Learn how to track habits effectively with proven techniques, tools, and tips to build lasting positive changes in your daily routine.

How to Track Habits: Best Practices and Tools You Need

May 26, 2024

By Will Moore

Tracking habits can be a game-changer in personal development. Whether you're trying to build new success habits or break old negative ones, having a clear and consistent method for tracking your progress is crucial. However, many people struggle with the process, feeling overwhelmed by the multitude of advice and tools available.

This guide will help you cut through the noise and find the best practices and tools for effective habit tracking. By the end of this blog, you'll have a solid understanding of how to track habits, practical methods to implement, and recommendations for the best tools to keep you on track.

Upgrades You'll Earn From This Blog:

1. Clear understanding of habit tracking.

2. Practical methods to track habits effectively.

3. Recommendations for the best habit-tracking tools and apps.

What is Habit Tracking and How It Works?

Habit tracking is the process of monitoring your daily activities to ensure that you are consistently working towards building or breaking habits. By keeping a record of your actions, you can see patterns, measure your progress, and stay motivated to reach your goals.

Why is Habit Tracking Important?

Habit tracking is crucial for several reasons:

1. Accountability: Writing down your actions makes you more accountable to yourself.

2. Motivation: Seeing your progress can motivate you to continue.

3. Insight: Tracking habits helps identify patterns and areas for improvement.

4. Consistency: It helps you stay consistent by reminding you of your goals.

How Does Habit Tracking Work?

Habit tracking typically involves these steps:

1. Set Clear Goals: Define what habits you want to track. Be specific about what success looks like.

2. Choose a Tracking Method: Decide how you will track your habits (e.g., digital apps, bullet journals, spreadsheets).

3. Record Your Actions: Log your daily activities related to your habits.

4. Review and Adjust: Regularly review your progress and make adjustments as needed.


Let's say you want to build a habit of drinking more water. You set a goal to drink 8 glasses of water a day. Using a habit tracker app or a simple journal, you record each glass of water you drink throughout the day. At the end of the week, you review your log to see if you met your goal each day.

Read Detailed Article on How to Use a Habit Tracker?

If you notice you often miss your target on weekends, you can adjust your approach by setting reminders or carrying a water bottle with you.

How to Properly Track Habits?

Properly tracking habits requires a strategic approach that makes the process simple, consistent, and rewarding. Here are some effective methods to ensure you're tracking your habits successfully:

1. Set Clear and Achievable Goals

Define Specific Habits: Start by clearly defining the habits you want to track. For instance, instead of saying "exercise more," specify "do a 30-minute workout five times a week."

Break Down Goals: Divide larger goals into smaller, manageable tasks to avoid feeling overwhelmed. For example, if your goal is to read more, start with reading one chapter a day.

2. Use Reminders and Triggers

Set Alarms and Notifications: Use digital reminders to prompt you to perform your habits. Apps like Habitica and Weekly Habit Tracker can send notifications to keep you on track.

Read about Habit Triggers in Detail

Create Environmental Cues: Place objects related to your habit in visible locations. For example, keep your running shoes by the door if you're trying to run every morning.

3. Maintain a Habit Diary or Journal

Daily Logs: Write down your daily progress in a journal or a digital note. This helps you stay accountable and provides a record of your journey.

Reflect and Adjust: Periodically review your entries to identify patterns and make necessary adjustments. If you notice you're consistently missing a habit, analyze why and tweak your approach.

Using Habit Stacking: Apply Habit Stacking Formula, e.g., After [current habit], I will [new habit]. E.g., After brushing your teeth in the morning (current habit), do five minutes of meditation (new habit). This method ties new habits to existing ones, making them easier to remember and perform.

Celebrating Small Wins: Acknowledge and celebrate small victories to stay motivated. For instance, if you've managed to stick to your reading habit for a week, treat yourself to a small reward. This will motivate you to do more.

Best Habit Tracker Apps

Choosing the right habit-tracking app can make a significant difference in how effectively you monitor and maintain your habits. Here are some of the best habit-tracking apps available, each with unique features to suit different needs and preferences.

