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Tracking my habits: Data for real people

Do you miss the good old days of using real paper? Are you also a planning fiend who gets a kick out of making a list of lists and organizing everything from party preparations to a strategic plan timeline? If so, bullet journaling might be for you!

Although I understand and sometimes even use electronic tools for tracking personal data (My Fitness Pal, Mint) and organizing my day (Outlook), bullet journaling is a flexible tool for a niche crowd that loves colored markers and being able to track real data. I use it not only to record memories and lay out what I need to do each week (which in the case of the month before my wedding also required color coding), but also to track my goals daily, which adds up to a big picture view.

Here is what I was focusing on last year at this time. It’s called a habit tracker. There are a few important things I can see from looking at my data for the entire month.

1) Some goals depend on other goals. If I am not using My Fitness Pal, I cannot know if


I met my calorie goal for the day.

2) Some goals are clearly not a priority to me and I should re-evaluate my focus on them, i.e., working on my hand lettering.

3) Set realistic goals. I set an attainable goal of 5K steps a day because for my deskwork lifestyle the 10K target would be such a big change that I could easily get discouraged at not meeting the goal and stop working toward it altogether. 5K seems to be a sufficient motivator to get me a bit more active and I can increase the goal with time.

Using all this information, I update my goals and set up the tracker for the next month. What could you learn from tracking your habits?