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Besides being the founder of Unfold Today, a nutritionist, and a mental health expert, Claudiu Pop is a productivity geek and a skilled journalist. He is always on the lookout for ways to make life easier in all areas of life, including the financial dimension.
What if you could unlock the superpower to install new habits instantly? There would be no more missed workouts, late-night eating, postponed meditation sessions, and you could finally wake up constantly before sunrise. But can the habit tracker in your bullet journal be the key to achieving this superpower?
The truth is that picking up new habits can be frustratingly hard. In fact, it takes an average of 66 days for someone to develop automaticity around a new habit, with a range from 18 to 254 days, according to research that studied how habits are formed.
Therefore, unless you have a strong will to keep executing a new habit for about 2 months, you are on your way to experiencing disappointment and its consequences. That is to say, you’ll remain unfit, stressed out, and have no chances of witnessing the orange-tinted sunrise.
But don’t give up yet, because bullet journaling may be the solution to building new habits easier.
Using habit trackers “makes it easy to monitor habits you’re trying to add or subtract,” according to Ryder Carroll, author of the Bullet Journal Method. So, designing efficient trackers in your journals may increase the chances of you adopting a new habit or getting rid of a toxic one.
To maximize your chances of building a new habit, make sure to use weekly spreads in addition to habit trackers in your bullet journal. These will help you plan beautiful weeks and actually follow through with the habits you decide to track.
A habit tracker is a bullet journal page design that allows users to monitor their progress on building new habits by breaking them down into smaller actionable steps.
For example, if you wish to sleep 8 hours per night, you can use a sleep tracker to log how many hours of sleep you get every day of the next month, as well as your bedtime and waking up hours.
This way, you will be able to see exactly how you are doing on the road to having an optimal sleep schedule, and adjust whenever you see you are drifting away from your goal.
Before we look at the advantages, note that you can have multiple habit trackers in your bullet journal.
Here are the main benefits of having a habit tracker in your bullet journal:
The core benefit of creating habit trackers in your bullet journal is the fact that they make it easier to build new habits by deconstructing them into manageable parts.
“Having a place where you log and objectively monitor your progress can go a long way to keeping you on track,” writes bullet journal inventor Ryder Carroll in his book.
Secondly, you can use habit trackers together with your daily logs to spot patterns that reveal why you didn’t complete certain tasks on specific days. More specifically, you will be able to find out what were the circumstances that stopped or allowed you to make progress.
“I would argue that the point of tracking is just as much about cultivating self-awareness as it is about making progress. In order to make any true progress, you need to understand the effects of your efforts. You need to understand not only what is or is not working, but also why,” writes Ryder Carroll.
Being accountable for every healthy habit you want to add to your lifestyle can tire out your brain and occupy unnecessary space that your mind could use in other more useful ways.
“When you keep it all in your head it’s easy to lose an overview of your progress—or your lack thereof. By keeping a tracker, you’ll have a clear picture of where you actually are in the context of where you want to be,” writes Ryder Carroll.
From whom could you learn better how to create a habit tracker than from the inventor of the bullet journal himself, Ryder Carroll.
In his book, Carroll describes the process of creating a simple budget tracker (buy his book to see it), but we are looking for a more general scheme that can help you create any type of habit tracker.
Therefore, after carefully observing the author’s approach, we put together a step-by-step scheme that you can use to create any kind of habit tracker in your bullet journal.
How to create a bullet journal habit tracker:
To find the purpose of a habit tracker, you need to think about what do you want it to do. Your tracker can have one or multiple such objectives.
For example, maybe you want to have a habit tracker that shows how much sleep you got every day or maybe you want one that tracks your daily calories on weekends, when you know you tend to overeat.
Rule: set the timeline you want your habit tracker to monitor. The design phase will be much easier if you do this at the beginning of your creation process.
In this second phase of the habit tracker creation process, you can either conceive a design on your own or get inspiration from the many layouts created by experienced bullet journal users found in this article.
Tip: do everything for a reason to avoid cluttering your design and losing too much time creating your habit tracker. Therefore, think twice the next time you want to draw one more doodle.
“Be sure that any additions or customizations prove themselves helpful over and over again. Less, but better,” Ryder Carroll writes in his book.
Finish creating your habit tracker by setting up an action plan that states the routine you will follow to make sure you fill out the habit tracker. Will you grab your bullet journal and fill out your habit tracker every day as soon as you finish your habit or will you wait until the next day’s morning?
This step is very important because it ensures you won’t miss out on tracking the habits you want to build into your lifestyle.
There are various layouts you can use to design the habit trackers in your bullet journal, so it can be difficult to choose from. To make things easier, firstly you want to decide what type of layout you are looking for.
We sorted the different types of layouts according to the most important design characteristics when it comes to creating a habit tracker.
FAQ: is a weekly or monthly habit tracker better? As a monthly habit tracker usually has four weekly trackers included in its design, and it takes an average of 66 days (about 2 months) to build a new habit, it is more useful and less time-consuming to use a monthly habit tracker than a weekly one.
Tip: for better bullet journal layout designs, avoid creating them on lined paper notebooks and choose journals with blank or bulleted pages (see comparison below).
“It’s not about how your journal looks; it’s about how it makes you feel and how effective it is,” writes Ryder Carroll.
We researched some of the most popular habit tracker design ideas among the members of the bullet journal community to help you pick efficient layouts.
Keep in mind that while you will find plenty of great layout ideas for your habit tracker down the following list, you should make your design yours.
