What Is a Habit Tracker | How To Use It | When to Use It | Habit Tracker with Bullet Journal | Ideas | Layouts
Creating a life that serves us instead of the one we serve has driven the rise of interest in journaling. The need to track our habits became incredibly important in order to take control of our daily habits. And essentially to be at the helm of our own lives. Habit trackers, as mentioned by the author of the book Atomic Habits, James Clear, are used by elite performers allowing them to measure, qualify, and track their progress, providing them feedback on whether they are on course or off course. Although this practice is common amongst athletes, it is now adopted by a significant number of individuals across the world. People from all walks of life now use the bullet journal habit tracker to achieve professional and personal success.
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What is a habit tracker?
A habit tracker is a system of monitoring the progress of your daily habits. They can be done via apps or through other digital systems available nowadays. Or by using the traditional way of pen and paper. You will be surprised at how many prefer the last option. And that’s because there is something therapeutic about creating your own habit tracker and filling it in. However, each way has its own purpose. Just imagine how easy wearable technology has made tracking our fitness goals. Keeping tabs on the distance, time, calories burnt, and steps recorded throughout the day.
The bullet journal habit tracker is the most popular way of tracking habits. A bullet journal is a notebook that usually tends to have dots on its pages. This allows its users to create shapes, lines and page layouts based on their own preferences. Ryder Carroll developed the bullet journal method in 2013. It’s for organizing, scheduling, noting reminders, to do lists, brainstorming and other tasks. Since then bullet journaling and habit tracker bullet journal content has filled some of the most popular social media platforms. Inspiring and helping like minded individuals to create their own systems that will allow them to lead happier and healthier lives.
How to use a habit tracker
There is no one right way to track habits and use a habit tracker, it’s a personal choice. How you prefer to track your habits as well as what to track is up to your own needs. There are periods where you would want to focus more on your health goals and others where you would like to track your cleaning habits or the time you spend with your loved ones or the books you read.
No matter what you are tracking, you always need to know where you want to be eventually and what steps you need to take in order to get there. These steps or small sub-goals can become your daily, weekly or monthly goals in your tracking system.
If you are tracking mastering a skill set such as watercolor painting, then you may want to set that as a goal in the first month with 6 hours worth of practice hours, in the second perhaps managing to paint a flower and so forth until you achieve a level where you feel comfortable painting anything that your soul desires.
When to use a habit tracker
According to James Clear, a habit tracker works as a reminder, motivator and provides immediate satisfaction. Those are three important elements that you need in order to stick to your goals and good habits.
It naturally builds visual cues, reminding you of the habit you are monitoring closely. Individuals that track the progress of their habits tend to have higher chances of improving and sticking to them compared to those that do not. As habit trackers paint a clear picture of where you are and how you are progressing. It encourages you to continue when you see your progress and satisfies the part of your brain that likes to strike a line across actions in your to-do list, creating a sense of achievement.
It is not uncommon to use a vision board, a popular way of visualising your goals. Vision boards are considered an excellent way to engage as many of your senses as possible when setting personal and professional goals. Engaging more than one of your senses is considered the best approach when it comes to setting up life objectives and creating motivation. This process can trigger positive emotions, making your goals feel real, and providing you a strong drive so you get where you want to get faster. Vision boards can help you adhere to your goals, and endure especially hard days where you otherwise may have given up on them.
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Habit tracker with bullet journal
A habit tracker with a bullet journal offers a personalised way of setting up a system allowing you to monitor the progress of your daily habits. Personalised, as you decide how it will be set up so it is easier for you to track the elements that are important for you. Not only that but you also decide the frequency of tracking your goals which can vary from daily to weekly, to monthly and even yearly.
The first type, daily habit tracker, tends to be the most popular one and the rest follow in order.
- A daily habit tracker
- A weekly habit tracker
- A monthly habit tracker, and
- A yearly habit tracker
Taking the previous example of mastering a skill set such as watercolor painting, then you may want to set up a goal after 12 months, which can be watercoloring with ease. Your monthly goals can be creating a painting or paintings of a specific subject or element, i.e. painting a flower, painting a house, painting trees. Your weekly goals can be hours spent practicing strokes and becoming familiar with the basics of watercolor painting while your daily goals can be hours spent on improving your skills, i.e. 1 hour every day.
Bullet journal habit tracker ideas
In this article, we share 5 different one page habit tracking setups which we recommend, allowing you a quick and easy way of tracking your habits:
1. Horizontally laid out habits, vertically laid out dates of the month
This is the type that I started using for the month of May. I used to dedicate a few pages for my habit tracker but ended up realizing that it took too much time to create and too much time to fill it, so I gave up on it. Instead I created a one page habit tracker that is so easy to create and incredibly easy to fill in.
