When I was in kindergarten, my mom used to draw lines on my water bottle. No, she wasn’t crazy. I just hated drinking water. However, I slowly learned as I got older that drinking enough water is vital to my health, and when I drink a good amount of it, I feel and look much better.

Here are a few tips that have helped me through the years to up my H20 intake and to say goodbye to painful stomach aches because I drank too much at once.

1. Drink around meal times

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There’s no doubt that eating makes you thirsty, so an easy way to get yourself to drink water is to drink while you eat. A sip, a bite, a sip, a bite – you get the gist. Doing this will also help you to eat less because the water will fill up your stomach and make you feel fuller faster. It’s a win-win if you ask me.

2. Draw lines on your water bottle

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Referring back to my mom’s wonderful technique that she used with me in kindergarten, drawing lines on your water bottle can really help to keep your daily water intake in check. If you drink from plastic water bottles (which probably aren’t the best idea, according to this article), use a permanent marker to draw lines across the bottle.

Next to each line, write a corresponding time that you must finish that much water by. If you use a reusable water bottle, there are most likely a few markers like 8 oz., 16 oz., and 24 oz. that can help to gauge where you’re at. Set a goal for yourself to finish a set amount of ounces of water by a certain time. Trust me, it works.

3. Create incentives

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This can be something as small as allowing yourself to check Instagram to something bigger like watching one of Netflix’s amazing food documentaries if you meet your goal.

4. Set reminders on your phone

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Our world of technology is a great one, and setting up a few reminders throughout the day can help you to keep on track. Whether this is an alarm or a reminder on your Google calendar, technology can be your best friend if you are a bit more forgetful.

5. Draw empty cups on your planner and color them in

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For those of you who like to pencil things in on pen and paper, drawing empty water cups on your planner may just get you to drink your water. There is nothing as satisfactory as coloring in a cup when you finish a bottle of water (I promise I’m not alone here – adult coloring books anyone?).

6. Always have water on-hand

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This tip may be the most obvious, but it’s as true as it sounds. If you don’t have water in front of you at all times, you won’t drink, so the easiest thing to do is to make sure it’s always there. Sometimes having an adorable water helps too, and these S’well bottles will give you that extra boost of motivation.

7. Add fruit to water

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Photo by Maddie Cleeff

Plain water isn’t everyone’s favorite drink, but a refreshing addition to ordinary H20 is fruit. Trying adding a few pieces of lemon, lime, watermelon, or berries to your water.

Happy hydrating.