Getting Started with Habit Tracking

10 essential habits to build each day

Noran Azmy
5 min readJan 17, 2022


If you’re interested in growth and self-improvement — which you probably are, if you’re reading this — then chances are you’ve come across James Clear’s advice on setting systems, not goals.

I’ve found that goals are good for planning your progress and systems are good for actually making progress.
— James Clear

This piece of advice was a game changer in my experience. I was instantly transformed from an avid goal setter to a habit tracker. After years of setting the same goals and doing very little to make them happen, I finally feel like I’m making progress towards the things I want.

I still set goals for myself. At the start of each year and month, I take the time to think about the things I want to achieve, and properly visualize them.

The difference now is that as soon as I decide on my goals, I immediately shift my focus to the habits I need to build to help me achieve those goals.

This year, I want to become a blogger. But I’ve also wanted that the year before, and the year before that. If I want to finally become a blogger, I need to embed this goal in my day to day. I need to decide on actual tasks to repeat each day that’ll help me become a blogger by the end of the year; for example, “write each day for one hour”.

Here’s what I learned about habit tracking over the past few years, as well as some of the best habits to start tracking today.

Build good habits without putting yourself down

Here’s one important thing to remember: habit tracking isn’t about punishing yourself. It shouldn’t be done from a place of self criticism, but from a place of kindness and self love.

A habit is something you do most of the time. Missing a day or two does not mean that you’ve failed. It means you’re succeeding in keeping up with your habit in a way that’s sustainable and realistic. Your aim should be to try and check off each day, and still be proud of your progress if you don’t, because it’s probably more progress than you would have achieved if you weren’t tracking…



Noran Azmy

A software engineer who enjoys writing on a variety of topics, including personal development, productivity, learning, books, politics, and social issues.