This Is How I’m Drinking More Water

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Last month I announced my micro resolution to drink more water in 2016, and asked for a little help from you all on the subject. Your answers were both helpful and reassuring — turns out, many of you had a similar goal!

So how am I doing now that the glow of New Year’s resolution-making has worn off?

Overall, I am feeling better than I was before. Perhaps I didn’t paint a clear enough picture in my original post, but my water-intake habits have generally been abysmal. I was only drinking about two or three (eight-ounce) glasses of water a day, and I was definitely feeling the negative effects of that. It’s not that I don’t like water; this also goes for seltzer, tea, and juice — drinking liquids is just not my thing, apparently.

I knew that pretty much anything would improve my situation, so I tried a few tactics. To recap, here’s what I vowed to do.

  • Drink a glass of water when I first wake up (before coffee).
  • Keep my water filter pitcher in the fridge (I like really cold water).
  • Fill up a large water bottle and put it somewhere in plain sight (like my desk).

The first strategy — drinking a glass first thing in the morning — has certainly helped. It’s pretty much become part of my morning routine; almost on autopilot, I now reach for my pitcher of water in the fridge before I start making coffee. A big improvement!

As far as the large water bottle goes, that’s been more of a hit-or-miss tactic. Some days I’ll remember to fill up the water bottle, and some days I’ll even drink from it — but for the most part, I realized I like drinking water in smaller quantities. I have these tumblers at home, and find it’s more manageable to shoot back a glass of water than stare down a giant water bottle all day.

Once I realized the water bottle thing wasn’t really working for me, I decided to try a couple (free and easy) tips from our readers.

I drink water based on my everyday routine: two glasses of water and a coffee before I eat my lunch, two more glasses of water and a coffee before I sign off/leave work for the day. The rest of the night, I try to drink at least two more glasses of water (maybe one before dinner and one after dinner). – Caitlin McGillicuddy

For a few weeks, I set a timer on my phone to remind me to drink more water. I’ve never been one to drink very much, but I started to get afternoon headaches and my doctor recommended I watch my fluid intake. After a while, my animal brain was trained and it’s stuck ever since. – laura sue

The idea of adding structure around drinking water has been super helpful. I set alarms on my phone at different checkpoints throughout the day — my morning alarm (which wakes me up), one before lunchtime, one in mid-afternoon, one before dinner, and one later in the evening (close to when I normally go to bed).

A lot of alarms, I know, but since I work from home I figure I’m not disturbing anyone (except my cat). Hopefully, like laura sue, my brain will automatically start to signal that it’s time for a glass of water and I won’t need the alarms anymore. For now, though, it seems to be helping!