Keep Up With Your Hydration Goals
You know that good habits—such as getting proper hydration—can help you feel better and improve your overall health. Maybe you’ve tried setting alarms to remind you to sip, or drinking from a luxe new water bottle, or even adding it to your daily to-do list. Perhaps your home is filled with Post-Its reminding you of the value of hydration: from easier digestion to increased energy.
Yet for all of your good intentions, the task of creating even the most beneficial new routine—and something as seemingly simple as drinking more water—can feel overwhelming and ripe with opportunities for failure. At the first misstep you feel dejected, sure that you’re just not like other folks who can create a lifelong habit in just 21 days (and who hasn’t tried that?). Don’t be hard on yourself. Instead, blame the all-or-nothing thinking that’s often touted as the cornerstone of habit building. In his book Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way To Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones, author James Clear challenges that long-held belief and outlines how your life’s trajectory can be radically changed through small, doable tweaks to your daily routines. Inspired by his words, we’re looking at three ways to make your new habits stick.
1: Plan to Succeed and Imagine Failure
Many of us think that we need motivation to achieve our goals, but what we really need is a plan. To help create yours, Clear suggests doing a “Failure Premortem.” First, decide on the habit that you want to create or accomplish. Then, imagine it’s six months from now and you’ve failed, and you have to explain what obstacles led to your failure. For example: Your goal is to meal plan and cook more healthy dinners. You decide to go grocery shopping on Monday nights and prep for the week. However, a new project at work has you working late on Mondays, so you never get there. By imagining this obstacle, you can develop an “if/then” plan. Here, it could be “If I can’t go grocery shopping on a Monday, then I will go on Tuesday morning.” This will help you create your backup plans for the curveballs that throw you off course so that you can better manage them.
2: Hack Your Ideal Environment
According to Clear, your surroundings can be indicators of success. When we see the tangible objects that are markers of our intended habits and goals, they can inspire us to stay in our routine just by being a part of our environment. Want to start hitting a 5 a.m. gym class? Leave your workout clothes ready for the morning, being sure to place them somewhere you can see them from your bed. How about that hydration goal? If you’ve got a glass of water at the ready in your fridge and your favorite sticks of Hydration Multiplier (Link opens in new window.) in glass jars on your counter, you have the easy access to make your task easier.
3: Stack Your Habits
Our routines often ride on well-worn tracks inside our minds, making switching gears tough at the beginning. Instead of starting a new habit without a clear plan, make it easier by “stacking” it onto one that is already well-practiced. For example: To add more ounces to your daily water intake, commit to drinking a full glass of water after you’ve brushed your teeth in the morning. Brushing your teeth is a daily routine you do without thinking, so simply “stacking” a glass of water onto that habit will make it easier to do and remember. Want to meditate more? Instead of staring at your coffee pot while it makes your morning brew, commit to doing a five-minute meditation while you wait. Then, you’re stacking a new, desired habit onto an autopilot one to increase your chances for success. Remember to keep habits small, gradually building towards your goal. You’ve got this.