I have been trying for over a year to make myself drink at least two quarts of water a day. This is particularly important to me because I have a tendency toward forming kidney stones and one important thing you can do to avoid them is to drink lots of water. I bought myself a liter-sized Camelbak water bottle that I keep next to me on my desk and try to remember to sip from it on a regular basis throughout my work day — the goal being to drink 2 full liters each day. I often get through one of them, but rarely, if ever, do I get through two of them.
Another health-related goal is to get up from my desk every 60-90 minutes and walk around. I have a tendency to sit for hours at a time when I am involved in a project and forget to actually move my body! I bought myself timer for my computer that I can set to pop up on the screen at any interval I set and with any message I give it. I set it to pop up every 90 minutes with the message “Get up and MOVE!”. The problem is that I’m often right in the middle of something that I can’t quit at the moment it pops up, so I press the button to dismiss the message.
Last week I took a new 2-step approach to accomplishing both of the above goals. I decided that the first thing I would do every morning when I get up is to drink (guzzle) a 12-oz glass of water before I sat down at my computer. I knew this would make me have to shortly go to the bathroom. The second step of the approach was to guzzle a 12-oz glass of water every time I got up to pee. The results of using this 2-step ripple effect action has been that I have easily achieved both goals. I now easily drink at least six 12-oz glasses of water (or more) a day and I get up from my desk at least once an hour to use the bathroom. Once I’m up I use that time also to do some stretches, step outside to breathe in some fresh air, or do a small chore before going back to my computer.