1. Habitica

Features: Habitica turns habit tracking into a game. You create a custom avatar, earn rewards for completing tasks, and level up as you progress.

Pros: Engaging gamification elements, social accountability through guilds and challenges.

Cons: It can be overwhelming for users not interested in gaming aspects.

2. Streaks

Features: Streaks focuses on building and maintaining streaks for your habits. It allows you to track up to 12 habits at a time and provides useful reminders.

Pros: Simple interface, customizable habit options, detailed statistics.

Cons: Limited to iOS devices.

3. Moore Momentum Weekly Habit Tracker

Features: Designed to integrate seamlessly with the Moore Momentum System, this app provides personalized habit tracking tailored to your unique goals and lifestyle. It includes weekly progress reviews, AI-driven habit suggestions, and motivational insights.


  • Deep Personalization: The app uses AI to tailor habit suggestions based on your unique characteristics, goals, and lifestyle.

  • Weekly Progress Reviews: Regular check-ins help you stay on track and adjust your habits as needed.

  • Motivational Insights: Receive personalized tips and motivational quotes to keep you inspired.

  • Gamification: Level up and earn rewards as you progress, making habit tracking fun and engaging.

  • Integration with Moore Momentum System: Syncs with other tools and resources from Moore Momentum for a holistic approach to personal growth.

Cons: Not out yet, but you can subscribe to beta HERE

4. HabitBull

Features: HabitBull offers flexible habit tracking with customizable reminders, motivational quotes, and progress charts.

Pros: Versatile tracking options, user-friendly interface, available on both iOS and Android.

Cons: Free version has limited features.

5. Productive

Features: Productive allows you to set custom reminders, view streaks, and track multiple habits with a sleek interface.

Pros: Intuitive design, powerful analytics, customizable habit schedules.

Cons: Some features require a premium subscription.

Choosing the right habit tracker app depends on your personal preferences and goals. Whether you prefer gamification, simplicity, or a comprehensive approach, there's an app out there to help you track and maintain your habits effectively.

How Can I Track My Habits Without an App?

While habit tracker apps offer convenience and advanced features, some people prefer traditional or non-digital methods to track their habits. Here are some effective ways to track your habits without using an app:

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1. Bullet Journals

Bullet journals are customizable notebooks where you can design your habit-tracking system. You can create monthly, weekly, or daily logs to track your habits.

Read a Detailed Article on Habit Journal

How to Use: Draw a grid or list format to mark your habits and check them off each day. Use symbols or color codes to indicate progress.

Benefits: Highly personalized and creative, helps with mindfulness and reflection.

Drawbacks: Requires time and effort to set up and maintain.

2. Habit Calendars

Habit calendars are simple visual tools where you mark off each day you complete a habit.

How to Use: Use a physical calendar or print a habit calendar template. Place it somewhere visible and mark an "X" for each day you complete the habit.

Benefits: Easy to set up, provides a visual streak of your progress and keeps you motivated.

Drawbacks: Limited space for detailed notes or reflections.

3. Spreadsheets

Spreadsheets offer a structured way to track habits and analyze your progress over time.

How to Use: Create a spreadsheet with columns for dates and rows for each habit. Use formulas to calculate streaks and completion rates.

Benefits: Customizable, easy to analyze data, and can be shared with accountability partners.

Drawbacks: Requires basic spreadsheet skills and regular updates.

4. Paper Planners

Paper planners can be used to incorporate habit tracking alongside daily tasks and schedules.

How to Use: Allocate a section of your planner for habit tracking. Write down your habits and check them off each day.

Benefits: Combines habit tracking with daily planning, keeps everything in one place.

Drawbacks: Less specialized than dedicated habit tracking tools.

5. Sticky Notes

Sticky notes can be a simple and effective way to remind yourself of your habits throughout the day.

How to Use: Write your habits on sticky notes and place them in strategic locations, such as on your computer, fridge, or mirror.

