Habits tracker bullet journal ideas are a brilliant way to inspire you to set, track, and accomplish your goals! Here’s the psychology behind successfully forming healthy new habits, plus lots of inspiration for habit tracking.
Habits Tracker Bullet Journal Ideas Can Help Help You Achieve the Success Your Deserve!
A difficult to digest hard truth is that our lives are, for the most part, the net result of our good and bad habits.
- Your finances
- Your fitness level
- Your relationships
- Your work/life balance
- Your happiness
Each of these areas and probably many more are not just impacted by, but literally created as a result of your habits.
So if you want to see improvements in any of those aspects of your life, it’s the small things you that do every day which can and do add up to the big changes.
Success is nothing more than a few disciplines, practiced every day. Failure is a nothing more than a few errors, repeated every day.Jim Rohn
Thankfully it’s entirely possible for us to form empowering healthy new habits, and I’m going to share some amazing strategies for exactly how to do that using your bullet journal habit trackers to help.
What is a Bullet Journal Habit Tracker?
A habit tracker – wait for it – tracks habits!
It’s that simple, but also that enormously open to interpretation and preference.
The really great thing about habit trackers is their incredible versatility – people track all kinds of things related to health, home, hobbies, and more. You can literally track anything that appeals to you, whether it’s personal, social, or business related.
Habit trackers can benefit everyone.
They’re an excellent tool for increasing productivity and mindfully building healthy and successful habits, or even breaking bad ones. But how do they work?
How Can Habit Trackers Help to Form New Habits?
Using the information studies have given us to help understand how habits are formed, we know habit trackers can definitely be effective.
The basic concept is that in order to form a habit we have to repeatedly practice a behaviour. But there’s a little more to it than that, because of course if it were that easy there would be no need for a prompt to keep you on track.
So then how does the psychology of a habit tracker actually work?
It provides us with the necessary infrastructure to displace bad habits and form new ones, using a framework known as The Habit Loop. Here’s how it comes together…
The Habit Loop
- We need a cue to prompt us to take the specific action we want to form into a habit.
- Filling out a habit tracker provides this cue.
- We perform the activity.
- Crucially, we then need a reward to reinforce the value in the action we’ve taken.
- The simple act of ticking a box, or colouring a square on our tracker can be enough to act as a reward.
- The reward centre of the brain will help us by providing a desire to repeat the sequence in order to repeat the reward.
- Repeating this sequence enough times and – ta-da – you have formed a new habit!
Researched-Based Habit Forming Techniques Can Help Too!
This post is obviously about habit trackers specifically, but in addition you may already be aware that I’m a huge fan of journaling and reframing. They are incredibly powerful tools to increase wellbeing.
They can also help with forming habits.
Here are three awesome strategies, backed by research, which you can implement alongside your habit trackers:
1. Implementation Intentions
Essentially, this is a powerful way of kick-starting that habit loop we just talked about.
People who state specifically when and where they intend to carry out a behaviour, are far more likely to follow through. And writing is in itself a powerful form of accountability too!
The way this works is simple, yet highly effective, and works on the principle of reframing your goals using ‘if…then‘ statements.
Here are a few examples:
- Instead of ‘walk more’, rewrite as:
If it’s not raining then I’ll walk to the shop.
- Instead of work out more, rewrite as:
If I don’t have to work late then I’ll go to the gym.
- Instead of save money, rewrite as:
If I don’t have any unforeseen expenses then I’ll transfer X into my savings account each month.
According to Professor of psychology Peter Gollwitzer, by implementing this strategy, success is much more likely.
2. Habit Stacking
The term ‘habit stacking’ was coined by SJ Scott, and refers to the principle of tying a new habit to an already established one.
I use this idea all the time as prompts to help me remember things (when I do x, I must remember to also y), and forming a new habit off the back of this strategy is only small step more.
In fact, I know I’ve successfully done exactly this too. (I used to forget to turn our fan on before a shower, and I’ve used this technique to help me make it into a habit. Now I do it on autopilot, every time.)
So with habit stacking, the statement you need to complete is ‘before/after [established habit], I will [new habit]‘, like this:
- Before I drink my coffee, I will drink a glass of water.
- Before I watch my favourite show, I will journal for ten minutes.
- After I have my shower, I will moisturise my whole body.
- After I’ve finished my dinner, I will brush my teeth (to avoid mindless snacking).
3. Schedule Your Habits!
It may sound obvious, but this is a really vital element to forming habits which lots of people skip.
Why is it so important? Let’s take a look…
- People are notorious at underestimating how long something will take to do.
(I feel attacked with this one!)
Known as the ‘planning fallacy’, we’re terrible for allowing insufficient time to get things done and – you guessed it – our admirable intentions soon fall by the wayside thanks to inadequate planning.
