Can I ask you an honest question? Did you start this year by telling yourself something along the lines of “This year, I am going to change EVERYTHING, I am going to eat better, work out more, take more time out for things, be a better friend, better this, better that, never procrastinate again, yadayadayada”? Its okay if you just nodded your head, you know a lot of us have been there! (Me included). The problem with this approach, of wanting to change everything all at once, just over night, is that it is destined to fail. See what we’re asking of ourselves by saying that, is to drop all our “bad habits” and create all these new “good habits” at the same time. Its like learning to juggle with 30 pieces which all have different shapes and weights and you simply know you are destined to drop at least one of the items within seconds. And when you drop the first one, that feeling of disappointment is such a killer for motivation that it is hard to get back into the flow of things and before we know it its December and we are promising ourselves that come January first we’re going to be doing EVERY-thing different, again.
So this year, in line with listening more and with the notion that multitasking really doesn’t serve us well, I am trying out something different. I have about a bazillion (wait no spellcheck correction for that word?) things I would love to improve or change in my life. Talking about being your own worst judge. So instead of beating myself up about every one of those things all the time, I am trying (super emphasis on TRYING) to tackle one little thing at a time. Which basically means that I have created a list of 52 habits, one for every week of this year, that I would like to strengthen or implement. So every week I will be adding a new habit that needs some attention while still keeping track of the habits I focussed on before, in the hopes that after a while they become part of my routine and thus require less attention.
Does that sound crazy? I honestly agree, I think it does sound a little crazy and I’m probably still overdoing it, but I’m viewing this as an experiment (I am studying to become a researcher after all) and the idea of having one main thing to focus on per week took away a lot of anxiety for me already. This month the habits are focussed on health but I’ll be covering so much other ground and I am excited to share this process with you guys!
Week 1: Drink 2 liters of water a day
This last week I have been focussing on my hydration. I am the worst when it comes to drinking enough water. I can easily go an entire day without a sip of water without noticing it. However, if you read any post about headaches, digestion, feeling good or anything else related to health, the subject of proper hydration always comes up. So how did I do? I actually completely surprised myself and drank 2 liters (1,6 water and at least two cups of tea) every single day so far. Here’s what has helped me:
1) Since I seriously struggle to even think about drinking water I actually invested in a water bottle that has time marks on it so I know where I should be at that point of the day. This helped with accountability. The bottle also has a little fruit holder so I can add cucumber slices or whatever else I have laying around to make it more exciting and tasty.
2) I keep my bottle right under my nose whatever I am doing. For some reason, just having the bottle there makes me unconsciously grab it and sip from it constantly.
3) I am listening more. When my head hurts or my mouth feels dry or I feel a craving for something but I can’t really pinpoint what it is, I take a couple of extra gulps. I am realizing that I may have been neglecting these signs of dehydration for such a long time that I don’t even notice them anymore. Checking in with my body more often is definitely helping in noticing when I am in need of some water.
How do I feel?
So far the main thing I really feel a difference in is my cravings. I am a serious snack-er. I almost always need something to nibble on when I am doing anything while seated but having the water bottle there has really decreased that. Not that I am not snacking anymore, hello, I am human. But definitely craving less than before. The only downside to this whole thing is that my body is confused at the amount of water I am consuming and is making me go to the restroom every half hour. But I think these last two days it has gotten less (or I am just getting used to it, I don’t know). No real improvements on how my skin feels/looks though, but I am hoping that the glow everyone talks about will show up eventually ;).
This coming week I’ll be focussing on having breakfast every morning next to keeping up with this new hydrophilic lifestyle. I used to hate breakfast, and probably had it 10% of the days of the week (ouch.. really bad I know) but have gotten a lot better at it this past year. However, there are still more days than I’d like to admit where I just run out the door without properly fueling my body. But from now on, no more!
I’ll let you know how that goes next week Monday but in the mean time I would LOVE all your breakfast inspiration, ideas, posts, anything really. Leave a message in the comments below, I’d really appreciate it!