I suck at creating new habits. Really. I’ve read ‘The Willpower Instinct’ by Kelly McGonigal, numerous posts and books by Leo Babauta and other great minds, tried lots of habit-forming apps, used paper pocket-sized cards that I took everywhere with me, big paper sheets on the fridge, etc. But still it’s a big issue for me. If willpower is a muscle, I’m somewhere between Gollum and Woody Allen.
Here’s the method I practice now. It stuck for the longest, so I thought it may be useful for someone. I use a simple Google spreadsheet with a separate page for each month. I usually keep it as a pinned tab in a browser.
I’ve created the template that you can copy and accommodate for your needs. Just be sure to leave weekday reference page ‘#Weekdays’ untouched. The template has some fancy conditional formatting, highlights the current date and shows weekday name and counts your daily score.
Daily score is my attempt to introduce a bit of game mechanics into the habit-forming process. It counts how many checks you’ve ticked each day no matter which number you’ve put against the habit.
Streak count. Put a number of days in a row you’ve done your habit. It helps create a chain that you don’t want to break. I hope the screenshot above clearly conveys the idea.
As you can see, the method is quite straightforward. However, it likely won’t fit, if you want to do your check-ins from a smartphone. Google spreadsheets are still too cumbersome on mobile. I’m thinking of adding AI-based app that will watch you 24h and will do check-ins for you. But that will be featured in the next release ;)