Importance of a Habit Journal - Why It is the Key to Developing Your 5 Cores
May 21, 2023
Keeping a clear habit journal is the most effective way to form successful habits in the main areas of your life that contribute to your happiness.
Habit Tracking Using a Habit Journal:
Elite performers often use various methods to measure, quantify, and monitor their progress. Every single measurement provides feedback. It tells them if they're on the right track or need to rethink their strategy.
A good example is New York City chef Gabrielle Hamilton. Chef Hamilton said in an interview with the New York Times that there is a distinct difference between how chefs prepare food and how ordinary people prepare it: "The chef always tastes every ingredient before putting it into the dish, right down to the grain of salt."
"As if it were a wine, we slurp-shot glasses of olive oil and aerate them in our mouths. It's a tradition for us to taste each ingredient before we use it. Salt is chewed to discover how it feels in our mouths, how it tastes on our tongues, and how salty it is."
Chefs use the taste of the ingredients to gauge their progress toward achieving their desired outcome. It gives them the immediate feedback they require to get new ideas and perfect the recipe.
Trial and error is a common way to improve our habits, just as it is for a chef refining a recipe. It's like a chef adjusting a recipe's ingredients if one approach doesn't work out. This can also help in achieving remarkable results.
There is a big difference, however, between getting feedback while cooking a meal and getting feedback while developing a habit. Developing a new habit is slow, and feedback is often delayed. In the kitchen, it's simple to taste an ingredient or watch bread rise in the oven.
The problem is that it can be challenging to see how much progress you've made with your habits. You could have been running for a month and haven't noticed any physical changes. After 16 consecutive days of meditation, you may still feel anxious and stressed at work.
Habits take time to form. The desired outcomes can take time to manifest. It is vital to have a reason to stick with something while awaiting the long-term benefits of your efforts. You need immediate confirmation that you're on the right track to keep you motivated.
As a result, it may be beneficial to use a clear habit journal or habits tracker app.
What Is A Habit Journal, And How Does It Work?
Using a habit journal is a convenient way to determine whether or not you've performed a habit. You can start with daily journal or gratitude journal.
The simplest method of creating a daily habit journal is to get a calendar and mark off each day that you adhere to your schedule as usual. You get Xs for each day you meditate if you do it three times a week: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The calendar serves as a record of your daily habits as time goes on. Dividing journal on day section basis will help you to keep record of the progress you make.
The most crucial aspect of your habit journal is that it provides direct evidence that you completed your habit. It's a good sign that you're on the right path. It will help you to make better decisions based on your progress. That's not the only thing it does.
Advantages of a Clear Habit Journal
The following are some other main benefits of keeping a habit journal for short term and long term goals.
It serves as a visual reminder to take action.
It's uplifting to see how far you've come.
It's gratifying to have a record of your accomplishments right when they happen.
You'll be reminded to take action with a habit journal.
Tracking your habits naturally creates a series of visual reminders. When you see your streak on the calendar, you'll be reminded to get back to work.
People who keep track of their weight loss, smoking cessation, and blood pressure reduction are more likely to see progress than those who don't. People who kept a daily food log lost twice as much weight as those who did not. In simple words, tracker journal can help you stay healthy and fit. In order to get motivated to change a habit, all you have to do is record it in a habit journal.
Tracking your habits also helps you stay on track. People tend to overestimate their behavior. Measurement is one way to overcome our inability to see our own behavior and become aware of what's going on in our lives on a regular basis. Keeping the evidence in plain sight reduces the likelihood of self-delusion.
Progress is the most effective way to keep people motivated. We are more likely to press on with something once we have evidence that we are progressing in the right direction. When used in this way, habit tracking has the potential to become physically addictive. It is the small victories that keep you going.
On a bad day, this can be incredibly effective. Feeling down can make it easy to lose sight of all the accomplishments you've made thus far. Tracking your habits is a great way to see the results of your efforts and a gentle reminder of how far you've come because you don't want to lose your progress by interrupting your streak. Seeing an empty square each morning on the page of daily journal can serve as an additional source of motivation.
A quick journal also provides an immediate sense of accomplishment. An X on the page or a crossed-out item on your to-do list is a sense of accomplishment. It's rewarding to see your progress; if it's rewarding, you're more likely to stick with it.
You're less concerned with the outcome and more concerned with the process when you use journals or habits tracker app. As long as you keep up the streak and don't miss a workout, you'll be able to achieve your goal of a six-pack.
Two Ways to Make Your Habit Journal More Effective
The benefits of keeping a habit journal are undeniable, but you don't have to record every single thing you do throughout the day. Tracking a habit seems like extra work if you're already doing it. So, what should your daily journal be measuring?
For those of us who tend to forget or put off certain behaviors when life gets hectic, habit tracking can be a helpful tool.
