Self Magazine Recommends:
Drink a glass after every bathroom break.
Start a habit by linking drinking water with one of your most common daily activities—going to the bathroom. Getting up from your desk for a bathroom break? Stop by the kitchen to chug a glass of water. It’s just another way to build the habit into your daily routine. You’ll already be getting up, which means it’s a perfect time to stop by the water cooler or the faucet to fill up your bottle or glass. And it will set up a great cycle: The more water you drink, the more you’ll have to go to the bathroom, which means the more water you will drink, and so on. Basically, it’s the good kind of self-fulfilling prophecy.
If you are making dinner at home, sip while you cook and prep. If you’re out at a restaurant, ask for water when the server comes around to take drink orders. If you’re waiting for your lunch to heat up or your toast to pop, drink water while doing it. Even if you’re putting together a snack, drink that water. It’s just a simple rule that will help you drink more water. Once you establish these little “rules,” you’ll find that you’re doing it almost automatically without having to think about it or put much effort into it at all.
I don’t know about you, but for me, if an activity involves using an app, it’s a lot easier for me to get into that activity, and maybe even get a little excited about it. Keeping up with how many glasses you’ve finished can be easy (and fun) with the help of a free app like Daily Water Free or Daily Water. Download them to your phone to set daily reminders and alarms. Anything that gives me an excuse to use a neat interface and gaze at a well-designed app has my vote!
One sneaky way to increase the amount of water you consume on a daily basis: eat your H2O. Add fruits and vegetables with a high water content to your grocery shopping list. Some top picks include cucumber (96% water), zucchini (95% water), watermelon (92% water), and grapefruit (91% water). Try these recipes to get started: Zucchini Pasta With White Beans and Grilled Chicken, Grilled Salmon Salad With Grapefruit, and Cucumber Salad.
You’ve probably heard the drinking rule: for every cocktail you drink, have one glass of water. This is a great strategy to stay hydrated while imbibing, and while some people use it in the hopes that their hangover might be a little less brutal the next day if they aren’t so dehydrated, it’s also a winning strategy for anyone who needs those little rules and triggers to get them to keep doing that thing they mean to keep doing but sometimes forget to (or find a way to avoid).
There’s something about seeing my progress as I go that really encourages me to keep on keeping on no matter what it is I’m working on. In fact, having a fun, visual way to see that my effort is adding up is just about the best way to get me to stick with something. And bonus points if the thing I’m using to mark my progress is as fun to look at as the progress itself. That’s what makes me think that a bottle that’s marked with ounces or even hours might just help you reach your personal water goal each day. Try this colorful tumbler ($11).
Make a rule that every time you work out, you’ll bring a water bottle and finish the whole thing.
Basically staying hydrated when you work out is a must so instead of sipping at the water fountain between sets or thinking of that post-run coffee as hydration (we’ve all done it), make a point of filling and then finishing a bottle of water every single time you exercise (or sip and down the rest after you’ve finished your session). It’s another way to associate an activity with getting your water in and since this particular activity really benefits from water, why not make it a rule? Of course, everyone’s needs around hydration are different and no one likes to feel sloshy when they exercise, but even just some sips before, during, and after your workout will mean a drained water bottle in no time.
Working in an office, I notice that a lot of people’s stand around time takes place when they’re in the kitchen waiting for their coffee to finish brewing. And the same goes for me when I’m at home. I’ve been known to stand there at the counter and just stare at the coffee pot, just waiting for that sweet, sweet brew to fill the carafe. Basically, I have enough time to stand there and stare but not enough time to do much of anything else. So, why not put another one of those little tricks into action and make a rule that any time you’re waiting for coffee, you finish a glass of water?
Look, we’re all already doing certain things everyday: getting out of bed, getting into bed, brushing our teeth, having breakfast, doing the dishes, going for a walk, etc. etc. Basically, if you tie each of these transitions to drinking water, before you know it you will have hit your goals. Getting up for a walk? Drink a glass of water. Going to lunch? Drink water. Leaving the house? Drink water. Coming home? Drink water. Going to get the mail? Sitting down to play video games? Walking over to get your book and then sit on the couch to read? Drink that water!
There’s nothing like a reward, even a small one, for accomplishing something you set out to do. It just makes you want to keep hitting that goal! Make a rule that if you hit your goal every day for a week, you get yourself that fancy coffee beverage or spend even longer than usual binging on Netflix or scrolling through Instagram. Maybe after you’ve hit all your water goals for a month or two or six, you reward yourself with something even more significant. Sure, hydration and the health benefits of water are their own reward but we could all use a supplemental reward every once in a while!