The Happiness Class: Habit Tracking
Tracking your habits is a great way to nudge your behaviour in the direction that you'd like it to be heading in. Your tracker is a simple visual cue that will act as a reminder of what you've done today compared to you had planned to do.
What Is It?
Habit Tracking is a simple and easy way to ensure you're spending your days in the way that makes you happiest. Many of our everyday actions are completed out of habit: think cleaning your teeth, scrolling through Instagram or firing up SIMS 4 before you go to bed. Whilst some habits are good for us, others might be preventing us from feeling as energised and productive and we'd like to be. By keeping a log of your habits and making this a conscious part of your day, you can begin to alter your behaviours so they are better optimised for the way you'd like to live.
What Are The Benefits?
Tracking your habits is a great way to nudge your behaviour in the direction that you'd like it to be heading in. Your tracker is a simple visual cue that will act as a reminder of what you've done today compared to what you had planned to do. In this way, your tracker can be extremely motivating. It feels great to tick items of a to-do list, giving you a natural sense of accomplishment. As you decide what goes on the tracker, something as simple as drinking two glasses of water can constitute a genuine sense of reward as you tick it off the list. As you build your tracker, you will get a clear overview of how you have spent your days and weeks, a really satisfying way to know that you're spending your time in the way that you wanted to.
How Do I Do It?
It's extremely simple. Just think of the habits you would like to do in a given day. These can be tiny things like drinking water, practising gratitude or waking up before 8am. They can include fitness goals like going for a run or completing a circuit. They can be goals relating to schoolwork such as completing one hour of study, or reading one chapter of a book. List your habits in a page of a notebook, with each habit on a new line. Across the top of the page, write each day of the week. This then creates a table for you to tick off your habits as you complete them.
Where Do I Learn More?
The idea that we can shape our behaviours by focussing on tiny habits is well established in the Social Sciences. Perhaps the best known writer in this field is James Clear, whose book Atomic Habits is currently in the Top 5 bestselling books on Amazon. Listen to his TED Talk here to find out more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_nzqnXWvSo