30 day challenge: Drink a gallon of water a day

30 day challenge: Drink a gallon of water a day

My sister shared an article on Facebook about a month ago: This Woman Drinks a Gallon of Water Daily for 30 Days. See What Happens! I think this person’s before and after has more to do with lighting and Photoshop, but my wife and I decided we needed to drink more water anyway so what the heck, we’d give it a try.

The first week was miserable. I had to pee. All. The. Time. It was hard to remember to drink water. And I was still thirsty all the time. If anything, I was more thirsty. It was a bit strange.

But after the first week, things changed a bit. I started to notice the benefits, and I didn’t have to pee so much (or maybe I did and just got used to it?). I also wasn’t thirsty all the time. Drinking water was becoming a habit.

Here are some of the benefits I noticed:

  1. I started sleeping better. I woke up feeling refreshed and ready to go nearly every morning. It was an awesome and very welcome change.
  2. My blepharitis cleared up. This is a frustrating condition that causes inflamed, irritated, itchy eyes and eyelids. I had to have surgery on one of my eyelids because of this awhile back, so this is a huge deal to me. It isn’t completely gone, but it is vastly improved.
  3. The dark circles under my eyes are lighter. They aren’t completely gone, but I no longer look like I got punched in the face.
  4. My lips aren’t as chapped. Again, not a perfect remedy but much improved. I’ve been a chronic ChapStick/Vaseline user for years.
  5. My allergies aren’t as bad. My wife is using more Kleenex than I am, which I don’t think has ever happened before.

I found a free app called Water Your Body that has been helpful. It isn’t a great app, but it was the first I tried and works well enough. It makes it easy to track my water intake throughout the day, and lets me know if I am ahead or behind schedule.

My wife gave up partway through the challenge (although she is still drinking more water than she was before we started) but I plan on continuing to drink a gallon a day.

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30 day challenge: Have lots of guests over

For October’s 30 day challenge we decided we wanted to have lots of guests over. We weren’t really sure how many, so we decided we wanted to have guests over at least five times (once a week). It ended up being a ton of fun and it had the unanticipated side effect of getting us to pick up our house more regularly. Although it won’t be a goal that we track in the future, we’ll probably continue to invite people over as often as possible.

  1. Becca’s Visiting Teachers. It was of course more of their idea to come over than ours, but Becca and Anna loved having them over and they stayed for quite a while so we’re counting it.
  2. Becca’s Yale friends for dinner and games. It was pretty fun. Becca made lasagna then we played Settlers of Catan.
  3. More of Becca’s Yale friends for dinner and games. Again, very fun. Becca made lasagna (again) and we played High-Bid (from back when 3M made games instead of post-its). We ended the night with an hour or so of Loopin’ Louie.
  4. The missionaries. We had the missionaries over for dinner. They are good company and always leave us with a great short lesson.
  5. Pumpkin carving. We invited some friends over to carve pumpkins with us. It went well.
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30 day challenges

I love reading stuff written by Matt Cutts, the head of the webspam team at Google. In addition to the obvious stuff that is relevant to my web business, he is also a normal guy that posts to a somewhat personal blog. My favorite posts are his 30 day challenges. For some reason they always make me want to get my act together and get stuff done. So my wife and I decided (or rather, I agreed to do something she wanted to try in exchange for trying 30 day challenges) that we are going to do some 30 day challenges of our own.

First, we are going to do a monthly family challenge. We have a list of ideas, such as having friends over more often, writing a novel together, only eating foods produced locally, or getting out of the house every day (shopping doesn’t count!), and are going to take turns picking which we are going to do. Some challenges will require daily effort, some won’t, but all of them will make us stretch out of our comfort zones or learn new things.

Second, we are going to do individual challenges. We are thinking of coming up with challenges that we can devote at least 30 minutes a day to, at least 5 days a week. For example, I might pick a website that I want to work on and commit to doing 30 minutes a day/5 days week so I can actually get it done. Or I might pick a woodworking project, or maybe I’ll put more time into cooking. Becca might devote the time to studying design, illustrating/writing blog posts, or sewing projects. The idea is to bring some structure into our lives while giving us the opportunity to develop skills in different areas.

This is going to be our first month doing this so we’ll see how it goes. I plan on posting a follow-up post every month to report how well we did on our challenges.

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