This may come as a surprise, but habit tracking isn’t just about tracking your workouts so you can look hotter. Although, it is great for that!
As it happens, habit tracking can be used for all sorts of problems life throws your way. Having health issues? A habit tracker can help you track and treat your migraines, painful periods, funky bowel movements, insomnia, or anything else that ails you.
Habit tracking can also be used to help you remember important routines. Honestly, how many of us forget to floss 364 days out of the year?
So now that you know some of the lesser-known benefits habit habit tracking, I’d like to give you more details about the three different types of habit tracking I personally use to solve life’s fun problems.
3 Types Of Habit Tracking That Will Help You Dominate Your Life
1) Observational Habit Tracking
With this type of habit tracking, all you’re doing is observing and tracking your habits without trying to change them. This type of habit tracking can be helpful for learning about your current behaviors (or habits) and figuring out why they are occurring. It is especially helpful for those suffering from unpleasant physical or mental health symptoms.
Keep in mind, that observational habit tracking can be used on yourself, others, or even on your pets. It is also useful for answering things like where, when, and why you do certain habits and how often you do them.
Below are some examples of observational habit tracking:
Using Observational Habit Tracking For Health Issues
With observational habit tracking, you can pretty much track any type of symptom you are suffering from including headaches, poor sleep, abnormal bathroom habits, or aches and pains for example.
Once you know when, where, and how often you experience these symptoms, it may help you figure out “why” they occur. And if you start taking medications to treat your issue, you can keep track of whether or not they working along with any side effects.
Using Observational Habit Tracking To Obtain Starting Data
Observational habit tracking is also great for getting baseline or starting data. This can help you determine how often your habits regularly occur and whether or not they need to be changed. For example, someone who drinks alcohol might underestimate just how much they drink. But once they start tracking their drinking habits, they may begin to realize they do it more frequently than they thought.
The same thing can also be done with calories as many of us underestimate how many we get each day. And knowing the number of calories we normally eat can give us a starting point if we decide to go on a diet.
2) Self-Improvement Habit Tracking
Self-improvement habit tracking is typically done as a way to better yourself or make changes in your life. Many of us start out with a goal like working out more, saving money, losing weight, or getting more organized. We then work on increasing or decreasing specific habits (which we then keep track of) in order to achieve that goal.
Overall, the main purpose of this type of habit tracking is to increase good habits or decrease bad ones. And unlike observational habit tracking, you are actively involved in changing your habits – not just observing.
Below are some examples of things you may track self-improvement habit tracking:
Self-improvement habit tracking often requires more planning than observational habit tracking. This is due to the fact that you must create habits at a difficulty and frequency level you are comfortable with. If you don’t, you can easily give up on your goals prematurely.
Note: If you need ideas as to the different goals you can achieve with self-improvement habit tracking, please see my other post Goal Setting Ideas & Techniques For Habit Tracking Success.
3) Maintenance/Routine Habit Tracking
Maintenance habit tracking is primarily used for maintaining your current habits. I also refer to it as routine habit tracking because it can help you remember basic habits you should be doing on a regular basis (like brushing your teeth or taking your vitamins).
This type of habit tracking acts like a checklist to make sure your habits are being completed. Typically, you aren’t trying to change the difficulty or frequency of your habits. Rather you are just trying to remember to do them on a regular basis or in a certain order. This type of habit tracking is especially helpful for bringing peace to those with complicated or busy routines.
Examples of maintenance/routine habit tracking can be seen below:
Personally, any habit I’m not trying to change, I consider to be in maintenance mode. And my main concern is remembering to complete the habit. Either so I can maintain the progress I’ve made (after self-improvement habit tracking) or just so I can ensure I’m sticking to the routine I want.
Note: I wanted to emphasize that maintenance habit tracking is great for tracking beauty treatments (like my hair repair routine).
Classifying the type of habit tracking you’re doing into one of three types is not a requirement. It’s just a way to get you to think about the different ways you can use habit tracking to help you in different parts of your life.
In fact, the types of habit tracking you engage in may be different from my own. The thing to remember is that habit tracking can be used to solve different types of problems and isn’t just for working out or losing weight.