Change Your Habits, Change Your Life: How Streak Tracking Makes All the Difference

Set your goals and select habits to go with those goals. For to make a change or accomplish anything, you need steady progress. And sustained growth comes from repetition. And something that repeats consistently is a habit.

But changing habits is so hard!

And accomplishing goals is as well.

I track my habits on a one-pager that also has my goals listed at the top. (shown above)

And while I usually start off with one or two habits that are easy to build, sometimes the others take time.

But I'll say this. By having a habit “streak tracker” where I look at it daily and reading my goals daily, I have to do some hard searching and examining. For example, my top goal is working out 20 minutes a day six days a week. That is a start. I have to get back to working out every day. I'll improve from there. And while I started off not doing it so much, I'm getting it done more and more.

Additionally, the goals I have are 12-week goals. (Read The 12 Week Year.) So, I have a few goals for 12 weeks that I do. The habit of habit tracking holds my feet to the fire because I can't look to some point way off in the hazy future — I have to look at a date at the end of March.

So, as you consider excellence and goal setting (which go hand in hand) consider tracking the habits you want to be part of your goal accomplishment. Don't pick too many habits — three or four at most, I recommend. But track them and work towards doing them every day.

I can tell you that having my goals typed on cardstock paper in a simple format and tracking my habits do more to help me accomplish goals than anything else.

Oh, and the bottom set of habits is “excellence creations.” That is you, and those are these posts — the 80 Days of excellence where I write for six days a week about excellence.

It isn't easy to do this, but it isn't just about checking the box. Bigger picture, it has been about getting me OUTSIDE the box. Forcing myself to think about excellence is helping me focus on an excellence lesson I'll be teaching to a ladies Bible study on April 3 and 4. And writing about excellence has me thinking about excellence, reading about excellence, and at least three or four times a week it is the topic at the supper table.

Of course, I'm often saying — “what have you learned about excellence this week because I need ideas for what I'm going to write!” However, it is still getting us to talk.

Habits shape us. We are what eat. We are what we think about most of the time. And we indeed are what we do most of the time too.

Choose your habits because, in the end, they will choose who you become tomorrow.

This post is day 46 of 80 days of excellence. I've created an email list below for those of you want to be emailed the full posts written as part of this series.

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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