I am not one to make New Year’s resolutions. I either do it now or I tend not to do it. However, if you are a club member and increasing your water consumption is on your list, this might help you!

Let me start with a little caveat. Despite performing repeated research I still have absolutely no idea what is medically recommended as the minimum amount of water that should be consumed. Some articles will mention an average liter amount, others will base it on how much you weigh. And yet others will tell you to trust your instincts and drink when you are thirsty.

However, these things I know from experience:

  1. The 21st century human can focus so intently on its daily task that it can suppress all bodily functions, including thirst, hunger, the need for rest… need I go on?
  2. If you ask someone how much water they are drinking and the units of measure they use to describe it include a lot, enough, or constantly going to the loo, then I bet you the crown jewels that they have absolutely no bloomin idea how much they are drinking!
  3. When I don’t drink enough I feel like a rusted up Ford Model-T. I will generally feel sluggish. My brain will slow down, I will start to speak less. And that will in turn induce a panic attack for Mr.AP, because if I don’t speak something is seriously wrong with me!

So how do I make sure I am drinking enough water? Something that has worked very well for me is to trick myself into drinking. What I mean by that is to make it impossible for me to ignore, forget or suppress the need for a sip.

First thing I did was to get a water bottle. One that suits me both in material (no nasties), design (fancy word for having a handle of sorts) and volume. It not only gives me a clear idea of how much I drink, but also has given me an insight into the amount that I need to drink in order to feel energized, fresh and ready to tackle the world. And with a handy cap I can make sure I don’t have any as many spills.

When in the office I simply put my water bottle between my laptop keyboard and myself. Yes, it is in the way, and that is the whole point! It is a constant nagging presence reminding me to drink. And best of all, it can function as a handy chin rest if you need it. Over time this humble water bottle has also trained me to get up and move around the office more frequently to fill it up and yes, to go to the ladies room. Which all in all is a good thing!

However, I found that I have a huge issue when it comes to weekends, vacations and days offs. No laptop time meant no water control. And here comes into play a little counter I devised. I already knew how many bottles I have to drink at a minimum. I slipped that many beads over a ribbon which I then affixed to the handle of my water bottle. I will start each morning by filling up my bottle and sliding all the beads to the top. When I finish the first bottle of water I slide the first bead down and fill it up again. Etc, etc.

It works so well! And the reason is so simple: I don’t have to be conscious of one more thing in my life. I don’t have to pay attention and memorize the number of cups, glasses or bottles of water I am drinking. I don’t have to have one more thing on my mind. I simply have a very visual reminder of how much I have drunk. I look at it and it tells me exactly how much. I will look at the beads, compare that to the time of day and will know if I am on track, need to drink a bit more or can slow down for a bit.

I have been using the beads for over a month now. I feel that the consistency in my water intake has made a huge difference for me. The days of the weekday peeks and weekend droughts are over. I can definitely feel an inner equilibrium dominating my body and my mind. And the stability that this give me has made me happy. And to think that all this was achieved by a ribbon and three little beads!

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