If you’ve never used a habit tracker before you might be curious about how to set it up and get started. Let me walk you through the simple process!
Setting Up The Page
Habit Tracker – This is the grid area at the top of the page. And it will help you track your progress on up to 10 habits you want to improve or develop over the course of the month.
The numbers 1-31 across the top represent the days of the month (January 1, for example). Above those, you’ll see a blank space. If you want, you can write in an initial for the day of the week to help keep you organized. Just open a calendar, note what day of the week the month starts on, and go from there. In this example October 1 is a Friday, so I’ve added an “F” above the 1, and so on.
Next, use the far left column under “habits” to list out your habits. Some examples would be: drink water, go for a 30-minute walk, do a 3-minute meditation, walk the dog, go to therapy, read for 10 minutes, make the bed, etc.
Once they are listed out, move over to the second column from the right, with the word “Goal” above it. This is where you can record how many times you want to complete this habit during the month. If it’s something you want to do every day you’d write a number between 28-31, depending on the month. If you want to do it twice a day, double the number. Something you do twice a week might only have a goal of 8. Remember to be realistic about the goal you set. It’s totally okay if you go over, but setting an achievable goal is an important part of reinforcing the behavior.
Monthly Goals – The rest of the page is pretty self-explanatory and you can fill out as much as you want. I use the goals section to set 5 SMART goals for the month ahead (if you don’t know how to set SMART goals, see this post).
Important Reminders – I then write out any important meetings, events, birthdays, anniversaries, appointments etc under reminders. It’s funny how writing something out by hand helps it stick in my head so I start thinking about it.
Monthly Media – Any media you are consuming in an effort to learn, better yourself, or improve your community/business/life/mood make sense here! I use the Monthly Media section to parse out topics I am learning more about, books I’m reading, shows I’m watching, courses I’m taking, etc. Some people also use this section for tracking certain business or life metrics (number of sales, total number of steps or miles run, etc).
Monthly Motivation – What is inspiring you this month? This is a great place to put a favorite quote that is motivating you this month or write out your main intention or hopes for the month ahead. You might also find this space to be good for tracking progress on some of your monthly goals or projects.
Filling Out the Habit Tracker
Throughout the month you will come back to this page to track the progress on your Habit Tracker using the 31 horizontal boxes. I try to update it at least 2-3 times per week, but doing it daily is also a great practice. How you fill the spaces in is entirely up to you. You can use colored markers, scribble them in, or just place an x or a dot in the box to show you completed the habit. I leave them blank if the habit was not completed that day.
At the end of the month, simply use the tracker to count and see how many times you completed your habit and record the number in the far-right column labeled “achieved”. Compare that to the number to the left under “Goal” to see if you met your habit goal for that month, and adjust accordingly.
If you don’t meet your goal for the month, try not to get down on yourself. Remember that there’s a new month ahead and you can reset your goals!
Pro tip: If you are using my best-selling daily planner design, The Daily Page Planner, you might find that the “reminders” section on that page is a great place to remember things like medications or supplements. It can also serve as a little space for you to put some of these habits you are trying to build! I put little initials in mine (i.e. “s” for getting some sunshine or “m” for making time to meditate). It’s helpful to be able to pull this info into The Daily Page so it’s on your radar throughout the day, too. An example of what that looks like is below.
You can try out both of my designs for free by printing them at home. Grab the PDFs for The Monthly Page or The Daily Page on my Free Downloads page. Ready to jump in with both feet? Try The Daily Page Planner, which has The Monthly Page and The Daily Page organized in one gorgeous, spiral-bound book. It is printed on thick, FSC-certified paper and is produced on a woman-owned printing press in Minnesota. You can take 10% off with the codeHONEY at checkout. Browse all of my designs in my shop.