In order to create this, as well as any habit tracker, decide on what you would like to track. Then split the page in two sections, an upper section where you will fit writing the habit you are planning to track. And the lower section where you will note the days of the month. You can color the cells of the habits that are done or leave empty those that are not. Or you can have indicators like how I do mine. A dot for those that are done and a line for those that are not done.
A habit tracker is meant to assist you. So you can achieve your personal and professional goals, and not create another “thing” that you need to do.
2. Vertically laid out dates, horizontally laid out dates of the month
There are two ways you can set this up, either vertically on a page or horizontally. Here are both examples that you can refer to.
As with the previous set up, after deciding what you would like to track, split the page into two sections. Write the habits you are planning to track vertically and horizontally note all the dates of the month. You can color the cells of the habits that are done or leave empty those that are not. Or you can have indicators like I mentioned above. A dot for those that are done and a line for those that are not.
3. Monthly view habit tracker set up
If you have a limited number of habits to track then these can fit nicely in a separate monthly view as shown from the below images. As you can see, you can fit this way up to 10 different habit sections.
In order to create this view, split the page equally in two sections. Use the habit you are tracking as a headline for each month and the days of the month below it. Either as 3 lines with 10 boxes per line, 5 lines with 6 boxes per line. Or one that’s mirroring the days of the week. Where each line has 7 boxes following the dates of the month and the days of the week.
4. Mandala habit tracker
As with the monthly view, a mandala habit tracker is also ideal for tracking a limited number of habits. Here you may need a compass to help you create either semi-circles or ¾th of circles. If you are tracking 5 habits, then you need to create 6 semi circles or ¾th of circles, 1 extra to the amount of habits you are tracking. As you draw inner semi circles or ¾th circles, draw them smaller to the outer ones. Eventually, link the lines with the circles and split them equally creating boxes following the circle lines as many as the days in the month.
You can make these semi-circles centrally or filling up ¾th of the page in order to fit identifiers of the habits you are tracking. Examples of what we mean can be found in the images provided. Habits or habit identifiers can be set as the first boxes of the mandala tracker or you can make straight line-extensions of the semi-circles or 3/4th of circles either before they start or as soon as they finish. On each of the extensions, write the habit you are tracking.
5. “One habit” habit tracker
If you prefer to track one habit at a time, your habit tracker set up does not have to be dull and semi-empty. But can be designed to serve your purpose easily and creatively. You can create icons for the habit you are tracking, i.e. glasses for water and fill them with colors as you check the habit or you can create a variety of activity exercises for your habits as seen on @nohnoh.studies
Looking for the perfect bullet journal? Discover the best bullet journals in our shop.
Habit tracker layout for long term goals
Earlier in the article, we shared the importance of a vision board for long term goal setting. Your yearly or even longer habits tracker is worth becoming and turning into a visual. So that you engage multiple senses on a regular basis as long term goals become discouraging when you do not see immediate results.
In order to set up your vision board in your bullet journal, you need to prepare a few things in advance:
- Long term timeline, i.e. 12 months, 18 months, 24 months.
- Key phrases that describe or provide encouragement and motivation during that timeline.
- Images that describe your goals. The images can come from online sources or from printed materials you have that are available to you.
- If you are into painting or drawing, you can paint or draw your goals. Or something that represents them which also re-enforces and increases your chances of sticking to them.
- Your writing materials: pen, pencil or art brushes.
- You may want to split the vision board into a few sections for the different parts of your life goals, making it clear where the goals fall into, for example:
…and that is it! Now you are ready to create your own vision board. Below we have examples of vision boards we found on Pinterest for your reference.
We hope that these will be great inspirations for your own bullet journal habit tracker template, either daily or long-term.
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We’d love to hear back from you!
Did you enjoy the article? What kind of daily habit tracker layout are you using or planning to try? Would you like to hear more about bullet journaling? What kind of bullet journal spreads would you like us to provide? Let us know what you think by commenting down below, and do share your own layout style, we’re excited to see them!
Join our friendly art community Painting Inspiration Daily on Facebook. You can share your art and ideas, watch LIVE tutorials, and be inspired to paint! Check out more creative bullet journal ideas and tips from these live streamed videos – How To Bullet Journal For Artists and Bullet Journal Page Ideas For Artists on our YouTube channel!
— MEET THE AUTHOR—
Christina is the Wizard of Storytelling at ZenART, resident digital marketing strategist and bullet journal evangelist. The person behind the email campaigns you receive as well as advertising messages you see on search engines and social media. She also helps our amazing ZenARTists get the best out of what we offer. She is a health scientist who loves experimenting with healthy recipes and shares what works on her YouTube channel.