal, that is going to start in May, so follow me on Instagram if you want to see soon how I set it up and what my new tracker looks like!
This is my bullet journal Pinterest board, where I saved a lot of cool ideas! Wanna check it out?
Please feel free to share any tips about bullet journaling in the comments below!