I finally accomplished to change something I’ve been trying to change for years.
I managed to drink two liters of water daily for a month!
Hydrating is super important. You need water to maintain the function of every system in your body. That includes your heart, muscles, and brain. Water (or other fluids) flush bacteria from your bladder and carry nutrients to your cells.
How I tried to change this habit for years
It might sound crazy, but I couldn’t make a habit of drinking enough water. For years I tried all kinds of things to keep myself hydrated, but nothing lasted. I always thought I just forgot to drink because I wasn’t thirsty. I set alarms on my phone to remind me of drinking water and believed that the warnings would solve my problem. I was wrong.
With everything that HelloCocooners stands for in mind, I started a quest to make drinking enough water a habit. And guess what: I figured it out! You might wonder how on earth I managed to incorporate this habit into day-to-day life finally. Let me explain. I had one crucial revelation:
Drinking more water has nothing to do with reminding myself to drink more water
I’ve been trying to solve my problem in all the wrong ways for years!
Drinking more water has everything to do with changing your routines
If you want to change a habit, you have to change your routines. You have to keep your cue and reward the same. Just change what you do in between.
I didn’t change how or when I drink water but I have incorporated getting water into my daily routines!
What that looks like:
- I carry a bottle of water with me almost everywhere (my routine of packing my bag)
- When I enter my office I immediately get two cups of water. Even if I am already bringing in my bottle of water (my routine when walking into the office)
- Every time I go to the bathroom or finish up a meeting, I get some more water or refill my bottle (my routine when walking through the office)
- Before I leave the office, I make sure I refill my bottle so I can drink during my commute (my routine of finishing up my workday)
- When I am in the kitchen doing my cooking, I drink a glass of water (my cooking routine)
- When I go to bed to read I take a big water pitcher and a glass with me. I drink from this pitcher before I go to sleep and right after I wake up (my evening and morning routine)
Looking at this list, you might be wondering if I am drinking 12 liters of water a day. Don’t worry: I don’t do everything every day.
I do make sure I get my 2 liters a day by using some of these routines every day. One of the biggest changes is that my body is getting used to it and is now longing for more water if it’s been too long! A sign that my new habit is kicking in!
Letting your brain believe you are someone who drinks water
Another great trick I used is called a neurohack. That sounds a bit scary, right? Neurohacks are small changes in behavior on which your mind reflects (source), and if you use them right, it can help you learn new habits. I’ve always seen myself as someone who doesn’t drink enough water. These mental pictures we have of ourselves are quite strong, and they keep us from making new habits work.
I began surrounding myself with water. Bottles, glasses, carafes… I took a bottle of water with me everywhere. If I visited my parents’ house, I would get a glass of water from the kitchen. If someone asked me what I wanted to drink, I would ask for a glass of water. Even when I wasn’t thirsty. All these actions made me believe I was a person who drank enough water every day and as a result, I drank enough water every day.
The neurohack worked!
How you can hack your brain to drink more water, too
Never say no to water
Are you visiting friends and do they ask you if you want something to drink? Or is your coworker offering to bring you some water from the water cooler?
Say yes! Take the water.
I always said ‘no’ because I wasn’t thirsty. Remember the neurohack? Accepting water is one of the things that will trick your brain into believing you are a person that drinks water.
Carry water with you everywhere
I carry water with me wherever I go. If I get into my car, I bring a bottle. If I move from one room of my house to another room, I bring my water. You’ll never see me without my green or pink water bottle! This is the part where I changed all my routines.
With all the news about plastic bottles containing tiny plastic particles, I ditched plastic bottles and switched to glass bottles. Yes, they are heavier, but they are nicer to drink from, easier to clean and healthier.
If you are wondering what type of glass bottle you should buy: people recommended me bottles from Lifefactory and I love them. They look great and are very sturdy because of their rubber case. I dropped mine twice already (oops), and it’s still going strong. Actually, I am drinking from it while I am writing this blog post.
When you are standing next to a tap or water filter, get yourself a glass of water
Every night, I spend some time in my kitchen to make dinner. I am standing next to my tap AND my water filter for almost 30 minutes, so why not get a glass of water? Drinking water is now part of my cooking routine.
Pouring a glass of water when you start cooking will definitely help you drink and finish it before you start eating your meal!
Put a glass or bottle of water next to your bed
I can’t leave my bedroom before I drank at least one glass of water. Drinking water after waking up is of great importance because you are dehydrated after not drinking for 8 hours. I knew about the importance of drinking water after waking up, but I never managed to do it.
I made a mistake: I didn’t give drinking water a logical place in the order of my morning routine. If I get up out of bed without first drinking water, my cat will greet me outside of the room, and I will get distracted by having to feed and pet her. 10 minutes later, I won’t remember I have to get my glass of water.
That is why I made it my priority after waking up. With a full bottle of water on my nightstand, I have no excuses not to drink my water.
I became a person who drinks enough water, and it was surprisingly easy
As you can see, all I did was use a simple neurohack and change some of my routines to make this habit stick. A habit that I tried to change for years! My body is now longing for water as a result.
Now it’s your turn! If you apply our tips about neurohacking you’ll be drinking enough water in no time.