The university has a wellness program for its employees and as part of that there are monthly challenges. One of the challenges is food/nutrition-based while the other focuses on physical activity. This month the food/nutrition challenge is to drink 48 ounces of water a day.
Now, I’ve long had a soda drinking problem. I think it began with the soda machine in the hallway of my high school and continued with free fountain drinks at the gas station and at the hotel I worked at in my late teens and early 20s. I rarely drank coffee–I grabbed a soda instead. A terrible, terrible habit, I know.
I’ve tried to quit or cut back several times over the years and it’s always been difficult. I crave the fizz. I think I need the caffeine. I just like it and want it.
But this month has been different. I’ve had very little soda and I haven’t craved it at all. This month drinking water is a fun challenge instead of a chore. Instead of trying to restrict a bad habit, I’ve added a good habit that leaves little room for the bad habit. I drink my coffee in the morning and then I start drinking my water. By the time I’m finished with my 48 ounces, I either want more water or I’m not thirsty. This is a pretty big deal for someone who just a few weeks ago drank at least a can of soda every single day.
So, here’s to adding habits rather than breaking habits. The method seems effective. Cheers!