January 17. Do you know what's significant about the not so far away date of January 17?

According to several studies, that's when at least a third of us give up on those goals we set just a little over two weeks ago. So many of us are ready to throw in the towel by that point that it's actually become an international holiday known as "Ditch New Year's Resolutions Day." If you're already miserable, why wait that long? Give it up today.

Most of us who make New Year's Resolutions like "I'm going to exercise," "I'm going to diet," "I'm going to achieve work-life balance" are already setting ourselves up for failure. Why? Because those are such broad statements and you don't have a clear vision of exactly how you're going to get to that final goal. Finding the starting point for something so broad can be really difficult. That's why so many of us declare our intention for this grandiose "resolution" and then never take the first steps forward.

That's why I'll never make a traditional New Year's Resolution again. Instead, I've picked up something called "habit tracking" to help me reach some goals for 2020. As part of the Bullet Journal Method, it gives me a visualization of if I'm progressing toward the ultimate goal (or not.) It holds me accountable in ways a regular New Year's resolution doesn't. It's baby steps toward a bigger picture. It works for me and maybe it will help you be successful too!

Here's a look at how I do it. One of my goals for 2020 is to read more. I barely read at all so what does "more" look like. For January I set more at 15 minutes a day.

From there I drew a "tracker" in my Bullet Journal that has a little box representing each of the 31 days in the month. For each day I accomplish the habit of reading 15 minutes, I get to fill in a little block. At the end of the month I can look back and see how successful I was trying to establish this new, positive habit and identify any patterns in my behavior. It gives me a chance to readjust for February. Do I need to start with a smaller increment of time? Was 15 minutes too easy? Baby steps.

Here's a look at my "habit tracker" for January, but there are zillions of other layouts for habit tracking on Pinterest and a great introduction to it in Ryder Carroll's book The Bullet Journal Method. (BTW, the book's a great read even if you don't feel like Bullet Journaling is ultimately for you. It really does make you look at the way you currently organize your life and why it's working or not working.)

Michelle Heart, Townsquare Media

If you already do habit tracking, I'd LOVE To see your layouts. Download the LITE-FM mobile app below and shoot me your photos.

If you're trying it for the first time, I leave you with the quote I shared for "Michelle's Monday Motivation" this week: 

You'll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine. -George C. Maxwell

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