Habit trackers: does tracking your habits actually work? - Deepstash
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We are bundles of habits

We are bundles of habits

  • In his book The Principles of Psychology, William James described living creatures as "bundles of habits", explaining that developing habits "simplifies the movements required to achieve a given result."
  • Habit tracking is a way to log all of the times when you behave in the desired way - when you make the right choice.


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The benefits of habit tracking

  • Habit tracking allows you to visualize your progress and identify any recurrent setbacks
  • It helps you adapt your approach and keep on improving your habit formation strategies
  • It can improve your mental health and motivation
  • It reminds you to act
  • It celebrates micro-wins
  • It makes you feel a sense of accomplishment before the effects of good habits start to show.


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The dark side of habit trackers

  • Habit dependency
  • Users are only sticking to the habit because of artificial support
  • Over-reliance on inflexible technology
  • More flexible, customizable self-tracking apps are required to meet the multidimensional needs of users
  • People abandon the app before the habit is established.


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The key to successful habit tracking

  • Choose the right tool (paper or an app). Whichever method you choose, ensure that it doesn’t get in the way of the habit itself, as habits will only form with long-term repetition.
  • Decide if you are forming or breaking a habit. Habit tracking can be used not only to form habits but to break them as well.
  • Apply the “never miss twice” principle. It’s easy to feel discouraged when making or breaking habits, especially when life gets in the way. If you go to bed later than you wanted to, don’t be hard on yourself. Instead, say out loud: “Never miss twice.” 


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I wish I knew about the 80/20 rule much earlier.


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