In December, we posted a blog with suggestions on how to be successful in creating your New Year’s resolutions. Now that it is a new year, we want to follow up with some specific tools that can assist you with tracking the progress of your resolutions in order to help you reach your goals.
Often times, the hardest part of starting or ending any habit is keeping track of how you have been doing or reminding yourself to keep up with the new habit. For many people, this is where habit trackers come in. Habit trackers are ways or places where we can keep track of habits that we would like to build or stop. They can be a great way to monitor your New Year’s resolutions or just to track everyday habits like going to the gym or quitting smoking. It can be anything that works for you. Some people like to mark on a calendar, while others use a journal or notebook. Many people use digital apps, which try to make habit-forming fun or interactive in order to assist them in reaching goals. Phone apps can help you see your progress in reaching our goals at-a-glance, while providing other data, such as graphs and charts, to help you along. All of these things and more are habit trackers.
Here are a list of 4 habit trackers that you can use to start, stop, or continue new habits or tasks. This list is just a small sample of the many different habit trackers that exist, take the time to look through the many options to find a solution that works best for you.
Habitica (iOS, Android, Online) is an app that helps you have fun while reaching your goals. Set up in the style of an old-fashioned RPG game, you input habits, to-do’s, and/or daily goals. You, then, create a custom avatar which can be leveled up by completing the items you’ve entered. As you level up, you receive rewards from your avatar, as well as fight monsters and adventure with others. For example, if your goal is to read for an hour every day your avatar can gain experience for each day that you accomplish that task. Unlike some other habit trackers Habitica has an online interface that you can use along with the app on your phone allowing you to track your habits in a way that works for you. Habitica also allows you to set customizable rewards. Every time you achieve a task or goal you are rewarded with new items for your avatar, experience that will allow your character to level up, and in game currency that can be used to buy cosmetic items for your avatar. You can also use that currency to set-up a custom reward, such as watching an episode of your favorite show for 20 currency.
Productive (iOS) – This app, currently only available for iOS, will let you choose to enter your own habits, or select one of the prebuilt habits that they have available. With the free app you can have up to 5 at one time. With their interface you can choose whether you would like to build a habit into your life daily or on specific days, weekly, or monthly, as well as set the time of day (morning, afternoon or night) that you want each goal or task to be completed. The app also provides you with some information about how you have been on meeting your goals. It’s a fairly straight forward app for those who are looking for a simple and uncomplicated option.
HabitHub (Android) – This app for Android devices is a great tool for those who like to have different ways of seeing how they are doing. With HabitHub, you can track up to 5 habits for free. Each habit will allow you to enter a schedule and time for completion. Where this app differs from some others is that it allows you to set more open-ended goals. For example, if your goal is to make it out to the gym 4 days a week, this app will not force you to choose specific days for you to go. Instead, it will track which days you say you went to the gym; and if it adds up to 4 days in a week, it will count that as a success! After a while of tracking habits, it will begin to display graphs and stats about your goals to help you see where you are excelling and where you can make improvements.
Bullet Journal – Not everyone wants or is able to use a digital habit tracker. For many of us, the tactile act of writing is more powerful than typing. Bullet journaling is another popular way that people follow their progress with new habits or tasks. What is bullet journaling? A bullet journal is a journal or folder that is set up to help you track and organize your life. Often times a mixture between planner, to-do list and personal diary, these journals have helped many people organize their lives and tasks. While not specifically about habit tracking, the flexibility of the journal allows you to make it into what works for you, and many people include a habit tracker into their system. Bullet journaling can seem overwhelming at first, but those who enjoy it will find that it can help them. While you can buy a journal made specifically for bullet journaling, the concept works no matter what type of journal you have: from spiral bound to Moleskine, all that matters is that it works for you. There are many YouTube videos, websites, and social media accounts dedicated to highlighting and discussing the ways that people use and set up their bullet journals. Below are a few links you can check out.
For some people habit trackers can make creating or continuing change in their lives easier. They can also help us to see where and when we are struggling to reach our goals. Habit trackers are not for everyone, and using one on a regular basis can sometimes take time to get used to for those who have never used one before. These trackers are most effective when we use them to support the changes that we would like to make in our lives. Take time to reflect on how you are progressing in your goals and remember that long lasting change takes time. These trackers are a great tool for those times when you are reviewing your goals, and determining if any adjustments need to be made to help you on your path to success. We hope that this list can help our community members find a way of attaining their goals that works best for them!