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Published on August 23, 2018

How to Drink More Water Easily When It Seems Like a Major Chore

How to Drink More Water Easily When It Seems Like a Major Chore

We all have the best intentions of drinking water. We make it our new years resolution and our goal for the week. We will even splurge on fancy water bottles made of stainless steel, glass or BPA-free plastic.

But no matter what we do, we can’t seem to get enough water in. We feel sluggish, our skin isn’t glowing, and we are foggy headed. We often don’t remember to drink or are too busy chugging coffee or tea to worry about plain old water.

The funny thing is, we also all know the benefits of staying hydrated with water. Staying hydrated leads to more natural energy (no need for 4 cups of coffee a day!), decreased hunger, weight maintenance, better looking skin and hair, naturally detoxing, and even sharper thinking.

We all also know that our bodies are made of mostly water, it’s the best beverage to quench our thirst, and has no calories, no sugars, nor any preservatives. All-in-all, the math adds up and it’s a win-win.

But then why is it such a chore to drink enough water?

Simply put, water can be boring.

But, that doesn’t mean that it has to stay that way!

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Here are some tried and true tips to increase your hydration so that you can reap all the wonderful benefits water has to offer.

1. Set a Goal

This may sound redundant and you may even say to yourself “I’ve tried this whole goal thing before”. But this is different.

The key to setting this goal for yourself is to keep the actual water visible.

Start with a big container. This container can be a milk or juice container or a large pitcher. Keep it within eyesight, and keep it full of water. Whether that water container lives in your office, on your kitchen counter, or on your passenger seat in your car is up to you. But, the point is to have this as your reminder throughout the day.

Now comes the actual goal setting part.

Set a goal that each day that you will drink 1,2,3 or 10 of those water containers. Start small and work your way up. Use that large water container to refill your glasses and count how many times you fill that large container. This will give you an easy benchmark to see how well you are doing that day.

2. Add Flavor

Oftentimes water drinking can be such a chore because we are accustomed to flavoring.

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Creating infused waters is a great way to make a delicious beverage that still provides all the benefits of plain water! Adding berries, herbs (such as mint, rosemary, or basil), cucumber, citrus, or melon can be a great way to shake up boring water and make you feel super fancy.

Infused waters will keep all day and just continue to get more delicious as the day goes on! On top of reaping the benefits that plain water has to offer, infused waters will also provide extra boosts in antioxidants and vitamins/minerals depending on your infusion ingredients. It’s a win win!

You can find containers that are specifically made for infusing, or you can make your own with just a large pitcher. Whatever works for you is great; continue to experiment with different flavors and combinations to find that award winning infusion recipe that leads you to chugging water all day long.

3. Keep it Cold

A really cold, icy glass of water is usually more appealing than a lukewarm glass. Adding ice to your water will create a tempting thirst quenching beverage that screams “drink me now”!

Especially in the summertime when temperatures are reaching ungodly highs, water is the perfect cool-down beverage.

Finding a travel water container that keeps your glass really cold is key. There are even some water cups that will keep ice frozen all day long.

You can even take this up a notch and create fun ice cubes. Using a similar approach to the infusions, freezing berries or herbs into ice cubes is a great way to add a hint of flavor without going overboard.

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4. Use a Straw

Surprisingly, many people have much more success in drinking plenty of water when a straw is involved. By simply switching to drinking via straw, it is easier to finish your glass before you realize it’s gone.

In order to continue being environmentally conscious, grab either a reusable cup with a straw or just a reusable straw. And if you are worried about wrinkles, know that staying hydrated keeps your skin naturally plump and smooth. I don’t know about you, but I would rather chance having one or two wrinkles around my mouth while preventing other wrinkles all over.

5. Carry it With You

Keep your water nearby at all times. Bring it in the car, to work, to meetings, to the gym, to the mall, and everywhere in between. Think of your water bottle as an extension of your outfit (bonus points if it matches your clothes).

Having your water bottle around will eliminate any excuse not to drink. You will likely be surprised how often you are thirsty and go for your water bottle compared to how little you were drinking before it became part of your daily ensemble.

6. Use an App

Need to drink more water? There’s an app for that.

Countless companies have made apps that use creative ways for us to track our water intake. From apps that will donate a certain amount to charities when you drink water, to apps that encourage you to grow a beautiful rose bush based on your water intake, there’s an app answer for helping you stay hydrated.

Even if you are compelled by some friendly competition, there are apps where you can challenge your friends and colleagues to “water races”. There are great ways to get started with drinking more water and create the routine of H2O over anything else.

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7. Create Reminders

Most of us function via virtual calendar these days. By creating reminders to ding as reminder to drink water throughout the day we can save ourselves any brainpower of thinking about water, just sit back an wait for the reminder.

Set these reminders each hour and be specific! If you want to drink 8 ounces per hour, add that into the pinging message. And be sure to set yourself up so that you have the water around.

The more of a chore it is to stop and drink water, the less likely you will follow through. So prepare a bit ahead of time, keep your glass full and chug when your phone reminds you to.

Concluding Thoughts

So much of our day-to-day practices are habitual. If you are finding yourself not drinking water currently, it’s all about changing that habit. Soon enough water will be all you want to drink! Setting yourself up for success is key to creating new habits. Making the new behavior easy, do-able, and actually fit in your lifestyle will make it much more likely to continue long-term. Plus keeping in mind how much better you will feel when you are hydrated will keep you going.

