The Habit Scorecard: A Simple Tool for Building Better Habits

When you’ve been doing something a thousand times, it becomes so automatic that you barely notice what you’re doing anymore. Bad habits may have entered your routines and taken away your time and energy without you noticing it. A habit scorecard is a tool that helps you understand your routines and notice if you have started any bad habits.

Let’s have a look at what a habit scorecard is and how you can use it to identify the behaviors you need to change.

A sum up of the post describing what a habit score is, how to create one, and benefit from it
The habit scorecard – key takeaways

What is a habit scorecard?

When you have done something often enough, it becomes automatic. You don’t notice what you’re doing anymore, and it’s difficult to break it down and see what needs to change. When you get to this point, you need a tool to help you move along. One of those is a habit scorecard

A habit scorecard is a tool that helps you keep track of the different behaviors in your routines. When you use the scorecard, you’ll become more aware of how you use your time. It will suddenly become obvious if you’re wasting it and what you need to change to become who you want to be.

When you’re aware of your bad habits, you might automatically change them. But mostly, you have to do an effort to get rid of them yourself.

Habit scorecard template

To make things easier for you, we have created a free habit scorecard template for you to download. All you have to do is fill out the form yourself.

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How to use a habit scorecard

You can easily make your own habit scorecard in 2 steps, if you don’t want the template.

Begin by writing down your habits in the exact order they happened. You can make one for your whole day, but it’ll be easier to start with a smaller part of the day. Here’s an example of how your habit scorecard could look for your morning routine.

  • Wake up
  • Turn the alarm off
  • Go to the kitchen to drink some water
  • Go to the toilet
  • Go to the kitchen to make breakfast
  • Eat breakfast
  • Go to the toilet
  • Check social media
  • Brushing teeth

When you have a list of the habits you want to explore, it is time to score them.

How to score your habits.

Once you’ve created a list of your habits, it’s time to give them a score. The three scores you’ll use are +, -, and =

+=A good habit

-=A bad habit

==A neutral habit

You determine whether a habit is good or bad by how it’ll affect you in the long run. Ask yourself if the habit will benefit you in a year from now. Will this habit take away time from other, more important things?

Another way to determine whether the habit is good is to imagine the kind of person you would like to be. Ask yourself, “Would a ____ person do this?”. If the kind of person you would like to be would do the behavior, it’s a good habit. If they wouldn’t, it’s a bad habit.

Neutral habits are those that aren’t good or bad but are something that no one can avoid doing. They don’t help you become a better person, but they aren’t making you worse either.

Let’s have a look at an example of how we could score the list from before:

  • Wake up =
  • Turn. the alarm off =
  • Drink water +
  • Go to the toilet =
  • Make breakfast +
  • Eat breakfast +
  • Go to the toilet =
  • Check social media –
  • Brushing teeth +

Remember that the list above is just an example of how you can score the habits. You can score them differently depending on your situation and goals.

For most of us, checking social media is nothing more than a distraction, a bad habit. For someone making a living through social media, it might be a part of their job, a good habit.

An example of a finished habit scorecard
Example of a habit scorecard

What do you do with the scores?

For now, you don’t have to do anything besides accept the scores and how you’ve been using your time. We all have bad habits, and we all waste time. There is no reason to beat yourself up over this.

Once you have accepted your situation, you can begin to look at it more critically. Are any habits so bad that they are keeping you from becoming who you want to be? Does it decrease the quality of your life? If you answer yes to one of those, it might be a good idea to break the habit.

You might notice that one of your habits is leading to other even worse habits. This is called a trigger habit. Getting rid of it can bring significant growth.

Related: The worst habits for your mental health

How to use a habit scorecard to form good habits

The purpose of a habit scorecard is to help you understand your routines. This helps you understand which habits you have and how they interact with each other. To this point, we have explored how you can use it to break bad habits, but you can use it for more. Here’s how you can use the scorecard to form better habits.

1. Find a trigger habit

A trigger habit is a behavior that leads to other habits and can be the start of a routine. A habit scorecard can help you identify these. Both good and bad.

Use the scorecard for a couple of days to get a good overview of your routine. Begin to look for a habit that you do every day and where you have time to do something else after. This is your trigger habit.

Your trigger habit can be turning off your alarm, making the bed, or walking your plates to the kitchen after dinner.

2. Form the habit

One of the easiest ways to form a habit is to do it as an extension of another habit. The habit scorecard helped you identify the trigger habit. All that’s left to do is form the new habit. You can read more about how to do that here.

Sum up

A habit scorecard is a way of getting an overview of your current habits. It can help you to determine which habits to get rid of.

The habit scorecard is easy to make yourself. Start by making a list of all your habits and score them as either good, bad, or neutral. Once you have a list of scored habits, you can decide which behaviors to get rid of and which to accept.

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