We are nearing the end of January, and even though time has been flying by, I’ve been mindful enough to track my habits everyday since the day I created my new habit tracker on January 8! I really believe that what’s driving the motivation is the fact that I took the time and effort to create the tracker.
Before I give you a closer look at my habit tracker, I wanted to share a little bit of research that I did about how long it takes to form a new habit. It is widely mentioned that it takes 21 days to form a new habit, but more recent research, including one done by Caltech, suggests that there is no definitive answer. There are so many variables that come into play, but what is safe to say is that it does take time and regularity to form any new habit, whether it’s getting into a new gym routine or washing your hands more frequently.
For me, I’d love to do more deep breathing this year. For the last couple of years, I have caught myself on numerous occasions holding my breath unintentionally or doing very shallow breathing. Relying on self-reminders has not improved the situation. I’d also like to take a few minutes everyday to reflect on the day, and maybe journal about it or pray about it.
It’s a work in progress. I’ve not been consistent with either, but I choose to be patient with myself and let myself take as much time as needed. Having the tracker, and maybe adding a social element for support and accountability, will prevent me from forgetting about these desired habits.
If there is a habit you’d like to track, I encourage you to create a habit tracker. It’s easy to do, and the exercise of creating one is actually a creative and mindful activity. For inspiration, here’s a look at mine.
I created a calendar-style habit tracker on grid paper in my planner. It is simple and minimalist (and yes, I covered a mistake with washi tape). For my two habits, I assigned a stroke for each that I complete. If I do both habits on a particular day, that day gets a full X.
In the future, I could add other habits to track. Perhaps my third habit will be assigned a circle, and that calendar day will get X’d and circled if I complete all 3 habits.
A couple of other styles that you can consider are grid style trackers, similar to my Fitness Tracker.
And a customer of ours, Alina, posted hers last year, and she used a table format to track her many habits.
Use your own creativity for the style, and add a reward system for the process. These are just some ideas to encourage you to get started! Taking a deep breath as I sign off =)