Habits. Sorry for the dirty word.
It can even be a dirty word when you are doing something clean like straightening up or doing the dishes (please pardon the d-word). Here is a mid-month check-up of my September habit tracker. It is much improved from last month or the month before. In the past, I would create habit trackers and never complete them. But that’s the thing, I wanted to complete them. Eventually, I would fill out a couple of boxes on a habit tracker, but nothing real. I was tracking too many habits. So this month, I decided to just track a few habits.
Guess what?! “Habits” is not such a bad word anymore!
Included are things that I knew I wanted to do – and some things I knew I needed to do, but only for improvement. I do enough feeling bad about myself (and I am so tired of that!), I knew I needed a motivation boost.
This month, I tracked doing the dishes on the habit tracker because I knew I needed just to do them instead of playing the game of “who is going to get sick of the dishes first and give in and do them angrily while the other person feels guilty” with my husband. I hate to admit that I play that game sometimes. The problem is, no one wins because if they give in and do the dishes, they are angry and you feel guilty.
If you give in, you are angry. All of these things come from playing a game with dishes.
I have to say that this shows my longest span of doing dishes regularly in a long time, I love marking off the box and seeing the marks. One day, I will have it full. #MyDreamsWillComeTrue
It’s fun to complete it, it’s like a snowball rolling down a large hill. The momentum builds on itself. But the key is that I am having fun. Not all habits are fun (like doing the dishes) but I feel good about what I have accomplished once finished. Marking it off is just another perk.
If you are having trouble keeping up with your habits or habit tracker, consider paring it down. Eliminate some of the items on your habit tracker. If you are not filling it out anyway, why include them? Include only the items that you know you can carry out, but are a little stretch. Do that for a month, feel good about yourself, then next month add another thing.
The funny thing about habits is that they don’t come all at once. It’s gradual. You are creating a habit of the habit. I think we get into the mindset of ‘I have this habit tracker, now I will perfect my life’. Which is completely untrue and not motivating at all because filling out a habit tracker takes time, motivation, and funny thing, you have to create a habit of filling out your habit tracker.
If you wanted an easy habit to track – just for motivation – add: “Fill out Habit Tracker” to your habit tracker, then fill it out. I know I would think I am hilarious if I did that. But it might just be the motivation I needed to complete some other items on my habit tracker too.
TIP for Beginners:
If you are just starting out and don’t know how to start a habit tracker, check out How to Set up a Habit Tracker.
Tip for Seasoned Bullet Journalers:
If you are more seasoned at habit tracking, check out 4 Ideas to Supercharge your Habit Tracking.
Keep this in mind:
Please keep this in mind if you take nothing else away from this post: Habit Tracking is for self-improvement, not self-detriment. If it is de-motivational rather than motivational, stop for a month and do some self-care instead. I’ve seen some really cute self-care bingo cards on Pinterest. Check out my self-care board.
Habits come over time. They are not immediate. That’s kind of the definition of a habit. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Allow time.
Have a good week and let me know in the comments below what habit you despise the most.
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