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I’ve used planners since I was a teenager — first DayTimers and then Franklin Covey for the past several decades. I had a schedule and did classic time management: goals, steps to those goals, and a schedule including those steps. I adjusted that a bit when I learned about GTD, and then I became interested in habits. Last year I discovered the decorated planner movement, which has turned out to be ideal for habit tracking.

One set of habits I track is my diet and fitness habits. These made it possible for me to lose 60 pounds last year and I hope to lose another 40 this year, once I get past the landing I’m on right now and continue down the stairs. I have six habits in this category:

  • 8 glasses of water
  • planning meals (breakfast and lunch are automatic, so that’s really just planning dinner)
  • tracking the Evil Six
  • 5 a day(fruits and veg — though it should really be 9 a day)
  • steps/cardio
  • strength (weights or circuit training)

I have yet to find the perfect planner sticker to track those six things.

Here I have hydration and exercise in the sidebar, Fitbit step tracking, and meal plan combined with a pretty 5 a day from Dook Plook designs. I can use multiple stickers in a mishmash like this in many different ways, but it seems chaotic rathger than systematic. Of course, I am also including reminders to floss, care for my skin and put on make-up, get enough sleep, and study all in quite a small space..

Here is the Dook Plook tracker sticker, with hydration, meal planning, A & B which I am treating as cardio and strength, and Evil 6 (“syns” — something from a British version of Weight Watchers, which is coincidentally in groups of 15, my weekly limit for the Evil 6). No 5 a day, and I actually added their Steps stickers here as well, plus some weight lifting icons, because apparently I hadn’t yet thought about how to use A & B. I put some 8-a-day (which is more correct than 5-a-Day) up the page a ways, so everything is covered, but not as efficiently. The measurement tracker is also from Dook Plook.

This is that Dook Plook sticker again with their 5 a day as well. This covers everything, and does so almost all in one box.

Here I have, counting from the bottom up, hydration, meal plan, Evil 6 for the week on Monday, exercise on the other days, 5 a day, and a heart for cardio, all stacked up as Little Things. Less tidy and more effort to arrange, but it covers everything.

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Here’s one from Sevin Designs, with meals and hydration, cardio and strength. I can put 5 a day and Evil 6 trackers in the sidebar or in the half box just above this tracking sticker. I could also cover the breakfast and lunch with 5 a day and Evil 6 trackers, using the Little Things boxes as seen in the previous image. I could do that with the Dook Plook fitness tracker as well, actually. Or I could ask either of these studios if they would make me a custom fitness tracker box sticker. Or I could create one for myself, because I am a DIY kind of gal.

By the end of the year I should have all my fitness habits in a perfect checklist for tracking.

Does it make a difference? Yes. I am not perfect yet on most of these items, but I consistently make the effort and achieve about 85% success if I have the checklist for accountability. The arts and crafts aspect is a plus for me, so I don’t mind the time involved, whereas I would not take the trouble just to write those things down in my planner every day (I know — I tried that).