Benefits: Provides constant visual reminders, easy to move and adjust.

Drawbacks: Can become cluttered and less organized over time.

Tips for Maintaining Consistency

- Set a Routine: Incorporate your habit tracking into a daily routine, such as reviewing your journal every evening.

- Stay Organized: Keep your tracking tools in a consistent, easily accessible place.

- Reflect Regularly: Take time to review your progress and adjust your habits as needed.

The key is to choose a method that fits your lifestyle and preferences, ensuring that you stay consistent and motivated in tracking your habits.

Habit Tracker Apps vs. Traditional Journals: Pros and Cons

Tracking habits can be done using both digital apps and traditional journals, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Here's a comparison to help you decide which method might be best for you.

Habit Tracker Apps Pros and Cons


- Convenience: Habit tracker apps are easily accessible on your smartphone, making it easy to log habits on the go.

- Automation: Apps can automate reminders and notifications, ensuring you never forget to track your habits.

- Analytics: Many apps provide detailed statistics and visualizations, helping you analyze your progress and identify patterns.

- Customization: Apps offer a wide range of customization options, from setting goals and milestones to integrating with other tools and services.

- Gamification: Some apps incorporate gamification elements, making the process of tracking habits more engaging and fun.

- Sync Across Devices: Your data is often synced across multiple devices, allowing you to access your habit tracker from anywhere.


- Screen Time: Relying on an app means more screen time, which some people prefer to avoid.

- Subscription Costs: Some of the best features are often locked behind a paywall, requiring a subscription.

- Technical Issues: Apps can sometimes face technical glitches or require updates.

Traditional Journals Pros and Cons


- Mindfulness: Writing by hand can enhance mindfulness and help you reflect more deeply on your habits.

- Personalization: Journals allow for a high degree of customization, from layout design to the types of entries you make.

- No Distractions: A paper journal doesn’t come with the distractions of notifications or other apps.

- Creativity: Journaling can be a creative outlet, allowing you to incorporate drawings, stickers, and other personal touches.


- Manual Effort: Tracking habits manually requires more effort to log entries and calculate progress.

- Less Immediate Feedback: Unlike apps, journals do not provide instant analytics or reminders.

- Limited Portability: Carrying a journal around can be less convenient than using a smartphone app.

- No Automation: Journals cannot send reminders or sync with other devices, making it easier to forget to track habits.

Why Habit Tracker Apps Might Be Better for You

While traditional journals have their charm and benefits, habit tracker apps offer several advantages that make them a superior choice for many people:

1. Ease of Use: Apps simplify the tracking process with automated reminders and easy logging, reducing the effort needed to maintain consistency.

2. Advanced Analytics: Apps provide real-time data and insights that can help you understand your habits better and make informed adjustments.

3. Motivation Through Gamification: Many apps use gamification to make habit tracking fun and engaging, which can increase motivation and adherence.

4. Integration with Other Tools: Habit tracker apps often integrate with other productivity and wellness apps, providing a holistic approach to personal development.

5. Accessibility: With your smartphone always at hand, apps make it convenient to log habits anytime, anywhere.

Find out Some Interesting Growth Mindset activities for Kids

While traditional journals offer a personalized and mindful way to track habits, habit tracker apps provide unmatched convenience, automation, and advanced features that can enhance your habit-tracking journey. Whether you’re looking for detailed analytics, gamified experiences, or seamless integration with other tools, habit tracker apps have you covered.

How Do You Track a Bad Habit?

Tracking bad habits is just as important as tracking good ones. By identifying and monitoring your negative behaviors, you can work on replacing them with positive ones. Here’s how to effectively track and address bad habits:

1. Identify the Bad Habit

The first step is to recognize and acknowledge the habit you want to change. Be specific about the behavior and the triggers that lead to it.

2. Track the Habit

Keep a dedicated section in your journal or use a habit tracker app to log instances of the bad habit. Note down the time, location, and circumstances. Track how often the bad habit occurs. This will help you understand patterns and identify triggers.

