10 Advantages of Using a Habit Tracker
A habit tracker can be a valuably simple tool in helping you get rid of bad habits and set new ones. Some of you may immediately go looking for the latest cool design in the App Store when you decide to habit-track. Others could break out the paper and hand-draw a chart like you see above.
There are no wrongs and rights when it comes to how you track your habits. The only constant is that it’s a great way to set a more constructive course for your life. Here are 10 distinct advantages. Let’s begin!
1. Understand How You Are Spending Time
It’s important to know how you’re spending your time because it gives you a greater sense of control over your life. If you know how and where and on what you’re spending your time, you can make better decisions about how to spend it.
A habit tracker helps because it forces you to list every action you take, notice patterns, and assign the amount of time that you spend to those patterns each day. It is a practical application that makes concrete the reasons to track.
2. Set a Benchmark to Work From
Benchmarks are important because they help you measure your progress throughout the course of the year. It’s important to know whether or not you’re on track to reach your goals.
You can’t fix what you can’t measure, so if you’re always measuring your marketing, you’ll always know what changes you can make to improve it. If you don’t set benchmarks, you won’t have anything to aim for. It’s important to know the benchmarks that you’re expected to hit when you’re in school or when you’re in a job.
3. Isolate Limiting Behaviors
Limiting behaviors are all the habits that prevent you from succeeding. They are things like not taking action, self-sabotage, negative self-talk, limiting beliefs, perfectionism, procrastination.
It’s tough to get rid of limiting behaviors. However, you can replace them with more edifying ones. That’s not possible, though, until you’ve isolated the ones holding you back. A habit tracker does this specifically. It can be just the kick in the pants you need to get on more solid footing.
4. And What Works
Equally important to the isolation of limiting behaviors is the isolation of positive ones. By “isolate,” we mean singling out. It’s not a good thing or a bad thing. It just is. In this case, the outcome can be quite positive.
When you isolate the negative, a clearer path to the positive emerges. What once was unclear, becomes so clear. Putting a habit tracker to work in your life can help you kick the bad and embrace the good.
5. Gain a Better Relationship With Time
As rushed and harried as we all feel, the reality is that everyone wastes a lot more time than they think. In fact, some studies peg the amount of actual work accomplished in the eight-hour workday is as low as 25 percent of that (2 hours).
That’s a lot of sitting around doing nothing. These days, more people using a habit tracker know exactly what their relationship with time is. They know it’s finite, and that can be tremendous motivation for optimizing the way that time is spent.
6. Make Room for Your Obligations
Few of us derive the same joy from a bill as we do a tax refund that we get in the mail. (Yes, yes, we’re dating ourselves here.) Insert “direct transfer to your bank account,” if you’re going to be that way.
The point is, if anything’s going to get procrastinated in our lives, it’s going to be what we have to do. Humans do not like to be tried, tested, and held up to scrutiny. That’s why they prefer surprise checks or letters from dear friends to bills whenever they check their mail.
Using a habit tracker means being able to work within the time one is given each week. It’s amazing how adopting a new attitude toward habits can connect us with all this time we supposedly didn’t have before.
7. And Your Passions
Tracking habits and the time you spend on them really cause the nature of time to resonate with your passions as well. You get 1,440 minutes in a day and 10,080 in a week. If you sleep 25 percent of that away, you’re still left with 7,560.
Tack on 15 hours (900 minutes) of classes as a full-time college student and another 15 hours (900) on homework and projects. We’re at 5,760. Meals eat up another 60 minutes a day, or 420 minutes a week, putting us at 5,340. What are you doing with that 89 hours of free time?
Even if you work 20 hours per week part-time, you have 69 hours all to yourself to do things you want to do. That’s nearly three whole days to yourself. How special would it be to spend even 10 percent of that time each week doing what you love? You can, especially once you know where the time is being spent.
8. Challenge Yourself to Do Better
No one else outside of your high school and grade school teachers are going to take personal joy in your accomplishments. Once you get to college, you’re kind of on your own. You have to become self-motivated.
A habit tracker plays into this need by giving you the concrete information you need to set challenges for yourself. You will find it much easier to live up to these challenges once you have a detailed overview of the habits that are wrecking you and the ones that are pulling you out of the quicksand.
9. Defeat Problems Before They Become Habits
Everyone has problems. When those problems repeat themselves over and over again, they become habits. By tracking your time through the way you spend your habits, you can defeat emerging bad habits and set up newer ones that take you further in life.
10. Improve Your Social Circles
Last but not least, good habits lead to good outcomes. The more right decisions that you make, the more you’ll find yourself in the orbit of the right person or people. Pretty soon, you have new friends whom you can learn and grow from.
Your social circle will have more impact than you think on your success in life. Use a habit tracker to ensure you’re doing all you can do on your end to guarantee better outcomes. The rest will take care of itself.
Adopting a Habit Tracker Can Change Your Life
There are many ways you can do a habit tracker. You can download an app on your phone and start using it right away. You can set up a print chart like the kind in the image above. Whatever you decide, don’t lose sight of the core purpose.
That is, you want to use a habit tracker to change your life for the better. You’ll need data for that and the knowledge it takes to do something with the data. These tools are perfect for such a task.
[Featured Image by Flickr Creative Commons]