A few months back I attended a business-related seminar called The ONE Thing (based on the book). Like many such trainings, the speakers stressed the importance forming good habits as a way to keep a business healthy and growing. Because I’m a coach, I’m always interested in new ideas related to releasing habits that don’t serve us and creating habits that do. As much as I care about creating a sustainable business, I know that starts with me being healthy (and continuously growing)!
What Did I Do & Why?
On August 25, I decided to apply the 66-day Challenge to a simple habit: that of drinking 8 glasses of water per day. Now I’m not the kind of coach that sticks to “rules” per se: there is research both for and against this amount of water (as there are for most foods and beverages). But what I do know about myself is that I run dry, and that when I drink coffee and wine (both of which I enjoy), I am even dryer. I can wake myself up at night feeling so dehydrated I’m coming out of my skin. I’ve always been this way. I’ve ingested more healthy fats than I can tell you, including ghee (which I love). Really the only climate I feel comfortable in are ones like Costa Rica & Hawaii. Just the right amount of heat and humidity. But I digress…and I live in Austin.
How I Did It & What I Learned
I stuck this sheet on my refrigerator door and kept a pen in the drawer nearby. Every glass of water was indicated with my favorite marking system. I gave myself a checkmark on days I completed. When I knew that I’d really squeaked by for that day, I wrote “close” or “pushing it” to motivate myself more for the next day. As you’ll see, I wasn’t perfect. There are two X’d days. But in the process I learned several things:
- I know now how to approximate how much is “8” without tracking. For example, filling this water bottle is 2, that glass is 1….
- I know how to pace myself on that water. When I’ve not had enough in the morning, how it affects me in the afternoon or evening, and vice versa. Also how close to bed to have that last glass!
- I can feel the difference on days when I have coffee AND wine, even with the same amount of water.
- I learned a few fabulous new ways to hydrate my system without feeling bored. (See below for more.)
- I learned how having a soda really robs me of hydration.
- I felt less desire for chocolate and alcohol (even giving it them entirely for a time!). My appetite also changed; I felt less hungry and fuller on less food.
How I Made It Interesting
I discovered the Lemon Olive-Oil Flush recipe. As someone who’s dabbled in Ayurveda for many years, I was used to drinking room-temperature water with lemon juice first thing in the morning. (In fact, my water is ALWAYS room-temperature if I can help it.) What I liked about this recipe was that it added healthy fat in the form of olive oil. I experimented with adding ginger a few times; with adding vanilla once (because I like the taste of it fine without!). It was like lemonade, but so so good for me. I generally cut the recipe in half to make a 16 oz drink.
My other great helper in this challenge was my Define Bottle. I experimented with all different kinds of fruits in the bottom including: mandarins, raspberries, blackberries, figs, and limes. The berries didn’t work as well as the citrus fruits. Writing this today reminds me to try the grapefruit and apple I have in the kitchen. 🙂
Are 8 glasses a day right for everyone? Nope. Is this challenge helpful for forming a new habit? I think so! I wonder what I’ll apply it to next….