Scheduling takes care of this.
- Putting a new habit in your schedule (or on a tracker) demonstrates your commitment.
Scheduling reinforces the value of the habit and your intention to follow through.
- It removes the decision around whether or not to follow through.
It turns out that the internal struggle about whether or not to actually do that task is in itself mentally draining!
Scheduling the habit eliminates the decision-making element, freeing up mental energy to focus on other things.
How Reframing Targets the Physical Act of the Habit & Can Help You Accomplish Your Goals
You now understand some of the techniques involved in successfully forming habits. But how, precisely, does tracking help with the process?
It comes down to one of my other favourite elements of psychology: reframing.
When you first start out wanting to implement a new habit in your life, it’s usually because you’re trying to achieve a bigger goal. For example, you want to hit the gym regularly because you want to get into shape.
This is already the point at which you’re setting yourself up to fail – but also where you can choose to make huge gains.
Focusing on the outcome seems like a great idea, but the reality is that thanks to our eagerness to accomplish the end goal, we set the bar high – gym every day, woooo! …And we burn out.
The enthusiasm begins to wane, and the level of effort required to maintain the habit is not sustainable. Our willpower muscle is depleted, and we quit.
How can you overcome this? By shifting your mindset.
Reframe your goal away from the results, and instead make it to show up and practice the habit.
The theory is that over time, the regular routine becomes habitual. So, start small, form a habit, and then build it up if you still want to.
How Tracking Can Help Target the Physical Act of the Habit: Don’t Break the Chain
Finally, before we get onto habit tracking itself, I want to share a strategy introduced by Jerry Seinfeld. Known as Don’t Break the Chain, the concept is simple yet effective:
The longer your chain of success, the harder it becomes to break.
In other words, tracking your habit makes the act of failing harder with every passing day – because you won’t want to ruin the hard work and effort you’ve already invested.
Physically tracking your progress on paper is a powerful visual representation of the chain, further reinforcing the idea.
We’ve looked at successful habit-forming techniques and how tracking compounds their efficacy. But there are multiple benefits to them beyond the fact that they work.
The Benefits of Using a Bujo Habit Tracker
What are the benefits of using habit trackers? There are lots…
- Habit Trackers Help You to Focus
It’s easy to have lots of ideas about the things you want to do or not do; to imagine the little habits you’d like to implement into your daily (or weekly or monthly) routine as you go about your life and things crop up…
But to actually make it happen? You need to have more than a halfhearted notion about how these various little acts could come together to make you a better person.
You need to commit.
And in order to commit, you need to be clear about precisely which habits you are going to start building into your life, and when you plan to do so.
Having a written record of the thing you want to make into a habit focuses your attention – and your determination.
Which brings up nicely onto the next point…
- Habit Trackers Keep You Accountable
Writing down the activity you want to form into a regular habit (or break, if it’s a negative one) not only helps to prevent distraction from the task at hand – it also keeps you accountable.
Nobody wants a visual reminder of the fact they were not strong enough to succeed.
Having an off day is not the end of the world, it’s normal and even inevitable. You can start back tomorrow and that’s absolutely fine.
But having a little box to tick or cross or colour for every day that’s a triumph helps by making you feel accountable, even if it’s only to yourself.
- Habit Trackers Help to Keep You Motivated
Having the physical act of marking that little box to look forward to each day also helps to continue driving your desire to stick out the new habit you’re attempting to form.
- A Habit Tracker Gives a Simple Visual Overview of Your Progress
Seeing your success at a glance positively reinforces your progress – and decreases your chances of failure.
Who wants to ruin their pattern of success because they didn’t stick to a positive habit?!
“Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job is to not break the chain.”Jerry Seinfeld
- Habit Trackers Are Adaptable to All Lifestyles
The versatility of habit trackers makes them perfect for anyone to utilise.
They can help you to kick a bad habit, keep track of a behaviour if you’re unsure of your performance, improve your health, focus on your professional life, or be a better, parent, friend, or neighbour.
- A Habit Tracker Can Also Help You Plan
Habit trackers are excellent for tracking good and bad habits – but that’s not all they can be used for. They can also help you to remember the items you need to tick off your to-do list, such as taking medication or completing a specific chore.
- Habit Trackers Help You to Appraise Negative Habits
Sometimes bad habits can seem overwhelming because you’ve no awareness of the scale of the issue. Is it really a problem, or does it just seem that way?
Track it and you can feel confident in your judgement.
- They Can Help You Accomplish Your Goals
Likewise, if you’re trying to establish a new habit but you just keep forgetting about it, tracking it can help you to harness and channel the discipline required for success.
