One of the benefits of keeping a planner or bullet journal is that it will help you build new positive habits and to undertake big apparently onerous tasks, but breaking them down into manageable steps.
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The key about using a tracker to create new habits and to undertake big tasks is that it keeps you focussed on what you want to achieve.
A big lifestyle change, like becoming vegan, may appear daunting, however starting by eating a vegan diet three or four days a week and then increasing from there is much more manageable. Keeping track of these days is a great motivator.
Keeping a paper tracker is also a great way to hold yourself accountable. When you are actively coloring or marketing a day you have achieved a certain goal, or are using colored pens to indicate grades of achievement, it really helps to keep you motivated.
The key to making trackers work is to set yourself challenging yet realistic goals – and to set goals for habits you want to form. While it’s nice to get a sense of achievement from tracking something you already do daily, it’s not really going to accomplish a whole lot other than give you something to color daily. However, setting yourself a goal to do something you don’t wholeheartedly love doing daily, will give you a much higher sense of accomplishment, as well as move you closer to the habits you want to make.
Tracker Types and How to Use Them
There are many different types of trackers. We’ve listed some of the key ones below. All of these will help you create new and positive habits in your life. While you can track these simply on plain paper, we do have a complete set of printable trackers which contain all the habit trackers below. You will find more details here Life In Trackers.
Fruit & Veg Consumption
OK, so we all know we should be eating five pieces of fruit and veg a day, but do we put this into practice? This is one of the most straight forward things to track.
Add a general goal tracker means you have complete flexibility. This allows you to build short term habits and to provide motivation for short term goals. For example, you might use a general goal tracker to track studying for an exam.
There are a number of things we can track with your pets. Taking the dog for a walk is a great example. Not only can you track the days you take the dog for a walk, however you could also use different colors to track whether it was a long or short walk, different routes taken or even to identify who it was that took the dog for a walk (great for families who want to ensure that the whole family shares chores equally).
Some people just love recycling, whereas for others, it’s a chore. A recycling tracker is handy for ensuring that the recycling doesn’t build up and when done daily, it is much less of an onerous task. Use different color pens to indicate different recycling tasks, for example if you have taken bottles to a bottle recycling point.
Saving is a great thing to track (so much so, that in our Life In Trackers pack, we have included two savings trackers). Saving can include saving for the big picture, for example paying off the house mortgage, or it might simply include saving a bit of cash daily to spend on treats.
Podcasts make consuming content on the go so easy and they are so versatile. Podcasts make
This is something you may want to track for yourself or use to track the bathtime regime of other members of the family. Bathtime regime might include everything from taking makeup off before bed through to cleaning the bathtub after bathing.
Going to be early is something many people strive to do. An early bedtime will help you to wake up and feel fresh in the morning. However, for many people this is a challenge one way or another. Therefore a bedtime tracker is a great way to monitor the time you go to bed each night. It’s also a great way to watch for patterns and to see if the time you go to bed impacts other areas of your life.
There are a couple of ways you can go about tracking bedtime. You could set yourself a goal of the time you want to be in bed by and color the tracker to indicate whether you achieved this, or you could write the time you go to bed into the tracker daily to monitor the time you go to bed.
Blog and Blogging
Tracking blog and blogging is a double sided thing to track. If you are a blogger, you may want to keep track of the days you have blogged or worked on your blog. Even if you blog for personal reasons only, you may want to track how frequently you write a blog post.
Alternatively, if you read blog posts for entertainment and information, you may want to track your blog post consumption.
Another versatile thing to track is books (including audiobooks) and reading. You may want to track the days you read before bed or the days you read a self improvement book.
The most important meal of the day is also the one which is often the easiest to skip. Busy mornings and a tendency to run late can result in us skipping breakfast – even when we know we shouldn’t. A breakfast tracker is a good way to track the days we eat breakfast. Use different colored pens to mark the type of breakfast you have eaten or whether you ate at home or on route to work.
Brain training is something we can all benefit from and is easy to do. Set a goal to do a few minutes brain training a day and monitor how you get on daily.
Tracking budgets is another extremely versatile tracker (and one we have two versions of in our Life In Trackers set). This can include anything setting a budget for the amount you want to spend on shop bought coffee through to tracking the days the household has lived within budget. If you run your own business you may want to track your business spending within budget too.
Tracking calories is important to anyone who is monitoring their weight. You might use a tracker to track the number of calories you have consumed each day, to track the days you have consumed less than your calorie goal or simply to track the days you have counted calories.
