5 Steps to Creating and Keeping Habits You Want: Part 3

Ok, so you’re now putting your SMART action into practice.  Because you made your action measurable, you’re now going to start tracking it.  Tracking your performance does a couple of things.  First, it lets you know how you’re doing by giving you something tangible that you can see.  By tracking your action, you also are less likely to give up if you miss a day.  


Have you ever had the experience of starting some new behavior, and you start out great, not missing a day.  Then something happens and you do miss a day.  You feel like you failed, like there’s no point in keeping it up, and you give up?  


I’ve been there, too!  Now let’s say you track your action so you can see all the times you do it.  If you miss one day, you keep going, because the goal is to get as many marks on your tracker as possible.  If you miss a day or 2 or 3, but you keep going for the whole month, you were actually successful 90+% of the time!  You can change your perspective by tracking, and not let a few missed days get you down.  


There are many ways to track your progress.  A very straightforward way is by actually checking off each day you complete your action.  This can look like a calendar or spreadsheet, or app that allows you to mark the days completed.  You can download the simple paper tracker used in the Facebook group ChallengeMe: Live Healthy and Vibrant – without Dieting.


Depending on what action you’re tracking, another cool way to show your progress is by taking picture or videos that show a change you can see over time.  This works great for improving a physical skill like handstands, or balancing, or flexibility and strength.  We often don’t see a noticeable change day to day, even when we are improving.  So having a visual can be really motivating.  


If your action is something that improves over time, you can also devise little tests for yourself so you can see your progress.  This is great if you’re learning a new language or increasing fitness.


Be creative when you choose how to track your action.  It’s a great way to stay motivated and keep your action fresh and fun.


Share in the comments how you like to track your progress!

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