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Anyone who has been through a basic junior high health class knows how important it is to stay hydrated by drinking water. However, the recommended 8 glasses of water a day is MUCH easier said than done. I don’t know about you, but even though I’m not particularly attached to soda or juice, I still find drinking enough water to be a challenge. With temperatures rising this summer and many of us increasing our outdoor activities, hydration is a necessity. I came up with a list of simple strategies to help establish routines for drinking more water on a daily basis.
1. Drink water with every meal.
While we may forget to drink water, we’re a lot better at remembering to eat, right? Create a habit of drinking at least one glass of water every time you sit down to eat. Better yet, try to drink a glass of water BEFORE you eat. Then pour yourself a second glass to enjoy while you eat your meal.
2. Carry water around with you EVERYWHERE.
Have you ever heard the saying “out of sight, out of mind?" This adage is quite true when it comes to your water-drinking habits. If I don’t have a water bottle nearby and available throughout the day, I won’t remember to drink it. Similarly, if I’m carrying water around with me everywhere I go (running errands, at my desk, to a church prayer meeting, walking around the park, etc.), I’ll be much more likely to reach for it and drink throughout the day. While it may seem a bit inconvenient, toting around the extra weight in your purse is worth it!
3. Buy a cute tumbler or bottle.
Going along with number two, buy a cute tumbler, cup, or water bottle that you love. If I’m excited about something I own, I’m much more motivated and confident carrying it around and “showing it off” to people. Your cup can be, in a way, like a fashion accessory - an opportunity to express your personality AND establish a healthy habit! I call that a win-win! I recently found some super cute, personalized tumblers here that are absolutely adorable. My mom prefers drinking water from a mason jar with a straw that you’ll see her carry around with her. Whatever your style, get a cup that makes you happy and use it!
4. View other beverages as a treat.
If you’re accustomed to drinking other beverages such as soda or juice throughout the day, it can be difficult to create a desire for seemingly bland water. Rather than forcing yourself to cut out other beverages altogether, use them as a motivation to drink water. Don’t allow yourself to indulge in a cold glass of fresh squeezed lemonade, sweet iced tea, or coke until you’ve first had a glass of water.
5. Set reminders on your phone.
Even the most basic smartphones typically have a way to set an alarm to remind you of various responsibilities and appointments. Set an automatic alarm to remind you at various times throughout the day to stop what you’re doing and drink a glass of water. If you’re looking for something more focused on establishing routine, I’ve recently discovered a smartphone app called “Productive." The app allows you to plan your habits by time of day and track how successful you are at achieving your goals every day. Not a big smartphone person? Use a large dry erase calendar or conspicuous notepad to serve as a reminder and help you keep track!
6. Ask others for accountability.
Chances are, the people you’re around all the time are more aware of your habits than you realize. Talk to the people you spend the most time with and ask them to hold you accountable. For me, that meant telling my co-workers that I had set a goal to drink more water and asking them to remind me of that goal whenever they saw me drinking soda instead. Just a simple, verbal reminder of “hey, stop drinking that” can be SO helpful. Plus, you’ll find yourself re-thinking your drink choice if you know they’re going to call you out on your sugar-filled beverage.
7. Track your accomplishment.
Find a way to track how many glasses or ounces of water you’re consuming in a day and take time to celebrate when you succeed! I love cute stickers like these that can go in your paper planner as a simple way to monitor your progress and success. As someone who loves the feeling of crossing items off a list, I’ll drink a cup of water just so I can check off one of the boxes. While it may sound silly, my philosophy is to find what motivates you and do it!
What are some of your favorite ways to stay focused on hydration throughout the day? Comment below with your ideas!