The secret to making lasting change

Earlier this fall I started using a bullet journal for about the third time. Yes, the bujo had never worked for me before, but this time would be different! (You do this, right?)

I was frustrated, though, with all the little notes and lists that littered my desk

And it has been different. I found out to make the bullet journal work for me it had to focus on tasks and not date. My calendar has to be digital for my life to work.

So I happily settled in creating weekly spreads that focused on what I needed to accomplish each day along with adding various “collections” (bullet journal speak for special pages like Christmas lists and books to read) and the bujo started being a tool that was making a difference in my life.

Then I added the habit tracker

When I was falling down the bujo rabbit hole that is YouTube (and Pinterest) I kept finding example after example of how to set up a habit tracker in the bullet journal. I was intrigued because I had more than a few habits I wanted to stay on top of. So I set up my first tracker.

A few weeks after getting things going I looked back and noticed something interesting.

Week 1 looked like this:

Week 2:

Week 3:

Do you see it? Yes! Week after week I started being more consistent with the habits I was tracking. The Xs on the chart grew and grew.

Habit tracking is one of the best ways to add good habits to your day (and break bad ones).

In fact. James Clear says in his new book Atomic Habits (which I recommend, btw):

…habit tracking (1) creates a visual cue that can remind you to act, (2) is inherently motivating because you see the progress you are making and don’t want to lose it, and (3) feels satisfying whenever you record another successful instance of your habit. Furthermore, habit tracking provides visual proof that you are casting votes for the type of person you want to become…

I just love that.

Using a habit tracker

Now you can track things anywhere you want. Here are a few ideas:

  • You can add a page to a bullet journal, make a little chart in your planner, or put Xs (or hearts or stars) on a wall calendar.
  • You can also track a habit by putting money in a jar and then rewarding yourself when the jar is full or by moving pebbles from one jar to another.
  • You could even just add to a note on your smartphone or log in on your own Facebook wall each day (you can set posts to private).

The key is to make the process something super-convenient and super-simple for you to do — if not then it won’t get done.

Note: Be sure when you start any habit tracking, well habit, that you begin by tracking just a few habits (one or two) and gradually add more. Don’t start by trying to track 20 at once — even if there is room for that many on your tracker. 😉

And if you have been following along in my morning series, you might be considering tracking morning habits. I think this is a fabulous idea. In fact, I have made a morning habit tracker as part of our new Put Your Mornings on Autopilot course and would love to share it with you. Get your habit tracker download below and get notified when we open the course.



  • Gwen says:

    There is also a neat app called HabitBull, if you want to track habits digitally. It helped me with the issue of actually remembering to track the habits I did, as I am more likely to have my phone at hand then a single physical tracker. You can even set pop-up reminders!

    I think there is a free version of the app, but I did the paid one (like to support products I appreciate, and I think gave some extra functions like a widget I have on my home screen for easy tracking/visual reminder).

    Glad to have the reminder about tracking my habits though- I had stopped awhile back and have lost some of my momentum on good choices!

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