We all know we need to drink more water. Because water and staying hydrated is SO good for us! From digestion to energy to brain power to just feeling good, water is where it’s at when it comes to being healthy and feeling good.
So, if we all know it’s good for us and we want to drink more water, then why do so many of us not get enough of it each day? Why is it that most of us struggle with staying hydrated?
In my experience, it’s because hydration isn’t a habit.
Y’all know we are ALL about the habits, but here’s a quick primer: Habits are anything you just do — without thinking about it and without using any motivation or willpower. Like buckling your seatbelt or brushing your teeth, you don’t “make” yourself do them; you just do them!
And, if you really want to drink more water on the reg, making hydration a habit is the way to go.
Now, habits don’t happen overnight. It takes time, patience, some trial and error, and planning to create a healthy habit. But, put the effort and awareness in by following the steps below, and within a few weeks you’ll make hydration a habit that’s as easy as 1-2-3. It’s the secret to staying hydrated each and every day with ease!
1. Set a water goal.
The first step to making hydration a habit is to know exactly what you want to achieve, so set a daily water goal. The old standby of eight glasses (64 ounces total) is a good place to start — although you may need more or less depending on your age, gender, the weather, your workouts and activity level, what other fluids you’re drinking, and other factors (this article breaks it down nicely).
Additionally, you’ll want to take into consideration how much water you currently drink. If you’re only getting 40 ounces a day, going to 50 ounces might be a great goal and a way to ease into drinking more instead of going straight to 64 ounces or more. Remember: You can always change your goal!
And, when it comes to water, there’s no need to drink way more than recommended. In fact, doing so can put you at risk of overhydration, known as hyponatremia. So, like we always say, listen to your body, talk to your doctor, and do what’s best for you!
2. Find a water bottle that you love (and is convenient to take with you everywhere).
Yes, you can use anything to drink water, but I’ve found that the right water bottle can make all the difference.
To help me easily reach my water goals, I’ve been using the HydroJug as my hydration BFF. Isn’t she pretty?
Besides coming in totally fun and cute colors (I LOVE my Mint HydroJug with cool Tie Dye Sleeve!), this HydroJug has everything you need to make hydration a habit. It holds a half gallon (73 ounces) of water, so you don’t have to waste time refilling your water bottle over and over. And, it has a wide-mouth opening so you can easily add ice and clean it, plus it has a leak-proof seal. It’s also dishwasher-safe (hallelujah!), and it’s made from BPA-free plastic with a shatterproof design. I can even put my phone and earbuds in the sleeve! And, with the adjustable strap that allows me to carry it over my shoulder (perfect when my hands are full), it’s on-the-go hydration perfection.
No matter what water bottle you’re using, make sure it’s convenient, travels well, and is something you want to use. Life is too short to use a water bottle you hate or that spills!
3. Map out when you’ll drink your water.
The best way to stay hydrated is to consistently and regularly drink water throughout the day (and not, like, chug half your HydroJug just before bedtime — hello, unwanted nighttime potty break!). So, take some time to think about and plan when, where, and how you’ll sip on your H20 all day long.
This can look a lot of different ways and doesn’t (and shouldn’t) be rigid, but figure out how you can hit your water goal realistically.
Here’s an example of how I plan it out (it might give you some good ideas!):
- First thing in the morning: 8-10 ounces
- Between my two cups of coffee: 4-8 ounces
- With lunch: 8-10 ounces
- Before, during, and after my workout: 24-40 ounces (depends on weather and what my workout is)
- Any time I’m in the car: 4-8 ounces
- With any snack: 4-8 ounces
- With dinner: 8-12 ounces
- Between a glass of wine or a cocktail: 8-10 ounces
A secret to making habits stick more easily and more quickly is by pairing the thing you want to do with an activity you already do — so that you’ve got a natural reminder built in. That’s why I couple my water drinking with other things I do during the day, like drinking coffee and being in the car. Every time I do those things, I’m reminded to drink.
And, of course, sip whenever you feel like it!
4. Track your water intake in a natural way.
Now, I already mentioned the HydroJug and how much I love it, and here’s another reason why: it’s got a measurable scale on the side of it! So, as I go through my day, I know exactly how much water I’ve drank and how much I have left to drink to hit my goal.
If you don’t have a HydroJug, you can track your water intake on various apps, on paper, with a clicker, or even with hair ties on your bottle (put a hair tie for each bottle you want to drink on there, and then take a hair tie off each time you refill your bottle until all the hair ties are gone).
But, really, it’s way easier (and more fun) to just get a HydroJug (use code “fitbottomedgirls” for a discount!).
5. Reflect regularly — and feel proud of yourself!
At the end of each day, take a second to reflect on how your day went. Ask yourself: What worked, what didn’t, and why? How can you tweak your plan to better work for you? Then tweak that plan (if necessary) and take a minute to celebrate your progress and feel proud for taking the steps to make such a healthy change in your life.
Each week, also check in with yourself to focus on how drinking more water is good self-care for you. Do you have more energy? Are your workouts feeling better? Is anyone else picking up on your healthy water habits? High-five yourself for those positive outcomes!
It takes about a month to really have a habit stick, so do this for a few weeks, and before you know it, you’ll be drinking your water regularly throughout the day without even thinking about it! Sounds awesome, huh?
Head on over to www.thehydrojug.com to customize your jug (remember to use code “fitbottomedgirls” for your discount for being a Fit Bottomed Girls’ reader) and start happily hydrating today! –Jenn