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project: drink more water

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  • project: drink more water

    To replace my coffee-drinking with water-drinking I have created a new project: drink more water. The outcome should be that I drink water throughout the day and no more coffee (green tea in the morning is allowed too) until this is a habit. Now I'm having trouble getting this into the system.

    There should be a next action, and that is imho "drink water (instead of coffee)". But it's like a sticky NA: after I finish it I can't cross it as done as that is what the next action is too. And also, it's more of a NA that serves as a reminder since I'm not looking at my NA list whenever I want to take something to drink.

    It sure is a simple project but I found myself lost in how to implement it. And suggestions are welcome.

  • #2
    I'm sure others will have good ideas and/or experience on this. But my first shot would be ...

    First, consider putting this on a checklist that you see either daily, weekly, or possibly throughout the day (like a mantra or inspirational thought). Then it's more a nurturing/maintenance thing, rather than a project. For example, I keep of things like 'next date with ...' and name each of my kids. When I see that list in my weekly review, I know exaclty the next action on that ongoing desire for me. Email my daughter to find a free night. Talk to my son when I get home from school. Stuff like that. I suppose I could name these projects, "Child X relationship strengthened" or something like that, but checklists work great for me (as long as I'm doing my weekly review). This intersects with higher altitude stuff ... like family goals, fitness/health goals, etc

    Second, if you want to keep it as a project, you might tinker with the wording a bit in terms of the name of the project(s). I like using a subject and a clear past tense verb to name my projects. For example, 'Coffee habit stopped' and/or 'Hydrating habit started'. It doesn't really make the NA jump out at you, but it is a bit more clear in terms of the successful outcome. Then get super practical, creative and specific in terms of NAs on those projects. Do you have the water you need in the places you will be? Have you created the reminders you need in places you will see? Have you asked others to hold you accountable? Have you talked to someone who has kicked a similar habit or hydrates better for ideas? etc etc ... (By the way, I don't know if you did this or not, but posting this question on this forum was a good example of an @computer NA for this project ... not sure if you gave yourself credit for that or not.)

    Another route, could be using your calendar as a reminder until the habit is a bit more in place. When I was recently on an anti-biotic, I went ahead and entered each pill reminder right into my calendar because it will ding and literally remind me (Palm on the go, or laptop in the office/home).

    Since I'm trying to do a similar thing in my life regarding coffee/water ... I'll add something else, a bit more of a life-hack than GTD in particular. Have bottles of water everywhere, ahead of time. In your home, car, office, briefcase, where every you can think of. The bottles become both visible reminders to drink them as well as handy inventory. The easier it is, the more likely I am to actually do it.

    Hope that helps ... happy hydrating.


    • #3
      If you have a daily fluid goal, you could:
      • Fill up a jug with the amount of water you want to drink
      • And set out the number of tea bags (or quantity of tea leaves) that you want to use in a day.

      When you've reached your goal, you can check it off your list.

      If you're using an electronic system, I assume that you've set this up as a recurring task.


      • #4

        I second filling a jug.

        I second the check list.

        You can also use an alarm to cue yourself.

        But how much do you think you want to drink? Be specific but reasonable, like one 8oz glass with each meal and two in between.Clarify your outcome.

        You can put some rubber bands on your wrist in the morning and remove one each time you drink a glass of water.

        Many offices only have water fountains, do you need to bring in some paper cups for yourself?

        Do you want to carry a water bottle? Do you own one?

        Are you okay with buying bottled water when you are out and about?

        So, based on your strategy, you will need to decide on the next action.

        Good luck!


        • #5
          I'd try to make it an all day event on your calender, but you might become numb to seeing it after a while.

          More effective, imo, would be to make each bottle a seperate NA. So that way you'd have something to check off and you could also track your consumption.


          • #6
            Some good suggestions... I agree with the idea of having a water bottle or fixed number of water bottles which you would consume each day, or a check list where you check it off each time you empty it.

            I don't want to hijack this thread, but I have a related question which I will post elsewhere.



            • #7
              one more idea...

              How about this...
              rather than going off coffee cold turkey.... or cold coffee.. sorry:

              create an action plan in excel where you slowly move off of coffee and list out day by day how you're going to do this, your next action could be to update your "drinking plan"....

              day 1: goal: 2 c. coffee/5 c. water actual:
              day 2: 1 c. coffee/6 c. water
              etc. etc.

