My secret weapon is easier to use than you think and so incredibly fun that I forget how powerful it can be when making progress towards my goals.
When you are working towards a goal, it's wonderful to be able to see the progress you are making as you work. One of the simplest, funnest ways that I have found for collecting your goal 'data' is to track your progress.
A habit tracker may not seem like much, but when used the right way it can be a fantastic secret weapon for you!
You can track any way you choose, YouTube and Pinterest are full of beautiful habit tracker ideas, ranging from super simple to very elaborate. For me, I've found that simple is the way to go. That way it's easy to keep up as I work towards my goal. I colour in little squares for each of the tasks completed. And for tracking books I've read, I have this fantastic printable from Seaside Stickers to colour as I complete each book. There is a reason those adult colouring books are so popluar these days, it's so satisfying!
Not convinced? Here are 4 wonderful benefits of tracking your habits:
You can see EXACTLY what you are doing. You have proof of what you've accomplished.
If you aren't tracking things you may feel like you are making progress, but without this proof, you may be wandering aimlessly towards your goal. Let's say that you want to increase your daily steps. Without tracking you may feel like you are walking more, but once you start tracking you'll realise that you aren't getting in as many steps as you thought.
You can see IF and WHERE you've gone off track.
Maybe you are tracking your caffeine intake, in an effort to reduce it. Since you've been tracking, you notice that Tuesday tends to be the day when you go over your limit. And Tuesday just so happens to be the day that you drive the mama-taxi and while the kids are at their choir practice, you always stop at that tempting little café with the fabulous Italian coffee. Knowing this, you can drink one less coffee at home to allow for this caffeinated treat, or order a peppermint tea instead.
Tracking is Motivating.
If you are tracking your weekday workouts and you see that little train of 5 dots (one for each weekday) over and over for several months, you are not going to want to break that pretty pattern. Especially if it's only because one day you don't feel like exercising. Jerry Seinfeld came up with the don't-break-the-chain idea and it's pretty much the same thing. It really does work! Especially if that chain is coloured in all pretty-like :D
You can track whatever you like and tailor it to your goals and dreams.
You may be tracking your budget, water intake and daily walks in order to save and prepare for your hiking trip to the volcanos of Hawaii. Meanwhile, your bestie is tracking the books she's reading, the scrapbook pages she's making and rows she's knitting in order to try and spend less time on social media or watching TV.
All this tracking is data towards a long term goal. Like any scientist will tell you, data is important in any research. If you are trying something new, this data will help you in making important decisions on what to do next, what to let go of and what to continue. Having a tracker in constant motivation!
In the video below, I've got some great tips and tricks for making tracking fast and easy. There's even a bonus hack, so stayed tuned to the end!