7 Habits That Propel You Forward (+ Habit Tracker)

7 Habits That Propel You Forward

I was so super thankful to those of you who tried out my #Goals workbook I just introduced in January. It makes me so happy to hear that it's helping move you closer to those things you really care about.

A common question that came up a few times with the workbook is, "What do I do with the Habits section? Or how do I know what should be a goal vs. a habit or to-do task?"

I can see how that can be really confusing so I wanted to break that down for you and share some habits that can give us a really big head-start with achieving our goals. 

Goals vs. Habits vs. To Dos

Here's how I break it down...

Goals - general, major priority or objectives

Example: "I want to get in better shape by summer." or "I want to grow my brand."

To-Do Task - single chore or assignment you'll usually only do once

Example: "Buy Gym membership." or "Hire a Designer."

Habit - consistent practice you do regularly, or a task that becomes part of your normal routine.

Examples: "Morning smoothies. Yoga class. Go to the gym." or "Post branded image to Instagram. Write weekly newsletter. Share newest photoshoot." 

So to-do tasks can help you get closer to your goals. But habits, especially the really good ones, can propel you forward and maybe even change your life. In fact, I know of at least 7 habits that can impact your work and life in a really big way...

7 Habits That Propel You Forward (+Free Habit Tracker)

7 Habits That Propel You Forward

1. Organizing your main workspaces before you start the day

This could mean your desk, your files, your paper clutter...wherever you need to be the most productive. If this area stays organized, it keeps you from wasting time tracking things down and the added stress that comes from forgetting about things. 

More on this: No More Paper Clutter, Start Every Day With a Clean Space

2. Clearing your emails out every morning

I try to spend 15 minutes or less every morning deleting, archiving or responding quickly to emails until the inbox is mostly clear. I was just reading about a blogger who spends 2-3 HOURS every day on emails. I know it's an easy area to get overwhelmed. Creating response templates, keeping your manual responses short/to the point, and archiving all of the extras (newsletters, sales emails, etc.) to read for when you actually have the free time can be such great habits.

More on this: Why I Use 4 Separate Email Accounts, Master Your Inbox

3. Making space in the week for focused work

I'm a bit of an introvert so if my week is full of social stuff and I don't have much time at home, my energy is totally drained. If this happens I have a really hard time getting focused or keeping up on my house. I end up only having the energy for small insignificant tasks. So setting aside a few days a week is so key to moving forward on bigger projects. 

More on this: Set Up Block Scheduling, 31 Days to a Super-Purposeful Schedule

4. Plan your week before it begins

You might already get this idea because I've talked about this SO many times. But it's because of how much it has changed my life. You don't have to take long, maybe 15-30 minutes, to plan ahead...whether it's meals, appointments, birthdays, outlining blog posts, lining up your Instagram images, or choosing what you'll work on each day. You don't have to stick to the plan completely, but you'll be thrown for less surprises and be so much more productive if you have a plan in mind.

More on this: Start A Weekly Plan Hour, How I Plan My Week In An Hour

5. Maximize your mornings

I started having purposeful mornings about 4-5 years ago after reading Kat Lee's ebook. I love the idea of waking up for your life rather than just waking up to it. Basically you wake up early so that you can take a few minutes each morning to get in the Bible, pray or journal, fit in a quick workout with headphones. You're ready for the day by the time it actually starts. 

More on this: Wake Up Well, 5 Ways to Start Your Day Strong

6. Keep up with a buddy

Maybe this means your best friend, a coach, mentor, mastermind group or family member. Having someone involved in your life regularly who understands you and your goals is so key to helping you reach them. They can remind you of what's true and keep you accountable to what's best for you. Even if it's a text or Voxer message everyday, it can make a big difference.

More on this: Do You Need A Business Buddy?

7. Continuously improving

I just finished the book, The 2-Second Lean and it was full of ideas to make life and work easier on yourself. What's a small (maybe even 2-second) improvement in your schedule, your system, your space, or your skills that you could make? How could you eliminate wasted time, energy, and resources? Doing little edits and always innovating guarantees that you'll always be growing. Making these small shifts can make a big difference when busy seasons come.

More on This: 25 Ways to Get Organized in Busy Seasons, Handling Those Crazy Seasons


How to Track Your Habits

Once you have a running list of habits you want to try, now the tricky part is actually DOING them. Being consistent is hard! But all you need is a way to track your progress in a place where you'll see it often. I created the Habit Tracker worksheet pictured above (If you purchased the 90-Day #Goals workbook, you already have it!) where you can easily list and track habits daily. I put mine next to my coffee maker in my kitchen so that I see it a few times a day and remember to check them off. If you want to use this tracker, it's also available to download in the Free Resource Library.

What goals and habits are you shooting for this year? Are there any areas where you struggle to keep up?