A cash tracker is similar to a spending tracker or budget tracker. However, it is useful for keeping track of spending cash which sometimes can be difficult to do. Use it to track the days you have spent less than a certain amount of cash.
This is one for cat owners – keep track of when the cat litter has been changed (and maybe who does it).
This is a super-versatile thing to track. This might include tracking the days you don’t use chemicals in the house, days when you eat clean food or simply days when you have taken a step towards a more clean living life. Use different colored pens to indicate different types of clean living you are tracking.
Really! Keeping a clean sink is easy for some and a challenge for others. If you are inclined to let things build up in your sink and wash up only when you run out of plates, use this to set a goal to ensure the sink is clean every night. If you are part of a family or shared living group, use different colored pens to make a note of who has cleaned the sink.
There are a number of coffee (or hot drink) goals you might want to make and track. For example, you might want to track the days you don’t drink coffee after midday, or track the days when you drink decaffeinated coffee. If you are trying to reduce your caffeine intake, you might want to set a goal for the number of cups of coffee you want to drink a day and track this. Another popular thing to track with a coffee focus is the number or cost of coffees purchased daily.
Commenting is another super-flexible thing to track. This might include spreading positivity by making one nice comment to someone every day through to making comments on social media sites (or even NOT making comments on social media sites if you feel this is sucking up too much of your time).
Tracking your computer use is important. However you might also use a computer tracker to track healthy computer habits. For example, you might track the days you intentionally look away from your computer screen at regular intervals during the day or track the days you switch the computer off by a certain time at night.
Do you have a goal to do more home cooking? In that case a cooking tracker is just the thing. Home cooking is a great way to save money or cook more healthy food. A cooking tracker needn’t be just about cooking at home, it might also be used to track days you take a packed lunch rather than buy shop bought lunches.
Tracking your inbox is something that is important whether you have your own business or use email solely for personal use. There are so many ways you might want to use an email tracker. Track the days you clear your in box (or get it down to a manageable number) or track the days you achieve a goal to look at emails no more than x times a day. You might want to track the days when you send emails and perhaps use different colors to say who you have sent them too. We have included two email trackers in our Life In Tracker pack to allow for trackers to be used in different ways.
This is another super important and highly versatile thing to track. It is also very personal. Someone who doesn’t do any exercise at all, might want to track the days they do 15 minutes of brisk walking, while a marathon runner will have very different goals to track. Exercise might mean a visit to the gym or doing some zumba moves to YouTube videos. We’ve included three different exercise goals in our Life In Tracker pack to reflect the different types of exercise someone will do.
Fast Food / Junk Food
We might assume that everyone wants to track a decrease in eating fast food and junk food and therefore they might use a tracker to monitor the days they buy or consume fast food. However, a fast food tracker might be used to track days when a healthy alternative is chosen or days when less than a certain amount of money was spent on fast food.
A tracker to track the time you get up each day is useful for a variety of reasons. Use this to monitor
A general food tracker is versatile. Use this to monitor your food intake of certain food groups, to keep an eye on your food spending or simply to ensure you eat a balanced diet. Try using different colored pens to indicate different meal types. For example a different colored pen to mark shop bought meals and home cooked meals.
Keep track of the days you put out the garbage/rubbish or empty the bins from inside the house. This can also be used to monitor who takes out the garbage/rubbish.
A giving tracker is a great way to record the days when you have given something to someone. This needn’t be a financial something, just giving a smile to a stranger can help lighten someone’s day. Use different colored pens to indicate different types of giving.
Motivate yourself (or others) to hang up clothes and coats. This is a great habit to get into, not only does it keep things tidy
This is another hugely important thing to track and one which will be different for different people. Healthy habits include things like drinking enough liquid, eating a healthy diet, doing regular exercise etc. However, it might also include taking daily medication, specific health related exercise and other things. Therefore, a health tracker is a great way to monitor the habits you need for a healthy life.
Alternatively, you could use a health tracker to monitor how you feel each day. This is a good way to look for patterns in your health.
We spoke about giving as a positive habit above, however, giving help is another variation. Making a goal to help someone else each day is a great way to increase karma and pay it forward. A habit of helping is also a great way to lead a more kind life.
Getting into a regular habit of doing housework is one that many people strive for. With so many other pressures on our time, housework can often fall by the wayside, therefore a housework tracker will help keep on track with daily chores.
Drinking enough water is something that is important for all of us. Use a hydration tracker to keep track of the days you meet your water consumption goals.
