Want to create some healthy habits in 2022? Who doesn’t?! In my experience as a dietitian and trainer, it’s not enough to just make a mental commitment to adopt a new habit. If you really want to see it through, you’re gonna want a printable habit tracker.
In this post, I’ll explain why tracking is so powerful for creating new habits. And, I’ll also share a link to a free printable habit tracker to help you get started!
Why Use a Printable Habit Tracker?
Want to know why you should be tracking your habits if you really want to be healthier in 2022? Here are just a few reasons.
Emphasizes Processes Rather Than Outcomes
Hoping to lose 10 pounds in 2022? Great! I mean, kind of.
Weight loss is a type of goal known as an outcome goal. And it’s much less effective than its counterpart, which is a process goal.
A process goal is basically a step on the path to your outcome goal. If weight loss is your outcome goal, a few process goals might include:
- eating protein at every meal and snack
- walking at least 10,000 steps per day
- logging 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night
See where I’m going with this? They’re the steps you take that support that big goal.
By definition, a habit is a process. And so, identifying a behavior you will complete and track most days will help you to form a habit (and move you toward your outcome goal every time you check that habit off!).
Reminds You to Take Action
Another benefit of printable habit trackers: They help keep your goal top of mind.
A printable habit tracker displayed in a prominent location–like your desk or stuck to your fridge–serves as a constant reminder to complete your habits every day.
It’s all too easy to put yourself on the back burner when life gets easy. A printable tracker helps make sure your daily healthy habits don’t get lost in the shuffle.
Allows You to Celebrate Your Wins!
If you’ve never tracked your habits on paper, you’re in for a treat.
It is so incredibly rewarding to see those checkmarks accumulate on your tracker!
I can tell you from personal experience, and from working with clients, that creating a streak (where you complete your habit several days in a row) is also highly motivating. Successfully completing a task a few days in a row builds self-confidence and allows you to take stock in what’s going well.
In fact, it’s not uncommon for my clients to decide to take on even more healthy habits after getting into a tracking rhythm.
Helps You to Assess What’s going Wrong
Of course, there’s a flipside of celebrating wins with a printable tracker.
A printable tracker can also help you identify where a habit might be going wrong.
Let’s say you go several days in a row where you don’t complete your daily habit. A tracker can serve as a visual cue to see what feedback you can gather.
A really common problem I see is setting daily habits that aren’t realistic (for example, aiming for 6 cups of veggies per day when you only eat 1 to start).
If this happens, don’t get discouraged! Just modify your goal to something you feel at least 8/10 confident you can do most days, and start racking up those wins!
Download Your Free Printable Habit Tracker!
By now, I hope I’ve convinced you that tracking your habits is where it’s at. If you’re ready to get started, I have a New Year’s gift for you–a free 28-page ebook on habit formation, complete with a printable habit tracker for each month!
Snag your copy here (plus some bonus emails–you can unsubscribe any time if you don’t like what I’m throwing out here)!
Kim Yawitz is a registered dietitian, a CrossFit L-1 Trainer, and the owner of Two Six. In addition to her work at the gym, she’s also the author of the Renaissance Periodization guide to Nutrition for Pregnancy and Breastfeeding and has served as a nutrition expert for several national media outlets.