“People do not decide their future. They decide their habits. And it’s their habits that decide their future.”
It’s the start of a new year, a new you and all the bright and shiny new things! However, the enthusiasm for the long list of improvements you had in mind inevitably starts to fade by the end of January.
So how do we go about making long-term positive changes in the areas of our life we want to improve?
By changing the things we do every day.
Your daily habits and routines determine the quality of your life and whether you succeed or fail in achieving your goals.
Forming good habits takes a long time and often the feedback from these improvements takes a while to show up. We want to see results quickly and when we don’t we throw in the towel and revert back to our old ways.
This is where a habit tracker can help.
What is a habit tracker?
A habit tracker is a visual reminder of the goals you’ve set yourself and a record of the progress and success you’ve had so far.
When you are feeling demotivated and wondering if the effort is worth the future reward, have a look at your habit tracker to see how far you’ve come and remind yourself of what you’ve set out to achieve and why.
A habit tracker also keeps you honest. We are often blind to our own behavior and it becomes harder to lie to yourself when the evidence is in front of you!
How does it work?
It doesn’t need to be complicated – in fact the simpler the better as you want to be able to implement habits on the good as well as the bad days.
Choose three or four things that you want to focus on for the month. These can be smaller goals on the way to your bigger goals. Maybe you want to focus on improving your sleep, eating more vegetables or being more consistent in your training. It could be financial – saving a few hundred bucks each month towards something special or family-orientated like dinner at the table two nights a week instead of in front of the TV. Things you want to avoid like Friday-night takeaways or wine Wednesdays are also habits you can write down as avoidance habits.
Whatever you choose, make it simple and write it down. Use the handy CFJ habit tracker or find a format that works for you.
Determine the frequency of the habit. Habits can be daily, weekly or monthly. Here are some examples of habits and frequency:
Habits for February
- Add a portion of green vegetables to lunch time each day
- Drink two liters of water each day
- 20 minutes of mobility on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday
- Save R300 towards a post-COVID holiday each month
- Drink one glass of wine once a week instead of twice a week
Once written down, place the habit tracker in a visible area and track it as soon as you’ve done it for a burst of immediate satisfaction! Keeping your habit streak alive will give the motivation to continue.
At the end of the month, review what worked and what didn’t. Forming sustainable habits that fit your lifestyle take trial and error so make adjustments where you need and then get back to it!
Download the CFJ habit tracker and tag us in your social media posts as you commit to #habitbetter. Do not forget to tag @CFJLIFESTYLEFITNESS and or @CROSSFITJOZI.
By Coach Lisa