New Habit Tracking Update

One of the tools I’ve tried this summer for activating some of the new habits I want to begin as we settle into our new lifestyle here in Florida is a weekly/monthly Habit Tracking.  I’ve been keeping track of New Experiences, Books Read, and New Recipes Tried for a couple of years now.  While those do have target goals, for me it’s really more about listing the items to “relive the moments”.  This summer’s tracking is more about checking off and being accountable to establish new habits; therefore I created a simple Check-off Tracker (on paper) with weekly and monthly items. 

Here’s a snippet of what it looks like:

JunMonthly:
Roast Chicken Recipe
Jet Tub
Massage
Book Club
Foodie Dinner
Tourist in Own Town
Week 1:
Beach Walk
Beach Yoga
Zoom Zumba
New Recipe
Date Night
Distant Friend Connect
Blog Post
Example of habit tracking sheet

At the 2-month mark, here’s my mid-summer accountability.  Due to weeks of Red Tide and now a COVID resurgence, my new habit formation is not going as well as I had hoped, with misses on beach activities and the out & about activities. I will probably continue the tracking into fall, when beach yoga might be do-able again and we might be able to be out & about without concern. (Wishful thinking?)

I’ve also relooked at my summer activity list in relationship to my retirement life vision statement.  Sometimes it takes me awhile to find the framework, but I recently realized my vision statement “fits” a mind-body-heart-soul framework! And many of the Putting Positive Psychology into Practice elements (blog link here) I’ve been working on fit this framework as well.  

My current retirement life vision statement is Active, Connected, Creative, Contemplative.

MIND = Contemplative (Thinking): Emotional Awareness, Practice Gratitude, Daily Journaling, Meditation, Activate Strengths, Stop Compare & Despair, Let Go Resentment, Shift Self-Limiting Beliefs, Courage (2021 WOTY) on the Someday-I-Wills, Explore a New Class (learning)

BODY = Active (Health):  Daily Movement, Strength Train/Yoga/Beach Yoga, Sleep, Eat Healthy/Hydrate, SUP/Kayak, Bike rides, Beach walks, Zoom Zumba, Monthly Massage, Jet Tub baths

HEART = Connected (Belonging): Far-away Friends Connections, Practice Kindness, Book Club/Garden Club, Tourist in Own Town plans, Mid-Week Foodies group, ExploreDrum Circle, Explore Philanthropy, Plan Movie Night

SOUL = Creative (Authentic Self): New Experiences (track), Fun with Cooking  (new recipes track), Farmer’s Market, Blogging, Savor Being Outside – Sunrises/Sunsets/Star Gaze/ Tide Watch, Crafts / Beach Art, Kitchen Refresh, Gardening/New Plants, Play More

Interestingly, in each framework area I have habits in place, new habits I am trying to form, and things that I have not yet planned nor executed.

I love when I find a meaningful structure for things, like this mind-body-heat-soul framework.  And yes, my most recent exploration into Human Design reiterated this is a significant component of my personality!

Do you track things?  Do you have a life framework?

17 thoughts on “New Habit Tracking Update

  1. I’ve had this post open for a couple of weeks in my browser Pat as it really interested me and I like the idea of a life vision and tracking new habits. I can’t quite yet work out how I can identify my own vision but I think it’s something I should do.

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    1. I’ll be doing some Throwbacks this month that might help you with creating your future vision. I’ve refined my vision statement multiple times but it’s now been the same for 2-3 years. My new habits fit within that vision statement. And will be focus for my fall activities again.

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  2. I do track things. I think that’s the Enneagram 1 in me. And definitely in you. Love my lists and categories and goals. But have kind of fallen off on making them lately. My remember that I do better when I am list-making and keeping track of things.

    Your life vison statement categories remind me of the way I am thinking about and tracking my wellness journey. Keep finding so many bloggers sampling kayaking…can’t wait to see photos of you doing it, too. Maybe by next summer I can give it a go. Glad for y our Zoom Zumba. And I am always up for or down for a massage.

    So proud of the way you are adapting and embracing life in Florida. Well done, my friend.

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    1. Just writing this post pushed me to make a massage appointment, take a tub bath, and reach out to a friend to set up a chat time! Yes, tracking things and check lists work for me!

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  3. I track a few things but not to the extent you do. While I have exercise goals, I do not keep track except through both my FitBit and the Map My Walk app on my phone. Right now, all I’m tracking is the books I read and my cross stitch projects. That’s enough for me!!

