Habits are the real foundation of our existence. They build up the basics of everything that we do, and are as simple as getting up in the morning. Chances are, you’re having to set an alarm every day, get up at the same time, have the same sort of breakfast, put on the same kind of clothes, go to the same workplace (whether it’s the office or your bedroom).
But those are all habits that you’re forced into forming. What about those that we choose to do, but always struggle with? I’ve written about making New Year’s Resolutions achievable, but my methods have upgraded over the past months and years. Now I use a Bullet Journal to successfully build – and sustain – habits. Here’s how you can too:
This is, perhaps, one of my most important monthly spreads. The habit tracker is there to keep track of each of the habits that I want to stick to. How it works is that, at the end of every day, I’ll colour in the section that corresponds with each of my habits, in either red or green (purely to make it a little more exciting than the standard blue-for-all), to show that I’ve met my targets for the day.
Before I address my progress using this system, I should let you know what each of the letters mean in the photo below:
From left to right: 6:30 and 10:30 refer to the times I’d like to get up and go to bed by; E is for exercise and D is for diet (i.e. am I eating well and not binging on treats?). NA is short for no alcohol, S means Spanish, W is for writing, B means blogging and R means reading.
You can see that, in December of last month, I did a great job of learning Spanish, not drinking alcohol (until the Christmas period, which a lot of us will be guilty of) and getting up before 6:30am. This month, I need to focus on exercising more consistently, sticking to healthier foods and getting to bed at a decent time.
My monthly spread helps to keep those habits in check. In a typical month, I’ll use black ink to record personal tasks, red for blogging and writing commitments, blue for anything to do with work, and green for administrative tasks, such as bills and rent payments.
How does this help with successfully building habits? Well, by keeping good track of the events going on in my life – especially those out of my control, such as bills payments – I can spend less time worrying about them, and more time worrying about the things that take time and patience to carry out. I’ve already written about why you shouldn’t rely on motivation, so having the time to focus on what really matters to succeed with personal improvement is vital if you want to maintain these good habits.
I got a bit lax with my monthly planner over December, so I’m determined to heed my own advice, and keep up these good practices.
What top tips do you have to share to help us all successfully build habits?