Right up into my early thirties the idea of drinking ‘2 litres of water’ daily sounded great in theory but something I never really took seriously.
Any attempts to implement it in an all or nothing situation were either unrealistic or not sustainable.
I’d only really drunk sips of water if really dehydrated and that minimal approach to water stayed with me.
It only really sank in through practice through a recent introduction a couple of years ago to a brilliant concept by ‘A Teacher of Potential’ - Brian Johnson (check out optimize.me).
(p.s. in text: There are many ‘Teachers of Potential’ out there and within your reach that you probably already know personally)
When I heard about Brian’s incremental approach I was in China at the time and it made sense so I decided to try it out.
Every day I committed to drinking just one espresso glass of water. When I’d go into the kitchen all I had to do was drink one espresso glass for the day.
But I went even smaller on that at first!
My first mini, mini, mini strategy was to simply pick up an espresso glass, that’s it! Once I had done that for a few days in a row I then set about filling it with water and not even drinking it at this stage either!
Then habituated drinking that one 30 mls of water…and I got a string of daily wins so upped it to 2 espresso glasses of water and then 3 and then 4 and then 5 and then 6. Then replacing one espresso glass with one larger glass of water…
Incrementally or as Brian at optimize.me says +1 + 1 + 1 (tiny incremental changes towards signficant change).
This carried on for days, and weeks and months with consistent and tiny incremental improvements.. When I’d slip I’d simply go back a few steps to rebuild e.g. back to one espresso glass.
Today my baseline is 2 litres minimum of water per day but typically I’m averaging now 3 litres per day (with all that great movement and activity).
When I pass the watercooler, I fill up. When I’m at my desk there is always a bottle of water with me. When I look in the fridge, there is water in arms reach. Wherever I am so is the water.
It took time to get here with what seemed like ridiculously small changes over time, lots and lots of slippages but it has been an amazing incremental journey.
The + 1 approach is pretty darn powerful…
Now am wondering what an espresso size approach of this would look like in other areas and what to fill it up with! The temptation is again there to go 'all or nothing' style but then there is that reminder of the espresso size approach and Brian's frequent mention of 'Atomic Habits' and many other great books he highlights.
Many thanks to Brian (or as is said in Ireland ‘Thanks a million!’) for the awesome + 1 intro and practice(s).