How To Form A Healthy Habit (And A Free Printable Habit Tracker)
Updated: Apr 26
Determined to meet a goal but having trouble keeping track of all the little steps? A habit tracker will be your new best friend! Check out our free printable habit tracker from ACOP to get started! It comes in A5, B6, personal, and letter size.
break down giant goals into small, reasonable habits
One of the many things I've learned as an elite athlete is that our major goals will not happen without taking a million teeny tiny steps- steps so small that they hardly feel powerful. Combined though, the power of a thousand small steps lead us straight to our biggest dreams.
Since these smaller steps are so important, turning them into functional habits is key to reaching our bigger goals. Turning something into a habit isn't always the easiest thing to do, but learning how to form healthy habits that stick is possible.
If you're finding it difficult to stay on top of the small important things, there is a simple format you can follow to learn how to form a healthy habit. Once you've figured out a plan, download this habit tracker for your planner to start taking the steps to your goals right now!
A lot of my fitness habits come from years of coaching, accountability of teammates, and external factors like my schedule. Certain things, like foam rolling my muscles for recovery, became habits because we were told to do it during certain practices.
To this day, there are certain drills I'll do before a weight room session.
After college, a lot of this structure went away and I found it harder and harder to keep up with the little things I knew I needed to do to stay healthy. Even when you know you need to do something to get better, failure to establish the action as a habit can mean you forget to do it too often.
When I was finally so tired of this cycle of forgotten healthy habits, I decided to take action and learn how to form healthy habits using a habit tracker.
what are habit trackers?
While it varies by the person and the habit, it takes on average 66 days for a habit to become automatic. Habits are any of the little daily things we do that help us meet our larger goals and keep our life schedules on track.
For example, a goal like "have a healthy diet" is a a decently lofty goal. Diet habits are sometimes the hardest to change, and having a healthy diet is can generally be a large and complex undertaking.
Huge goals like this can seem daunting as a bigger picture. This is where habit trackers come in and make the process of reaching your goals so much more efficient! A simple habit tracker takes a huge goal and breaks it down into smaller, manageable steps. You can keep track of the changes your making and make sure you're keeping up with them.
how to use a habit tracker
The first step to take when developing healthy habits is identifying the larger goal you want to achieve or the problem you are looking to fix. From there, you can break down this goal into small, reasonable actions that will lead you to your goal.
The best habit tracker templates have a very simple design. All it needs is a space for the name of the habit you wish to form and boxes that represent each day of the week that you can check off each time you perform the action.
If you wanted to, you could use an actual calendar print out of a month and dedicate a space for checking off a habit you need to remember to do.
Pro tip: Place your habit tracker in a place that you will always see it. This could be inside your daily planner or taped to the wall next to the coffee machine or another place in your home you know that you'll see it. I've taped one on the wall right next to my bedside table to make sure I stretched before bed!
Benefits of Habit Trackers
There are actually numerous benefits to using habit trackers. Most likely you'll feel each of these benefits once you commit to using your habit tracker!
Habit Trackers Give You Motivation
If you're a "to-do" list lover like I am, you know that half of the reason we love to-do lists is the feeling you get once you check something off! Ever put really simple things (like make bed or eat breakfast) on your to-do list just to feel productive when you cross it off? I'm super guilty of this, and it feels so good!
Habit trackers are also simple visual reminders that you got something done. You took a step towards your goals. Seeing progress is huge for motivation. Just a quick glance at all of the days filled out on the habit tracker keeps you motivated to keep doing them.
Especially on those days where you're doubting your progress or feeling discouraged.
Give Yourself Accountability By Using A Habit Tracker
While habit trackers are great for motivation because they show you how far you've come, they also can show you why you may not be making the profess you think you should be.
If you can visually see which habits you've let fall to the way side, you know what you need to get better at. For example, if you're trying to get in better physical shape and feel like you should be further towards your goal, a quick look at the last month's habit tracker will remind you what you haven't gotten done.
And that's okay! That's what they're there for- to hold you accountable and remind you to take care of those little things that are going to add up when you commit.
Habit trackers remind you to act.
Tracking Habits For A Sense of Control
We have a lot going on. A lot. In the chaos of modern life, we all definitely have those days where we feel overwhelmed and like we aren't on top of all of the things that we need to be.
Proper use of a habit tracker can give you a sense of control and remind you that you're getting stuff done- even if you feel overwhelmed.
Sometimes I feel like I've dropped the ball- repeatedly. Simply looking at my habit trackers reminds me to breathe and think about my large goals and passions as simple, actionable steps that I can take.
Consistency Is Important, But Difficult To Build
If you ask anyone who is super successful at what they do how they got so successful, their answer is more likely than not going to include something about consistency. Identifying necessary lifestyle changes or determining what you need to be doing to reach your goals is only part of the battle.
Consistency is so important when you're going after your goals. You have to show up.
Habit trackers make it easy for you to stay consistent because they remind you to act and help you keep track of what you've done. It's difficult to build consistency without an organized plan and using a habit tracker can take some of the work off of your hands and turn important actions into second nature.
healthy habits to track with a habit tracker
Habit trackers can be used for literally anything that you want to focus on. And they are especially helpful when you're working on building a healthier lifestyle! Here are some great habit tracking ideas that you can use with your habit tracker.
writing in your journal for 10 minutes
taking daily supplements
doing a core workout 3 times a week
flossing your teeth
eating 2 raw vegetables a day
going on a daily 1 mile walk
weekly bathroom cleaning
watering the plants
eating a piece of fruit
stretching before bed
Take a few minutes to think about your larger goals. Is there an objective you've always wanted to meet but have trouble forming the consistency needed to reach it? Break down this goal into reasonable, actionable steps that you can track each day, week, or month.
Download this habit tracker today to start building your new habits!