Here are 21 bullet journal layout ideas for your habit tracker:
This mini habit and mood tracker layout featuring a make-up theme lets you monitor your monthly progress in 8 different habits at a time and also to register how you felt every day.
Photo and design credits: A. Journal
If you prefer your habit trackers circular, you should consider this mushroom-themed bullet journal layout, which is great at observing your monthly progress, and has plenty of space for drawing doodles.
The featured design enables you to track your daily mood along with 5 habits, but you can easily monitor less or more by adjusting the size of the circle.
Photo and design credits: Rem Bujo
This is a monthly linear habit tracker featuring a Kraft paper theme that lets you monitor 5 habits at a time.
Photo and design credits: MILOE
In case you prefer weekly habit trackers, you can't go wrong with this minimalist fall-themed template that lets you track 5 habits every week. You can track even more habits by adjusting the size of the text and the weekly table.
Photo and design credits: K_K Bujo
You can use this black and white habit tracker and its linear design to track more than 20 habits every month in your bullet journal. Also, remark how the bujo artist connected dots to better observe sleeping patterns at the bottom of the design.
Photo and design credits: Eunice from Euniqued Plans
When you want to add that autumn groove to your bullet journal, you should consider this mini habit tracker layout featuring September colors that has the proper space to track up to 9 habits on a monthly basis.
Photo and design credits: Satu Journals
This colorful biweekly habit tracker features a minimalist layout that lets you track about 20 habits every month. Use color coding to better visualize different types of habits.
Photo and design credits: Haley's Handmade Company
This colorful habit tracker offers you space for up to 5 monthly mini calendars, which you can use to track a total of 5 habits you want to install into your routine. The design, which blends nature with urban elements, resembles Japan's Mount Fuji.
Photo and design credits: Haru Bujo
If you are searching for bullet journal layouts that will fit the month of October, you may find the perfect solution in this Halloween-themed habit and mood tracker because it has a simple linear design that can easily track multiple habits.
You can also use this design as inspiration for other habit tracker layouts. Just change the theme and you will be set out.
Photo and design credits: Loo Teng Studio
If you're looking for a minimalist habit tracker design for your bullet journal, you will find that this bordered linear layout is going to be very efficient at monitoring your monthly progress.
As the layout shows, the design allows you to track multiple habits, which is useful especially for the overachievers out there.
Photo and design credits: Kan Yue
If you are looking for a laid-back look for the habit tracker in your bullet journal, you need to try this surfing-themed mini layout that lets you track 9 habits at a time. That surfing board looks cool, isn't it?
Photo and design credits: Claudia from Sunshine Journal
This mini habit tracker is perfect for food lovers who use bullet journals, and it can track up to 9 habits monthly.
Photo and design credits: Claudia from Sunshine Journal
If you are looking for a more creative yet simple habit tracker layout to add to your bullet journal, try this half-circle orange-themed monthly tracker.
Photo and design credits: Marita
When you want to change things up a bit in your bullet journal, go for a vertical habit tracker like you see in this minimalist leaf-themed tracker, which lets you track at least 6 habits monthly.
Photo and design credits: Craft Day Studio
Even though it can look complex at the first glance, this vertical flamingo-themed layout also features a mood and food log, which all together make for a great 3-in-1 monthly habit tracker.
Photo and design credits: Aska
This laurel-themed linear habit tracker was created by a student, and its simple structure will let you easily track at least 8 habits in your bullet journal on a monthly basis.
Photo and design credits: Study with Navy
If you love to doodle in your bullet journal, you should definitely try this mini habit tracker that features a desk theme and enables you to track 6 habits monthly.
Photo and design credits: Martha's Journal
If you are looking for a habit tracker designed with nature in mind, you should try this earth and sky theme that brings life to a mini layout, which enables you to both express your creativity and track multiple habits every month.
Photo and design credits: Anastasia
This monthly habit and mood tracker, featuring a sticky note theme, is great if you are searching for a more spontaneous look for your bullet journal. You can easily track at least 5 habits every month using this habit tracker layout design.
Photo and design credits: Bujo by filo
If you don't have time to draw a new layout design, add this printable habit tracker template to your bullet journal and start monitoring. All you need to do is to select 1 to 6 habits that you want to adopt, place them at the top of the columns, and draw some doodles in the Creative Zone on the left.
Below is a quick guide from the inventor of the Bullet Journal Method on how to create a super simple habit tracker.
You can track almost any habit in your bullet journal, from working out and meditating to walking your dog and calling your parents. However, this doesn’t mean you should track everything.
If you monitor too many habits you can easily get overwhelmed and it will be harder to assess how you progress at each habit. Try to stick with no more than 5 habits at a time until you automatize them.
Here is a list of 130 habit ideas you can track in your bullet journal's habit tracker:
Get inspiration for more healthy daybreak habit ideas to track from the ultimate yogi morning routine.
If you want to track habits like showering, doing sauna, or swimming after your workouts, it’s convenient to buy a membership at one of the gyms with pools and/or showers near you.
Also, it’s smart to set fitness goals before choosing what fitness habits to track.
Tip: find more ideas to track by inspiring from the pre-sleep routines of the highest-paid celebrities in the world.
Find more budgeting ideas to monitor in your habit tracker from our list of 21 effective money-saving habits.
A habit tracker is one of the most productive layouts you can have in your bullet journal because it can not only help you build new habits easier but also bring self-awareness and clarity of mind.
And now that you learned what is a habit tracker and how to create one, all you have to do is to choose which habits you want to track and get inspired by the many layout ideas selected in this article.
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