It’s mid-January and the gym is packed and the vitamin shop around the corner has big sales on loads of supplements that promise rapid and radical changes. I’m happy for all of the motivated people making good on their new year goals, but I’m not joining them and their BIG PLANS.
BIG PLANS seem prone to bursting, like an overfilled balloon. And January’s BIG PLANS are kicked to the curb in February.
Sure, I’m all about healthy living and balanced whole food eating, but I don’t want goals that require so much energy that they’re hard to maintain. Long-line arc is what I tell myself. Hard things, sure, but little, steady bites. Like the Shel Silverstein poem with Melinda Mae. She’s my spirit animal. But I’d rather go for something vegetable instead of a whale- I don’t have a taste for whale meat.
It’s that way with self-care. You can do one grand thing and check it off your list, it has to come in steady little bites.
With that in mind, I set my aims on better last year: drinking more water. I didn’t make rules on what I had to do, only better than I had been doing. I wanted to feel more energized, have fewer headaches and I know water is the best thing I could do for myself. And it’s free. Easy, right?
Well, it worked. But there were a few things that I did to make it a lot easier to remember and do.
Five Tips Smart Tips To Hydrate Like A Natural:
1. Wake up to Water.
Last year Matt Sederberg followed NBA player, Kevin Collinsworth’s routine, downing 16 oz. before any other task upon waking. Matt says, “It help[ed] me wake up and eat a more appropriate amount of food for breakfast.”
It doesn’t have to be a specific number of ounces, but starting your day with water gets your body hydrated from the get-go, and if you’re like most humans, didn’t you wake up to pee and cycle out liquid out of your system? Don’t forget to replenish it pronto.
2. Set a Time to Check-in.
Is there a time of day you typically feel sluggish? Make that your personal water check-in. For me, it comes mid-afternoon and usually it’s nothing a bottle of water and quick snack can’t conquer. I also keep a big sign at the landing of the stairs asking, “Did you drink enough water today?” So I get a personal pop quiz every time I walk past- it’s my place to check in.
3. Chapped Lips and Body Signs
“If your lips are chapped, you need more water. Period.” The counselors at my son’s high altitude science camp preached over and over how vital water is, and even as a chaperone, I learned a few things I hadn’t considered as signs your body is deficient in water. There were also color-coded signs in all the bathrooms helping you know by the color of your pee. The kids loved those. They were all checking-in on their hydration in the bathrooms. My son even posted one in the bathroom at home. Hey, your body is talking, it’ll tell you what you need. Reach for the water bottle and not just chapstick.
4. Keep a Filled Bottle in the Car.
Keep a water bottle in the car apart from all other water bottles so you always have water on the go. I find it easy to tell myself to drink while I’m heading out and it’s there next to me.
5. Visual Indicators
This one is especially helpful for kids. My sister-in-law, Rachel does it with her boys. They each have water bottles with characters and designs on them that Rachel uses to indicate how much water they should be drinking. “Drink down to Mickey Mouse’s hat, or elbow,” she’ll say, and the kids have it as a game and a clear idea of how much they need. I sometimes do this with my jumbo bottle at home- telling myself I can finish 32 ounces before lunch. It is a big bottle.
You can do this. Conquer that whale of a goal with steady, little bites and these five helpful tips.
Cook like a natural, and take care of yourself like a natural too.