              If you can do this for a week, you should be off the coffee and on to the green tea and your body should regain its thirst mechanisms to naturally trigger your urge for water again.



              • #8
                For water bottles that are being refilled, I've seen the suggestion before to put a rubber band on the bottle each morning for each bottle you wish to drink. After you drink a bottle (or as you fill it), remove one rubber band.


                • #9
                  Lots of great ideas!

                  To address the question of where to fit this into the GTD system: I may be wrong, but it seems to me that GTD isn't meant for little daily habits and reminders. You do need to find some external reminder; this sort of thing doesn't really belong on a Next Actions list.

                  I find that I have to tie these things to an existing habit. When I started using hair-growth spray, I rarely remembered to use it until I added it to the end of my morning routine of shaving, washing my face, etc. Now I use it every day.


                  • #10
                    it seems to me that GTD isn't meant for little daily habits and reminders
                    Or I just need to be a llittle more creative.

                    Thanks for all suggestions.


                    • #11
                      Since this is something of a habit change,as I've heard 21 days is what you need ,it also helps to keep this thought in ur mind and to remind yourself you need a simple anchor , u may not have water bottles everywhere or may not be able to put also ..

                      How about you get stuff which can remind you , so you have keychain of a water bottle, in ur wallet put a small photo of models drinking water , you get the idea something which will remind you in you daily actions of what you really want.

                      Whaddaya think ?


                      • #12
                        Drink Timer


                        unfortunately this is from a german website, but probably you get it to run somehow:


                        It's a little timer for your desktop, which reminds you of drinking.

                        Haven't tried it out myself, but read about it the other day.



                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Brent View Post
                          it seems to me that GTD isn't meant for little daily habits and reminders.
                          I was a Flylady practitioner long before I encountered GTD, and I still use some of the routines I created back then. The big difference is that now they're placed in contexts on my Outlook task list. I don't consider them to be projects, but they're just as important as any NA I have attached to a project.

                          Many people drop items off their checklists once they become habits; in all these years, I've only dropped one action item off a checklist, as I truly no longer needed a written reminder to do that thing. I still need external reminders for many things. If I don't have those reminders, things start to slip.

                          But that's probably just me.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by mephisto View Post
                            To replace my coffee-drinking with water-drinking I have created a new project: drink more water. . .
                            It sure is a simple project but I found myself lost in how to implement it. And suggestions are welcome.
                            Ongoing habits are not projects, IMO, because there is no "done." You can't visualize what "done" looks like. This is not what a GTD project was meant to be.

                            For drinking water, specifically, I favor a strategy with built-in natural reminders. When I wake up, I immediately drink a large glass of water. Then, throughout the day, I drink another glass after each time I go the bathroom. This strategy ensure I will be adequately hydrated without following an artificial schedule or arbitrary number of glasses of water.

                            I also drink a large coffee (12 oz) every morning without fail. There are a number of health benefits to drinking coffee, thank goodness, as I wouldn't want to give it up altogether!

                            Then there are habits which are more complicated to execute. For these, I have learned to plan upfront and then measure compliance. For example, my nutrition plan requires at least 35 meals per week. Each meal must have complete, lean protein and vegetables. The first morning meal and each post-workout meal will have a starchy carbohydrate with a high ratio of fiber to other carbs. Etc. I design a number of meals that meet these criteria and schedule when to eat them. On a weekly chart, I simply indicate whether I did or didn't eat the correct meal as planned. (I use a Google Speadsheet to create the chart and keep permanent records, and a weekly printout on the refrigerator to record compliance during a week.) My goal is 90% compliance, which means that 4 meals per week (rounding up!) can violate the plan (e.g., pizza). (By the way, this planning/measurement strategy came from John Berardi, in his "Tailor-Made Nutrition" series of articles, I believe.)

                            To execute the plan, I must shop and cook in advance. These actions/projects are tracked like any others in my GTD system.


                            • #15
                              Habit changing is not really a GTD issue...

                              I think you are trying to force fit changing a habit into GTD... I have some experience with this and to get you started, I would highly recommend the book "The Power of Focus" by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and Les Hewitt. In it they give a very good methodology for changing habits.

                              Good luck,