I am an incredibly visual person. I’ve always known this. I learned the bones in the body by pulling out a skeleton from our Halloween decorations and labeling all of them with post-it notes. In preparation for my AP History exam, I created timelines running down my hallways, and reviewed them every time I walked past. Knowing your learning style can be extremely helpful when going through school, but as soon as you cross that stage and move that tassel, you tend to forget exactly how much “learning” goes on throughout your life outside of the classroom.
A friend and I started a “Work Water Cooler Club” because we both needed to be drinking way more water than we are. Afterall, we’re at very different stages in supporting nutrition for offspring, but both largely involve the need for hydration (pumping & gestating). We set up alarms on our FitBits and set reward systems for drinking our water within that time period. We are HIGHLY motivated by grilled cheese, it turns out. But it wasn’t necessarily ingraining good habits, only the skill to chug 20-24 ounces worth of water in a very short period of time.
Then one day, I forgot my trusty 20 oz. stainless steel Contigo Fit water bottle. Not feeling motivated enough to trek around campus looking for the least-sugar-laden bottled drink (since our campus is 100% bottled water-free… ignoring the water coolers) that I could use for the day, I remembered about the company branded cup I won as part of a door prize at a meeting held earlier this spring. I have no idea how much it holds. I can fit a tall Starbucks cup inside it with room to spare, but I’ve been calling it 12 ounces, about 8 ounces smaller than I used to drinking. I was worried that it would mean I’d be 8 ounces short at every refill, leaving me more than a full water bottle short at the end of the day.
I shouldn’t have been worried. This single mistake ended up helping me. I’m paranoid that I will knock over my no-longer lidded drinking container, so I’m constantly looking to see where the cup is. And when I look at the cup, the thermochromic (the non-90s way of saying “Hypercolour”) cup lets me know exactly how much water is left. And those visual reminders work. I find myself refilling the cup between sanctioned times. We’re 90 minutes away from our next “water cooler check in” and I’m already 8 ounces ahead of where I need to be. And those times I’m away from my desk and don’t feel comfortable bringing an open cup with me? I notice myself reaching for something to drink.
Today, I brought in my travel mug and put it in my desk drawer. I filled it at lunch time before I headed out for a (Pokemon) walk. I didn’t finish it, though I don’t know how much is left, but it’ll be good to grab for the bus ride home. But for those 7 hours I’m sitting at my desk, the cheap, plastic “gimmick” cup is going to be my go to.