- Using a Habit Tracker Gives You a Sense of Control Over Your Life
Whether you choose to use a habit tracker to build good habits or displace bad ones (or both), taking responsibility and being proactive in this way will give you a positive sense of agency about your life.
- A Tracker Can Help You to Notice Patterns Between Your Habits and Your Life
Having perspective is easy – until it comes to your own circumstances and the choices you make which influence them.
Tracking your habits can help you to begin to see patterns between good and bad habits and how they impact your life – for better or for worse.
- You’ll Begin to Appreciate the Power of Habits
You are where you are in life due to the compound effect of your habits. Positive or negative, this is a powerful truth which applies to you and everyone around you.
- They’re a Stylish and Practical Addition to Your Bullet Journal
If you love bullet journaling for the aesthetic and the simple joy of putting pen to paper and being creative, then habit tracking is a perfect addition to your weekly spreads.
How to Use a Bullet Journal Habit Tracker
Given how easily habit trackers can be adapted to suit different aspects of your life, you might choose to track several similar habits on a single tracker, or use a selection of trackers for a variety of different habits pertaining to different areas of your life.
Anything goes – the only limit is your imagination!
A Note of Caution About Habit Trackers
The only tiny note of caution I’d give is that if your habit tracking begins to feel like a chore, you’re probably tracking too many things.
Remember, habit tracking – as with all elements of your bullet journal – should first and foremost be fun!
If you start to lose your appetite for habit tracking, please do yourself a favour and step back the amount you’re doing, because it’s a slippery slope to jeopardising your love affair with bullet journaling. And the primary purpose of any kind of journaling is to provide a mindful and positive experience which benefits your mental health!
Bearing that in mind, I have a variety of different types of habit trackers to share, as well as a vast array of habits.
All of these are intended to spark inspiration for which of your lifestyle habits are suited to being tracked.
They are very definitely not meant to overwhelm you with a feeling of too much to keep up with – you cannot track everything in these lists!
I recommend selecting a specific type of tracker, and depending on which you opt for, perhaps start off with one or two habits. You can always add more if you’re easily able to stay on top of tracking them.
Let’s take a look at different kinds of habit tracker layouts.
Types of Habit Trackers
Before we get to the mega list of habit inspiration, let’s first take a look at some different kinds of trackers.
In some cases, your choice of tracker will be purely aesthetic. Sometimes however your choice will be practical: depending on your requirement, some kinds of trackers will better suit your needs than others.
Daily Habit Tracker
The daily habit tracker is designed for tracking one or several daily habits. Depending on the number of habits, you can use a more or less detailed tracker.
For example, if you’re tracking a no spend day, it’s a simple yes or no and you could pop this into a monthly tracker, adding more unrelated habits. But if you want to track spending then you could create a more elaborate daily tracker with space for specific amounts, like this:
Weekly Habit Tracker
A weekly tracker can help you with productivity when it comes to ongoing routines, such as chores or the weekly shop. Any thing with an element on regular planning are ideal for a weekly habit tracker.
Monthly Habit Tracker
If you like a clean aesthetic and appreciate being able to see your progress at a glance, a monthly tracker might suit you best. You can track multiple habits if you wish, and the setup is typically very simple and easy to use.
Of course if you prefer something more artistic, you can be as creative as you wish, no matter the type of tracker you choose to use!
Annual Habit Tracker
Finally, if you have habits which you may not need lots of details about but need a visual overview for the whole year, an annual tracker is perfect.
…That said, using a key for different colours means you can actually still include a reasonable amount of nuance in your annual habit tracker.
As an example, you might like to create this kind of tracker so you can get an overview of your mood across a year. This might help you gain an insight into your mental health, which is what journaling is all about after all.
Known as ‘year in pixels’ an annual habit tracker is set out like this:
Okay, now we’ve looked at the various timeframes you can use for your habit tracker, let’s get creative and take a look at some different styles…
Styles of Habit Trackers: How to Layout Habits to Track in Your Bullet Journal
Mini habit Trackers
Mini habit trackers are ideal for tracking daily habits.
Mandala/Circle Habit Trackers
The circular habit tracker looks great – but can be tricky to draw out accurately.
If you like this style but don’t want to make a mistake with it, I have you covered with a free printable habit tracker in this shape.
Square Habit Tracker
Alternatively, you could try a square version. I love this as it’s so striking!
And the best thing about it is that since it’s drawn with straight lines only, it’s super simple to set up compared to the circular version.
Horizontal Habit Tracker
The classic habit tracker you’ve likely seen many times before. While this one may be simple, it’s a classic for a reason.
The horizontal tracker is super easy user-friendly and easy to ‘read’ at a glance – it’s very straight forward meaning you can get an overview without the need to interpret what you’re seeing.
