Why are habits so hard to stick to?
I think because on a daily level they seem to make such an insignificant difference. It's often hard to see the change that those habits are making when we are caught up in the daily minutia. So how do we stay motivated to keep doing habits without seeing results every day?
We focus on trends, not the actions
I'm no mathematician, but I started thinking about how we might apply trend analysis to how we build & track habits.
Compare data over time to see results. At a very basic level trends are just viewing data over time. So you take a time period, say 7 days, and you look back over that time to work out whether you are trending up or trending down. The more days you hit your goal the more you are trending up.
Spot Patterns. The second part of trend analysis is to spot patterns. This is where we can analyse data and ask questions. Not just are we on track. But what trips us up? What makes the habit easier to perform? Do we often perform it in the morning or the evening and which seems to work better for us.
Use Historical Data to predict future outcomes. This is where I see the most potential for finding motivation. I used to use an app called My Fitness Pal. Every day you logged your calories it would let you know that if you kept at this pace you would reach your goal in [??] days. It was an instant motivator to keep going.
Tracking habits from day to day can be exhausting and a little demotivating. But adding in a little trend analysis might just be the motivation you need?