3 Reasons why habit tracking works

Can you think of that habit you once tried to maintain with such great enthusiasm? The one you’ve tried to stick with in the past, but it just keeps slipping through your fingers. You’re not alone! Most people fail to change their habits and this is even proven by studies. But what can you do to finally make your good habits stick? Well, one way to increase your chances of success is by using a habit tracker. These exist in all forms and shapes ranging from special calendars and other physical solutions to mobile applications. But why do they work? 

So let’s dive into how and why tracking your habits significantly improves your chances of changing them. 

It increases accountability

You’ve probably heard about the fact that writing down your goals increases your chances of achievement. This has everything to do with accountability. When we set a goal in our head, there is no accountability. It is just a part of our imagination. A thought that no one else knows about. And we have the power to make that goal go away in a blink of an eye. All we have to do is stop thinking about it and we can easily act like it never existed. This all changes when we write it down. All of a sudden, the goal takes a physical form, we can see it, touch it, and share it. There is proof of its existence and it is manifested into the world. And even though we can throw it in the garbage, we cannot deny it ever existed. 

Accountability accelerates our performance. It encourages us to act and keeps us from putting our goals aside when we don’t feel like acting. The best way to increase accountability is to put structures and systems in place to measure and record your progress. When you want to change your daily behaviour, habit trackers are the perfect fit. The best thing about them is that there’s no grey area. You either did or did not complete the task or item on the list. If you want to improve your chances of success, use the power of accountability of a habit tracker.

It is rewarding

When it comes to building a habit, feedback and rewards are often delayed. It can be difficult to visualize the progress you are making with your habits. Perhaps you've been working out for a month, but you still don't see a change in your body. Or maybe you managed to read for 16 days straight, but you still do not feel significantly smarter. It often takes time for the desired results to appear. Successful habit development is a marathon, not a sprint. 

While you are waiting for the long-term rewards of your efforts to accumulate, you need a reason to stick with it on the short-term. You need some immediate feedback and positive reinforcement to remind you that you’re on track.  This is where a habit tracker can help. Habit trackers give you instant, positive feedback that rewards you for your behaviour. It is satisfying to see your progress visualized and it can be even more motivating if you manage to grow a streak. Every day represents another step towards achieving your goals. 

It keeps you focused

It’s shocking to think about how much we forget. How many times have you forgotten the name of a person who introduced themselves to you only seconds ago? Or how many times have you lost sight of your new year’s resolutions? This brings us to our third point. One of the reasons why we fail to achieve our goals is due to an overall loss of focus. Even for people that are highly driven to succeed, losing focus is commonplace. There are all sorts of interruptions in life that can lead us to lose focus. The phrase you hear many times is: “life got in the way”. 

Remember, establishing a new habit is no easy task and requires continuous work and willpower. Whether you use the Vanaboard, a mobile application or just a piece of paper, a tracker keeps you engaged, provides instantaneous feedback and keeps you from losing track.