Vertical Habit Tracker
Another version of the horizontal tracker, the only difference being that the table goes the other way, adding more interest and meaning you can track an entire month on a single page rather than needing a double spread.
Okay, we’ve now gone over just about everything you need to know about habit tracking. Now let’s take a look at some of the habits you might choose to track in your bullet journal…
167 Bujo Habit Tracker Ideas to Inspire You
As with most things in life, excessive choice can make for daunting decisions! When there’s too much to choose from it can be tricky to pin down a single idea.
That’s why I’ve put together this ultimate guide sharing lots and lots of inspiration, broken down into various categories.
You can select one, two, or as many as fit your lifestyle and you like the sound of, and then fit them into your bullet journaling schedule.
Self-Care & Beauty
- Moisturised whole body
- Had a facial/used a face mask
- Plucked eyebrows
- Cut nails
- Painted nails
- Got a massage
- Coloured hair
- Hair cut
- Coffee with friend
- Meal out with friends
- Cooked dinner for friends
- Called a friend
- Emailed a friend
- Wrote a proper letter to a friend
- Reconnected with an old friend
- Date night
- Complimented partner
- Gave partner a massage
School, Work, & Business
- After school club
- Completed project
- Cleaned work station
- Scheduled social media
- Business meeting
- Invoiced clients
- Payment received
- Pitched to potential client
- Flossed teeth
- Took vitamins/medications
- Period tracker
- Ovulation tracker
- Visited support group
- Visited church
- Read before bed
- Slept 8 hours
- Ate 5 a day
- Drank 2L water
- No cigarettes
- No alcohol
- Zero caffeine day
- No sugar day
- Ate specific number of calories
- Ate clean
- Meat-free day
- Worked out
- Walked 10,000 steps
- No electronics before bed
- Social media tracker
Personal Growth and Self-Improvement
- Mood tracker
- Inner child work
- Shadow work
- Practiced affirmations
- Spent time in nature
- Wrote a gratitude list
- Visited therapist
- Self-care day
- Weather vs mood tracker
- Diet vs mood tracker
- Sleep vs mood tracker
- Menstrual cycle vs mood tracker
- Hydration vs mood tracker
- Alcohol intake vs mood tracker
- Exercise vs mood tracker
- Medication vs mood tracker
- Social media vs mood tracker
- Mindfulness/nature vs mood tracker
Organisation, Productivity, & Finances
- Woke up on time
- Used planner
- Planned meals for the week
- Ordered weekly shop
- Sorted through post
- Took out bins
- Sorted recycling
- Folded and put away laundry
- Changed beds
- Changed towels
- Spending tracker
- Savings tracker
- Planned out weekly budget
- Planned out monthly budget
- No spend day
- Paid bills
- Spent under £10
- Unexpected expenses
- Transferred amount to savings account
- Bought groceries
- Planned a new monthly theme
- Planned out a new spread
- Created a new layout
- Practiced doodling
- Practiced brush lettering
- Practiced bounce brush lettering
- Created a fancy new header
- Rapid logged daily events
- Migrated events
- Created new entries in future log
- Wrote blog post
- Optimised old post
- Checked broken links
- Planned out schedule for following month
- Photography day
- Edited photos/video
- Keyword research
- Replied to blog comments
- Engaged on social media
- Took a break!
- Cleaned bathrooms
- Cleaned kitchen
- Mopped floors
- Cleaned windows
- Washed car
- Cleaned pet tanks/cages
- Cut grass
- Doctor appointment
- Dentist appointment
- Family outing
- Play date
- Called a family member
- Wrote to a family member
- Visited a family member
- Batch cooked
- Helped out at school
- Partner working late
- Family film night
- Games night
- Cut their finger nails
- Cut their toenails
- Bathed them
- Washed their hair
- Read with children
- Played with kids
- Took kids to the park
- Practiced tying laces
- Practiced reading an analogue clock
- Didn’t lose temper
- Pocket money tracker
- Random act of kindness
- Picked litter
- Donated items to charity shop
- Donated items to food bank
- Bought a drink/food for homeless person
- Mentored someone
- Gave somebody a lift
- Shopped for neighbor
- Wrote letter to an elderly penpal
Goals and Ambitions
- Practiced a new skill
- Practiced an instrument
- Listened to an educational podcast
- Learned a new word
- Spent time on a hobby
- Researched a holiday destination
- Looked for a new job
- Applied to a new job
- Spent time working towards professional goals (planning/studying)
- Worked on 5 year plan
Habit Tracker Layout Ideas For Your Bullet Journal
I’m going to finish up with some layout inspiration for your habit tracker spreads!
Mini Habit Tracker
Simple Habit Tracker
Shell Habit Tracker