Want to be happier and more productive with a Habit Tracker?

So what is a habit tracker?

It’s simple – it’s a systemized process for getting everything you want done. I’ve used it for my life, relationships, and businesses.

If you’re like me, then you’ve probably scoured the internet trying to find the magic bullet for productivity and happiness. 

Maybe you’ve looked into things like morning routines or bought over 187+ books trying to figure out the routines of successful people.

This is my Amazon order history for books

Some of the books that I really liked and come to mind include:

While books are great, implementing the ideas was challenging.

Instead of waking ultra productive, I’d scramble through the morning trying to remember – what was that productivity hack or morning routine again?

As much as we want to jumpstart our morning with every hack out there, there’s no way to implement every single morning routine.

No lie – it would probably take a full 24 hours trying out every single morning routine! Keep in mind – there’s only about 3-4 productive hours in the morning.

The key is figuring out the habit with the biggest impact to your life

And there’s two ways to figure it out:

  1. Trial and error – Making mistakes and learning through the school of hard knocks
  2. Modeling – Following the process of someone who has the end result you’re looking for and leveraging their mistakes and experiences

That’s why I’m here. I’ve struggled with organization and process, but finally I’ve cracked the code for myself.

After losing my dad and pharmacist job in 2017, I slumped into depression and lost control of my life.

Setting up a habit tracker helped me develop a solid foundation of getting my health, wealth, relationships, and general life back in order and climb back up from depression and gave me hope again.

Want to know the best part?

This is a systemized process. I can live without the guilt of… I should of done this today. Why am I so damn lazy?

As Jocko says – discipline equals freedom. What I’ve realized if you’re not getting the desired results, it’s not that you suck. It’s that your process sucks. Luckily – that’s something that we can fix.

In today’s article, I’ll break down my habit tracker and share the details on how to make it work for you. And I’ll share a free copy of mine too!

What is a habit tracker?

The first time I figured out what a habit tracker was, it was through a real estate course. Turns out you can learn something from top performers from every industry.

The concept was simple – you list out the habits that you want to accomplish, make 30 columns for each day of the month, and X it out if you completed the task. 

It looked something like this…

Habit tracker (Version 1.0)
Version 1.0 with my habit tracker

I’ll break down how to make this even better, but a habit tracker solves are THREE things. You know EXACTLY the habits you’re:

  • Committed to working on
  • Consistently doing
  • Not doing or avoiding entirely

Essentially that’s a habit tracker. It provides clarity of what you’re working on and accountability.

Now that you know what a habit tracker is, let’s dive into the benefits of a habit tracker.

The benefits of a habit tracker

Before I had a habit tracker in my life, I’d wake up in a scramble, trying to remember… what I was supposed to do?

Not only does it list out all the foundational pieces for your happy life, it gives you information to make better decisions. 

For example from that information, you can decide to…

  • Break down a habit into smaller actionable steps
  • Look into why you’re not sticking to a habit and fill any gaps in mentorship, accountability, or skills
  • Stop the habit all together because you realize it’s NOT what you actually want

But the biggest benefit is momentum. Momentum goes both ways.

Charles Duhigg gives the perfect example with flossing in his book The Power of Habit.

The Power of Habit

You know how some people avoid flossing completely? Some people find it daunting. But if you the habit into small chunk, it’s less daunting.

Imagine flossing only one tooth. It’s impossible! Next thing, you’re on to the next tooth and next you’re done!

Knocking out habits with a habit tracker is like flossing the first tooth and helps jumpstart momentum to continue your winning streak through the day and week.

So now that I’ve sold you on a habit tracker, let’s dive into how to create your habit tracker step by step. 

How to create your habit tracker

Planning your habit tracker is a lot like booking a trip. Before creating your habit tracker, you need to figure out….

  1. The destination
  2. The time frame

Here are the questions I ask myself when trying to figure out my destinations or goals.

  1. Where do you want to be one year from now with your health, wealth, relationships, and personal life? How about the next 3 months? Be specific.
  2. Which one of these goals is the BIGGEST priority right now?
  3. Why are these important to you? Ask yourself “why” five times.
  4. What is the exact date that I want to hit these goals? (A calendar calculator comes in handy for this)

Now the next step is figure out the daily habits. Here are the questions I ask myself:

  1. What are ALL the necessary key daily habits that will help hit those goals? (Work backwards and reverse engineer it)
  2. Are my daily habits actionable and absolutely necessary to reach my goal or destination?
  3. How many times a week do I need to do this habit to hit my goal? (Any rest days I block out with an X).
  4. How often do I want to “reset” my habit tracker? (The most common are 3 to 7 days, but I recommend starting with 3 days so you can get a fresh new start every 3 days if you mess up)
  5. When can I block time out on my Google calendar to knock out these habits?

And that’s literally how to step by step create your habit tracker. By the end of this exercise, it should look something similar to this.

Habit Tracker 2.0
Habit Tracker 2.0

After you’re done creating your habit tracker, it’s simple.

  1. Physically print out your habit tracker, fold it up, and carry it with you.
  2. Completed habits should be marked with an X
  3. Missing habits at the end of the night should be marked with an O

How to review your habit tracker

Reviewing your habit tracker is the most important part of the process.

Look at your habits. What are you doing well or not doing at all? What are the underlying reasons for both?

And if you missed a habit for a week, it means one of three things. You need to:

  1. Break down your habit into a smaller actionable steps.
  2. Fill any “gaps” with mentorship, accountability, or skills.
  3. Stop the habit and ask – is this really important or essential right now?

After reviewing your weekly or biweekly performance, feel free to adjust your habits after the reset period.

The THREE rules of a habit tracker

If you are going to use this effectively, then you must commit to these three rules.

Rule #1: No guilt tripping yourself

Do not beat yourself up if you miss a day. If you’re anything like me and grew up with Asian parents, then you will absolutely struggle with this.

It’s important to remember that it’s not YOU that sucks, but it’s your process.

Just focus on doing your best and ask yourself how can I do this better? And worse case scenario, you can always reset in 3 days and print out a fresh new habit tracker.

Rule #2: Fill out your habit tracker daily

It goes without saying – you need to actually use this tracker and fill it out.

This isn’t a magic spreadsheet. It’s not going to do the work for you.  

But what it will do is give you information and honest truth of your performance so you can make better decisions.

Rule #3: Review your performance weekly 

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

Albert Einstein

Don’t miss this critical step.

The purpose of weekly performance review is to optimize our process for the next week.

What does your habit tracker look like?

You have the steps for creating a habit tracker. Now it’s your turn!

To help you even further, I actually shared my entire habit tracker with a master template for FREE to my Refugee Hustle family.

Feel free to copy it and model it for your use. If you want your FREE copy, sign up for my e-mail list here.

And I promise no spam – just heart to heart emails from yours truly.

Also I’d love for you to share your habit tracker. Comment below with your link! I’d love to see what you are up as well.