Laundry / Laundry Bin / Ironing
Keep on top of the laundry tasks and get into positive laundry habits by setting yourself a goal to ensure that dirty laundry is put into the laundry basket daily and to monitor how often laundry is done. Use different colored pens to mark different types of laundry.
Keeping a journal is a positive habit to have. Use a tracker to help you keep on track with writing your journal.
Writing a daily list or lists of things to do is extremely helpful for reducing stress and increasing productivity. Make a goal to create a list each night of the things to do tomorrow. This is a habit which will help a whole variety of people and situations.
Use a medication tracker to monitor your daily medication. This is also useful to look for patterns when used in conjunction with other trackers. For example, when viewed alongside a health tracker, this can help show how any medication affects how you feel.
Many successful people start the day with meditation. Track and monitor the days you meditate and build a positive meditation habit.
A mindset tracker can be used in many ways. Make an index for yourself as to the different types of mindset you need to achieve in your daily life and color the tracker daily accordingly-
This is one for the spring and summer months. Keep an unruly lawn under control with regular mowing. Use different colored pens to track who does the mowing if this is a shared family task.
No Junk Food, No Smoking, No PC
Personally, we like to set positive goals rather than negative ones. For example, ‘eat healthy’ rather than ‘no junk food’. However, when you are looking at making big important changes in your life, it’s useful to really laser focus in on your goal. Therefore track the days you haven’t done something such as eaten
There are a number of positive phone habits we can start. One would be to turn off the phone overnight or to have ‘away time’ from the phone. Another would be to track your phone usage each day. If you are a blogger or have your own business, you may also want to get into the habit of making daily calls.
We have two different phone trackers in our Life In Trackers pack to take into account the different ways thsi can be used.
Depending on your goals, you may want to spend less time on Pinterest or you may want to ensure you spend more time on Pinterest. This tracker is particularly useful for bloggers or business owners, who want to ensure they post new content to Pinterest regularly.
Keep track of the reading you do daily. This might be reading for self improvement, reading for entertainment or a mix. A daily reading habit needn’t be specific to books, you might make a goal to spend 15 minutes a day reading online articles or catching up with news on the local news app.
We all lead such busy times, we often don’t take the time out to relax. This can have several knock-on effects, not least it can compound stress. Make a habit of daily relaxation. Whether it’s a catnap during the day or just a 15 minute wind-down before bed, making some relaxing ‘me’ time is important for wellbeing.
A sleep tracker is useful for tracking the length and quality of sleep. It’s also a great way to look for different sleep patterns over the month.
Encourage yourself to take the stairs rather than the life or elevator with a tracker. Taking the stairs is a great form of exercise.
Keep track of the days you meet your step goal with a step tracker. Perhaps use different colored pens to indicate the days you nearly hit your goal, the days you passed the goal and the days you smashed the goal.
Supplement and Vitamins
Use a tracker to help you monitor your supplement and vitamin intake.
A daily task tracker is a versatile way to track different tasks. You might set yourself a goal to do a specific task every day or alternatively, you might set yourself the goal of achieving three tasks on your to-do list.
A tracker to help you monitor your tidy goals is useful for anyone who doesn’t embrace tidying. This can be as simple as setting yourself a 15 minute a day tidy challenge or something as complex as a declutter project.
Tracking time is another big thing to monitor. Whether we want to track the days we spent more or less than a certain period of time doing something, keep track of the days we did something by a specific time finished by a particular time, or monitor what time we did something. For example, set yourself a goal of the time you want to finish work daily and track the days you achieve this, or set a goal of how long you want to spend watching TV and track that. With time being such a big topic and full of different time related habits, we have included two tracker versions in our Life In Trackers pack.
Are you trying to move to a more vegan lifestyle? Use a tracker to mark the days you have achieved your goals until this becomes second nature.
Keep track of the weather and see how it affects you by using this in tandem with other trackers. Use different colored pens to indicate whether it is hot or cold, rainy or dry etc.
Writing is another big topic. There are several writing habits someone might want to embrace. These include writing a daily blog post, article, letter to a friend. Writing is a skill that needs to be practiced, therefore regular writing is helpful in a variety of ways.
Planner and bullet journal trackers are a great way to make new habits and reinforce positive existing habits.
Get Started With Habit Trackers – Special Offer
We have a lot of free habit trackers here for you to check out – Free Habit Trackers. However, you might also be interested in our SPECIAL OFFER premium pack of trackers. Our ‘Life In Trackers’ set of planners includes habit trackers which will help you keep track of the habits and routines we have mentioned about. Check them out here – LIFE IN TRACKERS SPECIAL OFFER