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The Ultimate Habit Tracker Guide

The power of habit tracking:

  1. It creates a visual cue that can remind you to act.
  2. It is motivating to see the progress you are making. You don't want to break your streak.
  3. It feels satisfying to record your success in the moment.

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The Ultimate Habit Tracker Guide

The Ultimate Habit Tracker Guide

https://jamesclear.com/habit-tracker

jamesclear.com

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Key Ideas

Habit tracking

Is a simple and effective thing to do if you want to stick with a habit for good. No matter the format (calendar, journal, app), it provides immediate evidence whether you are making progress or need to change course.

The power of habit tracking:

  1. It creates a visual cue that can remind you to act.
  2. It is motivating to see the progress you are making. You don't want to break your streak.
  3. It feels satisfying to record your success in the moment.

To make habit tracking easier:

  1. Manual tracking should be limited to your most important habits
  2. Record each measurement immediately after the habit occurs

When your habits break down

The first mistake is never the one that ruins you. It is the spiral of repeated mistakes that follows. Missing one day in keeping a habit is an accident. Missing twice is the start of a new habit.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

The Habit Loop
The Habit Loop

The cue triggers a craving, which motivates a response, which provides a reward, which satisfies the craving and, ultimately, becomes associated with the cue.

Together, these fo...

5 primary ways that a new habit can be triggered
  • Cue 1: Time - Most common way to trigger a new habit
  • Cue 2: Location - Most powerful driver of mindless habits and also the least recognized
  • Cue 3: Preceding Event - Many habits are a response to something else that happens in your life
  • Cue 4: Emotional State - emotional state is a common cue for bad habits
  • Cue 5: Other People - people you surround yourself with can play a role in your habits and behaviors.
Completion bias

It's where your brain specifically seeks the hit of dopamine you get from crossing off small tasks and ignores working on larger, more complex ones.

Small wins and motivation

Out of all the things that can boost our mood and motivation, the single most important is making progress on meaningful work.

Just like we love crossing small tasks off our to-do list, being able to see that we’re even one step closer to a big goal is a huge motivator. The problem is that these “small wins” are hard to measure.

“Most of us make advances small and large every single day, but we fail to notice them because we lack a method for acknowledging our progress. This is a huge loss.”

“Most of us make advances small and large every single day, but we fail to notice them because we lack a method for acknowledging our progress. This is a huge loss.”

8 more ideas

Read to someone

One of the biggest obstacles to reading books we enjoy is that we think we should read books even if we don’t enjoy them—specifically, the idea that if we start a book, we must fi...

The To-Go Box Method

For a weight-loss hack, it goes like this: As soon as you order a meal at a restaurant, ask immediately that half of it be put in a to-go box once it’s ready and only the other half served to you. It’s basically a stricter version of portion control.

We can apply the same technique to get ourselves to read more.

Instead of 2 hours of Netflix each night, cutting it in half would still give you the satisfaction of watching Netflix in the evenings but also free up time to read as well.

Book Summaries

Preview the book in order to vet whether or not it’s worth investing your time in.

  • Use book summaries. Find apps that give accurate and concise summaries of many of the most popular books out there and are constantly updating their library.
  • Use podcast interviews with the author. Authors often go on the podcast circuit to promote their books. 

12 more ideas

Making Your Habits Stick

To make any habit stick in the long-term (keystone or not), do it regularly. 

The more often you do the habit, the more you'll get used to it, and eventually, you'll do it wi...

Keep Track Of Your Habit Every Day

It helps to know how often you’re succeeding (or not). Use whatever works for you: pen and paper of habit tracking apps.

A simple way to keep track of your progress is to mark each day you complete your habit on a calendar.

Start Small

Do the minimum you can and be consistent in your behavior.

To create a new habit, you must first simplify the behavior.  A good tiny behavior is easy to do — and fast.

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Pointing and calling our habits

Pointing-and-calling is so effective because it raises the level of awareness from a nonconscious habit to a more conscious level. 

The more automatic a behavior becomes, the less...

The Habits Scorecard

... for discovering which habits to change:

  • Make a list of your daily habits.
  • Decide which is a good habit, a bad habit, or a neutral habit, by how they will benefit you in the long run.
  • There is no need to change anything at first, simply acknowledge what is actually going on.
Change and awareness

Changing a behavior always starts with awareness. 

Focus on recognizing your habits and acknowledge the cues that trigger them, which makes it easier to discover which habits you should change and respond in a way that benefits you

Priming the Environment
Whenever you organize a space for its intended purpose, you are priming it to make the next action easy. This is one of the most practical and simple ways to improve your habits.
Ideas to prime your environment
  • To draw more: Put your pencils, pens, notebooks, and drawing tools on top of your desk, within easy reach.
  • To exercise more: Set out your workout clothes, shoes, gym bag, and water bottle ahead of time.
  • To improve your diet: Chop up a ton of fruits and vegetables on weekends and pack them in containers, so you have easy access to healthy, ready-to-eat options during the week.
Make bad behaviors difficult

If you watch too much television, unplug it after each use. Only plug it back in if you can say out loud the name of the show you want to watch. (Which prevents you from turning on Netflix and “just finding something” to watch.) This setup creates just enough friction to prevent mindless viewing.