The date was January 1st, 2019. It was about 11:00 A.M. and my friends and I sat in the courtyard off Carmel Mountain Road in San Diego, California eating breakfast burritos and drinking Coke. As we devoured our food, I turned to one of my friends and said: "Yo we need to decide on something to leave in 2018." There was a bit of silence as we thought about what we were going to give up, but he eventually responded with quite possibly the dumbest idea I've ever heard: "Let's leave water in 2018." My immediate response should've been "you're an idiot" or "do you need to see a doctor?" but I was just stupid enough to respond with two words: "F*ck it."
Day one was pretty easy. I stuck to drinking iced tea and soda (which I would very quickly realize was not feasible health-wise) and had no problem with it. Day two was rougher, as I went on a seven-mile run and nearly passed out when I got home. I realized that I needed to find a way to make this goal more realistic, and I decided to allow myself to drink sparkling water (shoutout to La Croix).
After this, it was pretty much smooth sailing for a while. I needed to watch myself whenever I was at the gym to make sure I didn't accidentally use the water fountain due to a force of habit, and I made an effort to avoid drinking the water I was served by default at restaurants. The whole process was pretty easy and became part of my routine.
Not once over the course of this month did I consider how stupid the thing that I was doing was. There's obviously extreme health problems associated with dehydration, but I felt fine so I kept going. I quickly lost track of the number of times I got called stupid, dumb, a dumbass, a headass, or an idiot after telling people what I was doing.
Then came January 25th, 2019. After accepting my bid to Emory University's Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, I found myself surrounded by my brothers at a Japanese restaurant in Atlanta. With my fried rice sitting in front of me, I looked over at the cup of water I had been served. After a few minutes of deep contemplation, I decided what better night than tonight to break this streak. Not drinking water had become a bit of an inconvenience and I found that it was time to give up this quite stupid goal.
To be entirely honest, I learned nothing from this experience besides that you really don't realize how often you drink water until you aren't drinking it anymore and that spontaneous long-term goals are the best way to increase your motivation. Now that I'm properly hydrated, the next plan is to drink a gallon of water a day for as long as I can.