It is always important to prioritize and build healthy habits. But now, when our normal routines are out the window it is more important than ever to find the habits that work for you. Right habits can do wonders to support your physical, mental, and emotional health.

For some, social distancing (or physical distancing if you prefer) seems like the perfect opportunity to accomplish all those goals you set for the year. But maybe you’re finding that a bit more difficult than you thought. For many people, myself included, it can be even harder to find motivation when you have extra free time on your hands. If you’re like me, being busy helps you accomplish more. What’s tacking on one more thing to your already busy day, like a trip to the gym? If this is your struggle, building healthy habits that support your goals will help.

Habit Trackers for Healthy Habits

If you’re less interested in being productive and knocking goals off the list, that’s okay too! But it is still important to do what you need to in order to support your body and mind. Healthy support habits can help with this, as well. Make sure you’re making the time to do what you need to do. If you want to avoid your days turning into a zombie cycle of waking up, working from home, maybe watching some Netflix, and going to bed by 10:00p.m. (guilty as charged), check out Ready-to-Use Habit Trackers. This book helps you build healthy routines, log your daily activities, and achieve of those goals you’ve been setting–whether it’s “start my business” or “find a bright spot of happiness today.”

Habit Tracking 101

What exactly is a habit tracker? At its core, a habit tracker is a paper chart, app, or other method of tracking which days you perform a certain habit, and which days you don’t. Therapists often use habit trackers to help their patients confront personal challenges and develop appropriate treatment strategies. Parents can use them to monitor their children’s chores and responsibilities and teachers sometimes use them to track their students’ assignments.

Anybody can use a habit tracker, and they can teach you a lot about yourself—how you operate, what are your natural patterns, your tendencies, and more. Ready-To-Use Habit Trackers offers five kinds of pre-structured monthly trackers for monitoring your habits, mood, goals, time (sleep), and a monthly review. But before you get to any tracking, your first step should be mapping out what you hope to achieve by keeping track of your habits.

Getting Started With Habit Tracking

Begin your habit tracker journey by downloading this worksheet to explore your goals. Follow the prompts and dedicate some of your spare time to figuring out what makes you tick!

Download the Goals Worksheet here.

Once you’ve thought about what you really want out of using a habit tracker, it’s time to start recording your daily routines. It can be hard to stick with something on a daily basis, and even harder when you’re just starting out. So try to maintain consistency by making tracking fun or aesthetically pleasing. This blank tracker has colorable words and doodles and lots of space for you to add your own. Use fun colors or draw simple doodles to fill out your tracker.

Download a blank daily habit tracker here.

Personal habits are often greatly affected when other parts of our routine change. Our current situation of staying at home and not seeing our friends or family is a major routine change. Have you noticed any of your personal habits also changing as a result? Maybe you’re sleeping in later than normal, have slacked on your self care routine, or you haven’t been reading. List the habits you want to start tracking (the book has a ton of suggestions) and make them a priority.

Habit Tracking Planning Mindfully

Planning Mindfully’s April 2018 creations

Going Further to Build Healthy Habits

A habit tracker is handy if you want to get back on track with personal routines that make you feel good, or want to build new, healthy habits. By recording your habits and daily activities, you can see if there’s any correlation between certain activities. Perhaps this correlation could reveal ways to improve your routines so you can live happier and healthier.

For example, if you’ve been recording your habits for a while and notice that on the days you take a shower in the morning you eat better, or your mood in general is brighter if you limit reading the news at night, it might be a good idea to make sure these routines stick.

So dive deeper by downloading this mood tracker and record how you feel each day compared to the activities or routines you did. You might just discover something about yourself that you never noticed before!

Download a blank mood tracker here.

What Habit Tracking Can Do For You

A key part of habit tracking is understanding that trackers won’t automatically change anything for you. They don’t eliminate negative ways of thinking or unproductive behaviors. Instead, habit trackers organize information so you can learn about who you truly are. From there, you can more easily understand what you need to be the best version of yourself.

Interested in tracking something else? Download this blank tracker for whatever you want—food, exercise, sleep, or a bit of everything!

Download the blank tracker here and get creative!

Remember, in these stressful times, it’s important—especially for your mental health—to celebrate small victories. Even reading this post and thinking about starting to habit track is a win. So if you’ve been feeling off since you started social distancing, give habit tracking a try!

Interested in learning more? Ready-to-Use Habit Trackers has a year’s worth of trackers to color and customize, plus tons of ideas for healthy habits.

If you want to dive even deeper into habit tracking, Bullet Journaling, goal planning and more, check out the author’s website Planning Mindfully for tons more tools and resources!

– Kierra Sondereker

Photographs by Byron J. Watts