The Two-Minute Rule
I always advocate following the Two-Minute Rule, which states that your habits should be trimmed down to the point where they take no more than two minutes to complete. I recommend starting with these small productive habits in your habit journal to ensure that you are at least showing up in a small way every day.
Here are some examples, broken down into daily, weekly, and monthly routines, to get you started. In simple words, a structured format of your daily routine can do wonders for you when it comes to building success habits.
The following are examples of common daily routines to keep track of:
Jot down one sentence in your diary.
One minute of reading, one minute of meditation, and one minute of stretching.
Make your bed and get ready for the day by [TIME].
Bedtime should be no later than [TIME].
Shower, brush my teeth, weigh myself, and take my prescription medication.
Make use of supplemental nutrition.
One potential client should be contacted.
Prioritize your to-do list and say "I love you" at least once each day.
Most of these tasks can be completed in less than two minutes. To maintain your routine even on the most challenging days, make your atomic habits as simple as possible.
Follow Monthly, Weekly, or Daily Journal
A habit is formed through constant repetition. Most of our daily routine is a sequence of habits such as brushing our teeth when we wake up, for instance. However, a habit journal can be useful for different weekly or monthly routines. A clear habit journal can remind you to complete these behaviors even if they don't become "automatic”, like tying your shoes. This can help you to develop new habits and build momentum easily. Examples of week-to-week habits to keep track of include:
Write and post a blog entry.
Clean up after yourself.
Make a list of to-dos: wash the dishes, water the plants, and clean your room.
Examine your financial situation, transfer funds to a savings account, and pay off any outstanding debts.
Bills are paid, and the house is thoroughly cleaned.
Lastly, you can use a habit journal to make better habits and record what you don't accomplish. "Habits of avoidance" are what I call them (that is, behaviors you are trying to avoid). You can also track unhelpful habits everyone should quit to make sure you don't adopt unwanted habits.
There will be no alcohol.
There is no access to Netflix.
Not making any purchases on the internet.
Absence of all sodas, sugars, and caffeinated beverages; prohibition of smoking.
If you're looking for an easy-to-use habit journal, a notebook based Habit Journal is a great option. You don't have to spend an hour drawing a grid. All you need to get started is a list of your daily routines.
How to Form The Habit of Using Your Clear Habit Journal
If tracking and journaling habit seems daunting, you’re not alone. Here are some tips to increase your odds of integrating this life-changing system into your life.
1) As a first step, you should only use manual tracking to keep tabs on the most critical behaviors. Consistently tracking one habit is preferable to randomly tracking ten. A notebook based journal can be useful in this case. When it comes to keeping track of my habits, I keep it simple and only include the three or four critical to my well-being.
2) Second, make a note of each measurement as soon as the habit is formed. When you've finished a habit, that's when you should jot it down on the page of your habit journal. This is a variation of the "habit stacking" strategy.
Using habit journals regularly is what we're aiming for here. It's easier to keep track of your progress if you follow these simple guidelines.
How to Quickly Recover When Your Routines Fail
Finally, I'd like to touch on what to do if you find yourself straying from your plan.
Every habit streak comes to an end. It's impossible to be perfect. Unexpected events happen all the time: getting sick, having to travel for work, or your family simply needing more of your attention. Reminding myself of a simple rule helps me when this happens.
Never miss a shot with Habit Tracker Journal
When I miss a day, I try to get back into the routine as soon as possible to make it up to the previous day. Even if I miss one workout, I won't skip two in a row. My morning routine checklist and clear habit journal make sure I stick to my habits consistently and effectively. Regardless of how much pizza I consume, I will follow it up with a nutritious meal.
Whenever one streak comes to an end, I immediately get to work on the next one. Although I can't be completely error-free, I can at least avoid making the second mistake. It is also fun when you start sharing your progress with your friends and family.
The first mistake you make will rarely be the one that ends your life. What follows is a never-ending cycle of blunders. As we know, missing one is an accident. When you miss twice, you've started a new routine.
Often, we find ourselves in an all-or-nothing situation when it comes to our habits. There isn't a problem with making mistakes; instead, the issue is with the mindset that if you can't do something perfectly, you shouldn't bother trying.
Although it's nice to have a perfect habit journal, it's not always feasible. Life is a mess. In the long run, the most important thing is that you figure out how to get your life back on course.
In conclusion, a journaling habit is an effective tool for developing successful habits in the main areas of life that contribute to happiness. It provides direct evidence of completing a habit, serves as a visual reminder to take action, and gives an immediate sense of accomplishment. It also helps answers the most common question i.e. how to accomplish your goals.
It also helps in increasing your overall productivity. Tracking progress through daily journaling habit also helps to stay on track, provides feedback, and motivates to continue with small victories. Using a habit journal to track progress is an excellent way to measure, quantify, and monitor success towards achieving a desired outcome. It is a simple and convenient method to stay motivated and on track towards creating a better life.