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    1. I don’t really track with my Fit Bit although I do look at if to see how I’m doing on steps or sleep. But it is not the accountability tracking as when I first got it. More like – “oh yeah. No steps today. oops.”

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  4. I found this really interesting Pat. I have tended to be less concerned with making the habits ones I am accountable for each day as that felt too much like work life. I do have a loose plan for each day which consists of connection: with husband, blogging, some art for me, a small trip out to the local shops & maybe somewhere in nature for walking and photographing. I don’t cooking meals and creating new ideas for them as we have all our meals at home. And have different needs. We are in the 7th week of lockdown started with the Delta strain of Covid and it seems like until 70% of the population is vaccinated, we here in Australia will be living life like this for some time. We are both fully vaxxed.

    Thanks for linking up for Life This Week. Next week’s optional prompt is Shopping and it will be interesting for me to decide what to write! So much has changed in #lockdown this time round. Hope to see you link up too. Cheers, Denyse.

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    1. Denyse, There are many people who find my need for frameworks, planning, check lists, and tracking just crazy…my husband is one of those people! I admire people who can have “loose plans” and still fill their days. It’s good to know yourself and find the ways to make your own life content.

      The Delta variant is running rampant here and our spike looks like it will be higher than last one. I’ve pulled back in and I’m feeling the same agony as when we first went into isolation – the loss of having to cancel things planned…. which for a planner is tough.

      I’m not sure about shopping as a prompt…. but will see if that concept shows up in this week’s post at all. 🙂

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  5. I am definitely a tracker, Pat, so I can appreciate your habit tracking tool. I’m sorry to hear that you’ve had to adjust your plans for safety reasons, but glad to hear that your are being flexible and going with the flow…as they say. I’ve never labeled it as a framework, but I do have four values that I use to set my goals and make decisions, so I guess that is a life framework: health and fitness, joy, growth and learning, and relationships. I think those may be other ways of saying body, soul, mind, and heart. We have much in common. Good luck with your summer activities and your retirement vision!

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    1. Christie, I think your 4 are also very close to the mind, body, heat & soul! I’m not sure why finding this framework really appealed to me, but it did. Now I might consider goals in each area!

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  6. Throughout my forties and fifties, I used my journal as an accountability partner to track progress and achieve goals. I basically divided my time among mind, body, spirit (which represents my whole self) and set goals under each category. It was the impetus for my ‘balanced living’ philosophy of the past decade. While I no longer track daily progress, I am mindful of maintaining balance among the categories. When things are ‘off” I definitely know it. Living mindfully is not instinctive for most people and must be learned and practiced. It’s hard work, but worth it. Enjoy the journey.

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    1. I am hoping in time that the things I am tracking will become habits. I certainly don’t track brushing my teeth! I know many who have reached that point with their exercise (body) activities or meditation (mind). I’ve actually gotten there with my morning journaling – it’s a daily habit! But for now, tracking and trying to be accountable. I did a beach walk this morning as the Red Tide has dissipated quite a bit.

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  7. I love your four categories. I sometimes do something similar but tend to fall off the tracking quickly. I try to do something for the mind (reading, blogging, etc), something for the body (eat good, walk), and something to improve the house or yard (yardwork, maintenance, cleaning, etc).

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    1. I like how you phrased house & yard things – “something to improve” them. I often feel a sense of accomplishment on days I do housework (even bathroom cleaning!) because I feel like I am maintaining the space I love to be in. It’s not something to track though – LOL.

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  8. I track my wellness practices (stretches, Tai chi chih, walking, sound therapy). Otherwise, it’s easy to say “I just did that” and not do it. I also keep track of social and home activities including menu. I like to respond to the question of “So what have you been doing?” with something concrete. Also, when someone asks, “What’s new?” I can usually come up with a response other than, “Nothing” although occasionally I do respond “It’s all old”! I’m a little oppressed by the pandemic response, the heat, the drought, the smoke; I need to be proactive about my life and reflect on all the good things in it. All this tracking provides me with accountability and opportunity for reflection and gratitude.

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    1. I really love the phrase an “opportunity for reflection and gratitude” – that is exactly why I keep track of things. But your point that it’s often easy to “not do it” might make me start to track some other things! I’ve gotten better on beach walks now that our Red Tide is down (yeah). Your smoke & drought, our Red Tide & heat…. on top of a resurgence of Covid… tracking the little things that make life good is so important.

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