Whenever you are creating a new habit, start small. Don’t bite off more than you can chew no matter how tempting it is to go from zero to hundred in a day. When you are forming a new water habit, start with increasing your water intake by factors of 1 or 2. You will always have room to grow! Being realistic with where you are currently and taking steps to get to where you want to go long-term is exactly what will keep you hydrated and feeling great for years to come!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Julia Whelan

Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist

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Last Updated on July 23, 2019

5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

In the journey of growth, there are times when we grow and excel. We are endlessly driven and hyped up, motivated to get our goals.

Then there are times when we stagnate. We feel uninspired and unmotivated. We keep procrastinating on our plans. More often than not, we get out of a rut, only to get back into another one.

How do you know if you are stagnating? Here are some tell-tale signs:

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  • If you have been experiencing chronic procrastination on your goals
  • If you don’t ever feel like doing anything
  • If you keep turning to sleep, eating, games, mindless activities and entertainment for comfort
  • If you know you should be doing something, but yet you keep avoiding it
  • If you have not achieved anything new or significant now relative to 1 month, 2 months or 3 months ago
  • If you have a deep sense of feeling that you are living under your potential

When we face stagnation in life, it’s a sign of deeper issues. Stagnation, just like procrastination, is a symptom of a problem. It’s easy to beat ourselves over it, but this approach is not going to help. Here, I will share 5 steps to help you move out of this stagnation. They won’t magically transform your life in 1 night (such changes are never permanent because the foundations are not built), but they will help you get the momentum going and help you get back on track.

1. Realize You’re Not Alone

Everyone stagnates at some point or another. You are not alone in this and more importantly, it’s normal. In fact, it’s amazing how many of my clients actually face the same predicament, even though all of them come from different walks of life, are of different ages, and have never crossed paths. Realizing you are not alone in this will make it much easier to deal with this period. By trying to “fight it”, you’re only fighting yourself. Accept this situation, acknowledge it, and tell yourself it’s okay. That way, you can then focus on the constructive steps that will really help you.

2. Find What Inspires You

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Stagnation comes because there isn’t anything that excites you enough to take action. If you don’t have a habit of setting goals, and instead just leave yourself to daily mundanes, it’s not surprising you are experiencing stagnation. What do you want to do if there are no limitations? If you can have whatever you want, what will it be? The answers to these questions will provide the fuel that will drive you forward.

On the other hand, even if you are an experienced goal setter, there are times when the goals you set in the past lose their appeal now. It’s normal and it happens to me too. Sometimes we lose touch with our goals, since we are in a different emotional state compared to when we first set them. Sometimes our priorities change and we no longer want to work on those goals anymore. However, we don’t consciously realize this, and what happens is we procrastinate on our goals until it compounds into a serious problem. If that’s the case for you, it’s time to relook into your goals. There’s no point in pursuing goals that no longer inspire you. Trash away your old goals (or just put them aside) and ask yourself what you really want now. Then go for them.

3. Give Yourself a Break

When’s the last time you took a real break for yourself? 3 months? 6 months? 1 year? Never? Perhaps it’s time to take a time-out. Prolonged working can cause someone to become disillusioned as they lose sight of who they are and what they want.

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Go take some extended leave from work. A few days at bare minimum; a few weeks or months will be great. Some of my ex-colleagues have quit their jobs and took months out to do some self-reflection. Of course, some of us might not have that luxury, so we can stick to a few weeks of leave. Go on a trip elsewhere and get away from your work and your life. Use this chance to get a renewed perspective of life. Think about your life purpose, what you want and what you want to create for your life in the future. These are big questions that require deep thinking over them. It’s not about finding the answers at one go, but about taking the first step to finding the answers.

4. Shake up Your Routines

Being in the same environment, doing the same things over and over again and meeting the same people can make us stagnant. This is especially if the people you spend the most time with are stagnant themselves.

Change things around. Start with simple things, like taking a different route to work and eating something different for breakfast. Have your lunch with different colleagues, colleagues you never talked much with. Work in a different cubicle if your work has free and easy seating. Do something different than your usual for weekday evenings and weekends. Cultivate different habits, like exercising every day, listening to a new series of podcasts every morning to work, reading a book, etc (here’s 6 Proven Ways To Make New Habits Stick). The different contexts will give you different stimulus, which will trigger off different thoughts and actions in you.

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When I’m in a state of stagnancy, I’ll get a sense of what’s making me stagnate. Sometimes it’s the environment I’m in, sometimes it’s the people I’ve been hanging out with, sometimes it’s my lifestyle. Most of the times it’s a combination of all these. Changing them up helps to stir myself out of the stagnant mode.

5. Start with a Small Step

Stagnation also comes from being frozen in fear. Maybe you do want this certain goal, but you aren’t taking action. Are you overwhelmed by the amount of work needed? Are you afraid you will make mistakes? Is the perfectionist in you taking over and paralyzing you?

Let go of the belief that it has to be perfect. Such a belief is a bane, not a boon. It’s precisely from being open to mistakes and errors that you move forward. Break down what’s before you into very very small steps, then take those small steps, a little step at a time. I had a client who had been stagnating for a long period because he was afraid of failing. He didn’t want to make another move where he would make a mistake. However, not wanting to make a mistake has led him to do absolutely nothing for 2-3 years. On the other hand, by doing just something, you would already be making progress, whether it’s a mistake or not. Even if you make a supposed “mistake”,  you get feedback to do things differently in the next step. That’s something you would never have known if you never made a move.

More to Help You Stay Motivated

Here are some resources that will help you break out of your current phase:

Featured photo credit: Anubhav Saxena via unsplash.com

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