If you've tried to establish new habits or break old ones before, you probably know that it's easier said than done. You may start well, but gradually, the enthusiasm decreases, and the old habits creep back in. Maintaining a consistent routine of habits, both personal and professional, can be difficult without a cue to encourage us in the short term. This is where habit tracking becomes a powerful tool that can transform your life. As a remote worker seeking a better work-life balance, habit tracking can be especially beneficial.

In his impactful book, The Principles of Psychology, William James, a renowned philosopher, and psychologist, described living creatures as "bundles of habits". In his view, forming habits makes our actions more efficient and purposeful, hence making them less tiring.

In this article, we will explore the concept of habit tracking, its effectiveness, and how you can integrate it into your daily routine.

What is a habit tracker?

Despite our best intentions to improve our lifestyle habits, we often fall short. This is where a habit tracker can be invaluable. It's a simple tool that provides immediate proof of whether or not we've followed through on a habit. It marks our progress in a readily available format, whether it's daily, weekly, or monthly tables.

Suppose you are someone who is struggling to form new habits. In that case, continuous tracking can serve as a powerful method for promoting accountability and focus, acting as a mirror reflecting either our growth or inactivity.

Habit tracking doesn’t need to be daunting. Whether you lean towards traditional paper and pen or digital methods, employing a goal-oriented system that aligns with your preference enhances the chances of habit formation, making it vital for achieving more in our lives.

Reasons you should use a habit tracker

  • Recognition.
    The first step to improving anything is recognizing the current status. With habit tracking, you can be aware of your existing habits, both good and bad. This awareness is the foundation of all change. Once we have a clear picture of our habits, we can then set realistic, attainable goals for change, which is where habit tracking comes into play.

    With proper habit tracking, not only can you document what you're currently doing, but you also start to understand how often you're doing it, when you're doing it, and sometimes even why. By noting these patterns, you can start to recognize areas for improvement or new habits to form.
  • Responsibility.
    Seeing your habits noted down, you can no longer ignore them. This self-awareness instigated by habit tracking cultivates accountability.

    Suddenly, you become more aware of the decisions you are making daily. Each recorded habit is a choice you've made and seeing empty or filled slots makes it harder to avoid responsibility. You become accountable to yourself which directly translates into a strengthened commitment to positive changes.
  • Reflection.
    With this visual representation of your habits, you can easily reflect on your actions, behaviors, and routines. It's a graphical reminder that prompts action, this visual evidence keeps you honest with yourself, sparking the urge to improve daily habits.
  • Reinforcement.
    Each time you mark that you've completed a beneficial activity, you reinforce the positive behavior. You're feeding that craving for achievement, and before you know it, you're creating a routine of good habits. The magic of seeing progress unfold sends a signal that you're advancing toward your goals, thereby thrusting your motivation further into overdrive. Habit tracking, in essence, becomes like a good addiction, relentlessly fuelling your desire for growth with each mini-victory.
  • Realization.
    There's a sense of satisfaction in tracking your habits regularly. Habit tracking is an effective tool to keep you centered and dedicated, spotlighting the journey over the destination. There's an undeniable gratification in observing your progress expand consistently. And when the process ignites pleasure, it naturally boosts your determination. By better understanding and managing your actions and routines, you pave the way to unlock your unique potential, nurturing it until it fully blossoms.

Tips for successful habit tracking

1. Set your intentions

Success in habit tracking fundamentally lies in the understanding of the reasons behind the creation of a habit. It's crucial to question the end results you envision and the timeline you've set, with questions such as: why do we want to achieve those results? and how will they benefit us? to motivate us from the beginning. This forms a kind of roadmap for your journey in forming habits. With clarity on your intentions, the next step is to transform this understanding into specific, workable, and most importantly, attainable goals.

2. Choose one habit at a time

Choose a habit that aligns with your key life goals. Begin with building one habit instead of multiple ones at the same time. Success is easier when focus is singular. Consider starting another habit only after consistent progress is visible with your first one via your preferred habit-tracking method.

3. Pick your habit-tracking method

A variety of habit trackers exist, depending on your needs and preferences. You might be a fan of the old-school pen-and-paper style, or perhaps you find digital options more handy. For our friends working remotely or anyone looking to improve their daily routine, we've gone ahead and crafted a free habit tracker template in Notion.

The key here is selecting a habit-tracking approach that matches your style, as this increases your chances of staying committed to it.

4. Ensure your habit tracker is always accessible

Regardless of whether you opt for a digital or a traditional tracker, it is essential to keep your habit tracker consistently within your reach. This makes the habit-tracking process more convenient.

5. Just start!

It's crucial to bear in mind that habit-building is a long game, not a race against the clock. Embrace the process, showing kindness and patience to yourself. Over time, you'll undoubtedly start to see the transformative effects of your persistence.

James Clear, the famed author of 'Atomic Habits', says, "You do not rise to the level of your goals, you fall to the level of your systems". This quote underpins the importance of tracking systems like habit trackers in achieving success.

All in all, habit tracking can be a potent tool in your quest to build a happier, more fulfilled life as a remote worker. Although it may seem daunting at first, remember that the key is progress, not perfection. Start small by incorporating a few habits you want to build or improve. Enter them into your habit tracker and commit to tracking your progress every day. Remember that pauses in the process are normal; don't let them discourage you. Instead, celebrate and enjoy the day-to-day progress toward your goals!

Whether your goal is to exercise regularly, be more productive, learn a new skill, or nurture your relationships, habit tracking can provide the insights and inspiration you need to succeed. Ready to take charge of your life and achieve your goals?
start tracking your habits today and unlock your full potential!