zen habits : breathe

Ben Franklin’s hack tweaked – tracking my goals

Post written by Leo Babauta. Follow me on Twitter.

A number of people have posted about Ben Franklin’s virtues, which is one of the coolest ideas for tracking your habits. I’ve thought about this idea for quite some time, and just this week decided to tweak it to fit my own goals.

I created a simple spreadsheet for tracking my habits and goals, from exercise to quitting caffeine to my morning routine to my debt and savings goals.

Now, I have a weekly schedule worked out so that each of these is scheduled for different days, so on this chart I have the other days greyed out when I don’t need to worry about that goal or habit.

So here’s the key: each evening, I review my day (as Ben Franklin did). I look through the boxes for that day, and put a dot for the habits or goals I accomplished for that day, and an “x” for those I didn’t. My goal is to have all dots and no “x”s. Then, I look at what’s coming up for the next day, so I am prepared for tomorrow.

I do this review as the last thing I do before going to bed. It has been working like a charm. Like any system, it only works if you work it, but so far I’ve been working it. I highly recommend this system, as it’s a great way not only to track your goals and habits, but to motivate yourself to stick with it each day.

OK, I know this is very similar to Joe’s Goals, but I like this analogue method even better. I printed out a few small sheets (half of letter-sized sheet), printed out a nice cover with the word’s “Habit Book” on the front. Give it a shot!

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