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How much water do you drink each day? How much “other stuff”? In our home, my girls drink water about 99% of the time. They drink when they’re thirsty and refill their cups often. On the other hand, sometimes I struggle with drinking enough water, and I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s the Cherry Pepsi calling my name or my laziness when I don’t want to refill my glass. But I feel better, have more energy and eat less when I drink enough water, so it’s definitely something I’m working on improving.
Here are my tips to make it happen:
1. Set a reasonable goal.
According to Snopes, the ultimate fact-or-fiction resource, the accepted advice to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day has no scientific basis. It’s also important to remember that even if your goal is 64 ounces of water in a day, you meet some of your water needs through other foods and drinks, especially fruits and vegetables.
If the thought of drinking 8 glasses of water each day in order to be healthy discourages you, start with an easier goal, such as a 12-ounce glass of water with every meal. It’s fine to ultimately shoot for 64 ounces or more a day, of course, but do it in steps rather than trying to force yourself to drink that much from the start.
It may be that a better goal is simply replacing the things you’re currently drinking with water in order to cut the calories and sugar that are found in soda and coffee.
2. Figure out how you like your water.
I think this is actually the most step to increasing your water intake. Have you ever thought about how you prefer to drink your water?
:: Bottle or glass or plastic cup?
:: Ice cold or cool or room temperature?
:: Flavored or unflavored?
:: Gulp or sip?
I prefer my water to be room temperature in my large Kleen Kanteen bottle, and I usually drink 8 to 12 ounces at a time (even though I know it’s said that your body can only absorb 8 ounces every half hour) rather than sip throughout the day. I also love cucumber water, which sounds strange but is amazingly refreshing. Figuring out how I like my water has made it much easier for me to drink more throughout the day.
3. Identify what stops you from drinking more water.
What is your biggest obstacle to drinking water? Is it that you don’t remember until after you’ve eaten and so you’re full already? Is it that you don’t like to take the time to fill up your glass or water bottle? Or is it that you crave the sugar or flavor of soda? Figure out what’s stopping you from drinking water and look for ways to overcome those specific obstacles.
4. Give yourself a visual reminder.
With any goal, it’s easier to stay on track if we have regular reminders and can see our progress along the way. Some people like to fill up several glasses or bottles at the beginning of the day as a visual reminder of how much they need to drink. But there are other ways to remind yourself to drink more water, such as on your daily to-do list. The LobotoME weekly planner features an area for you to check off how many glasses of water you drink each day.
5. Keep drinking your soda…or try flavored water.
Just like many of the other resolutions, we tend to undermine ourselves by giving up if we can’t keep it perfectly. While it’s certainly a good goal to replace your afternoon soda/coke/pop with water, it’s better to drink water the rest of the day and still enjoy that afternoon soda than it is to simply give up on your goal of drinking more water altogether.
Or it may be that you’re just tired of plain water by mid-afternoon and looking for something with a little more flavor. Try juice or flavored water (either artificial flavoring or a few slices of fruit) as a compromise!
How much water do you drink in a typical day? How do you prefer your water?
The 31 Days of Organizing for a Better 2010 series is sponsored by Get Organized Wizard.Restore order and harmony in your home with The Ultimate To-Do List Pack, Home & Family Edition.