What we measure, we improve. (Or, “what gets measured, gets done.”)
An important aspect of successfully getting into a habit is measurement. For example, we know that when people weigh themselves every day, they lose more weight than if they weigh themselves just once a week. This is because measurement drives awareness of behavior. For example, if you record everything you eat in a food journal, you’ll be much more aware of what you eat than if you weren’t diligently noticing and recording your food intake. So much of what we do is unconscious; measurement is about making ourselves conscious of our bad habits while we train ourselves to unconsciously out good habits.
In this day and age, tracking or measuring our progress is easy. (It’s so easy that we can sometimes get caught up in the measurement of things and spend more time playing with our recording devices than we do establishing our habits!) If you find techy ways to measure your progress fun, go for it. Otherwise, a piece of paper taped to the fridge will work!
Use this free planner (see the “Goals” tab) to designate how you’ll measure your progress. Be sure to set yourself up fully before you start practicing your new behavior! And notice that sometimes tracking habits needs to become a habit in and of itself. Consider adding “track habits” to your annual goals as well!