3. Analyze Patterns

Regularly review your logs to identify common triggers and situations where the bad habit is most likely to occur. Understanding these patterns is crucial for developing strategies to avoid or counteract triggers.

4. Set Clear Goals and Rewards

-Define a positive habit to replace the bad one. For example, if you want to stop snacking late at night, replace it with drinking a glass of water or reading a book. Set up a reward system to motivate yourself. Celebrate small victories to reinforce positive behavior.

5. Seek Accountability

Share your goals with a friend or join a support group. Accountability partners can provide encouragement and help you stay on track. Schedule regular check-ins to discuss your progress and challenges.

Which Habits to Track?

Choosing the right habits to track is essential for effective personal development. Here are some tips to help you decide which habits to focus on:

1. Align with Your Goals

Select habits that align with your long-term goals. Whether it's improving health, boosting productivity, or enhancing relationships, choose habits that support your objectives.

2. Balance Across Life Areas

Track habits in different areas of life, such as health, career, relationships, and personal growth. This ensures a balanced approach to self-improvement.

3. Prioritize Impactful Habits

Focus on habits that will have the most significant impact on your life. Identify keystone habits that can drive positive changes in other areas.

Examples of Monthly Habits to Track:

- Health: Exercise regularly, drink 8 glasses of water a day, get 7-8 hours of sleep.

- Career: Spend an hour each day on professional development and network with one new person a week.

- Relationships: Schedule weekly quality time with family or friends and practice active listening.

- Personal Growth: Read for 30 minutes a day, meditate daily, journal your thoughts.

Conclusion: How to Track Habits

Tracking habits effectively is a powerful tool for personal growth and self-improvement. By understanding what habit tracking is, implementing effective methods, using the best habit tracker apps, and overcoming common challenges, you can achieve your goals and build lasting success habits. Whether you choose digital apps for their convenience and advanced features or prefer the mindfulness of traditional journals, the key is to stay consistent and motivated.


You've just uncovered some powerful strategies to take control of your habits and transform your life. Now, let's turn that knowledge into action with the Moore Momentum System!

1. Take the First Step: Discover where you stand in the 5 Core Areas of Life by taking our Core Values Quiz. It's fun, quick, and insightful!

2. Get Personalized Coaching: Ready to take it up a notch? Our coaching programs are designed to momentify your personal and professional life. Whether you need individual guidance or executive coaching, we've got you covered. Check out our Life Coaching for Young Adults for more details.

3. Track Your Progress: Make habit tracking enjoyable and rewarding with our gamified Weekly Habit Tracker App Stay accountable and watch your momentum grow.


Accelerate your growth in the 5 Key Areas of Life by making your habit transformation journey so simple, fun, and rewarding that your momentum becomes inevitable.

Jump in, start tracking, and watch as your small steps turn into giant leaps. Let's build that unstoppable momentum in life together.

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How do you track a bad habit?

A: Track a bad habit by identifying the behavior, logging instances in a journal or app, analyzing patterns, setting clear goals for replacement habits, and seeking accountability.

How can gamification help in habit tracking?

A: Gamification makes habit tracking more engaging by turning it into a game-like experience. Apps like Habitica allow you to earn rewards, level up, and complete challenges, which can increase motivation and consistency.

What are the benefits of using a habit tracker app over a traditional journal?

Habit tracker apps offer convenience, automated reminders, advanced analytics, and gamification features that traditional journals lack. They also sync across devices, making it easier to log habits on the go.

How do I choose the right habit tracker app for me?

Consider your personal preferences, goals, and the features you need. Look for apps that offer the right balance of simplicity, customization, and motivational elements. Try a few options to see which one fits best with your lifestyle.

How often should I review my habit tracking progress?

Regularly reviewing your habit tracking progress is crucial. Weekly reviews can help you identify patterns and make necessary adjustments. Monthly reviews can provide a broader perspective on your long-term progress and help you set new goals.


Will Moore is a gamification, habits and happiness expert.

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