I love a good spreadsheet. That might make me seem like such a dork! But I really do love them. I keep so many things in spreadsheets, both for personal use and for my business. I use spreadsheets for a ton of my habit tracking. I love data. I love love it. I find that making decisions based on data really helps me when it comes to decision fatigue, battling perfection, and getting off track with my goals. This isn’t the most fun and exciting topic when it comes to personal growth and motivation, but it’s one that really is super helpful in terms of staying motivated.
Collecting data can help you see problems to fix as well as your wins. There are also things to remember when habit tracking that can paralyze you, such as perfectionism. Plus, there are a lot of ways to do habit tracking from spreadsheets to apps to bullet journals. There’s no wrong way to do it, but it’s a great tool when you’re looking to grow and stay motivated.
The great thing about data is that it’s not emotional. It’s cut and dry. That’s why I find it so much better to make decisions based on data instead of my own feelings and emotions about something. However, I’m never going to be the person who tracks everything all of the time. I tend to do habit tracking when I’m trying to stick to a goal. For instance, I don’t always track calories, but if I’m trying to eat better, I do some habit tracking to watch my calories to find where I have trouble. Once I have that information, I make the necessary changes.
You can do the same for workouts, your budget, how much you eat out, when you read, how many veggies you eat, how often you post on your business social media accounts, how often you buy things on Amazon, etc. You don’t have to track those things forever, but doing it for a week or a month, or a few months (depending) can give you some great data that can help you make changes to help you stay motivated.
Habit tracking often triggers the perfectionist inside me. If I forget to track something once, it’s hard for me not to abandon it. Or if I notice I’m eating a lot of calories for a few meals, it’s hard for me to want to track that when I’m off my plan. The “all or nothing” personality can be a real detriment sometimes. However, it’s important to remember not to pop your other three tires if you get a flat. If you forget to track one day, just tell yourself you won’t forget twice in a row. If you notice a trend where you’re not on track with your goals THAT’S OKAY. That’s why you’re habit tracking! To find those problem areas in your data so you can fix it.
Different Ways to Track Your Habits
We know I love a spreadsheet, but there are a ton of ways to track your habits! You can use a bullet journal, which is a really fun and creative option if you’re that kind of person. You can use a notebook, an app, or just the notes section of your phone. Depending on what you’re tracking, there are a ton of apps available to help track calories, macros, exercises, spending, etc.
One thing I’d really caution is not to track too many things at once. Pick one or two goals you’re trying to hit right now, and use habit tracking to keep you motivated with those. Also, don’t be too hard on yourself. A walk around the block should count as much as a gym workout. Remember we are all real people with lives and unexpected things happening and it’s okay to have a spectrum of success in your tracking.
If you’re trying to stay motivated, try some habit tracking to help you stay on the right track with your goals.
If you do any habit tracking, how do you track your habits?
xo Natalie ❤️
P.S. I talk more in depth about this topic (and many others) in my 21-Day Challenge to Find Your Compass! If you’re looking to stick to your goals, this challenge is for you! We start on October 19th! Sign up HERE!