A Simple Habit That Changed My Morning Routine Forever

Macklin Buckler
4 min readDec 21, 2021
A painting of a glass of water on a kitchen countertop.

I am a fan of simplicity and you’ll like this article if you are, too.

If I were to examine the habits in my repertoire, such as writing, reading, and exercising, they all share one thing: they’re simple to do.

It’s not that they aren’t challenging. It’s just that I know what I expect from myself and how to measure my success with each activity.

For example, when I plan to sit down for an hour writing, and that hour passes without distraction, I know I have completed the action successfully. The same applies to reading and running or lifting and other activities I carry out daily.

I have been into hacking habits for years, and through reviewing my old journals, I have discovered that the momentum killers when implementing sustainable practices are ambiguity and complexity. After all, if there’s any uncertainty about what constitutes the completion of the desired behavior–or if it takes too long to get started–how do you get the dopamine reward from carrying it out, which would make it more likely you’d repeat it in the future?

Now I didn’t go down this habit formation journey alone. I have been able to rely on some of the most well-known books in the personal development space, such as Atomic Habits and The Power of Habit. But the purpose of this article is not to give a shout-out to authors; it’s to provide you with a valuable tool you can implement as soon as you’re done reading this article. And fortunately, it’ll probably be one of the easiest things you do all day. But just because it’s easy doesn’t mean it’s insignificant. On the contrary, this habit has the potential to improve your life immediately.

You know what it is?

Drinking water.

Ugh, here we go again, another water article.

But hear me out.

Most people know they’re supposed to drink water in the morning because our bodies lose so much during the night. Not to mention, many aren’t reaching their daily quotas in the first place, so they could be dehydrated before even hitting the pillow the night before.

When was the last time you had enough water? Do you remember what it felt like not to be dehydrated?

While this may seem inconsequential, staying hydrated might be one of the most important ways to stay healthy and feel alert throughout the day.

Drinking water helps our body carry out its most important jobs, which according to a Harvard Health Publishing article about drinking water, include:

  • carrying nutrients and oxygen to your cells
  • flushing bacteria from your bladder
  • aiding digestion
  • preventing constipation
  • normalizing blood pressure
  • stabilizing the heartbeat
  • cushioning joints
  • protecting organs and tissues
  • regulating body temperature
  • maintaining electrolyte (sodium) balance.

Since I am not a qualified health professional, I will speak from my own experience about how I feel when I drink enough water.

For years, I didn’t prioritize hydrating first thing in the morning, and I would wonder why my eyes felt heavy and dry, making going back to sleep almost inevitable. I used to wake up for a few seconds and jump right back into my warm sheets.

Giving up on the day before it started frustrated me beyond reason because it felt like I was always three steps behind everyone else by the time work started.

However, after using my simple trick for drinking more water, I changed. I now rise at 5 am without an issue and conquer the early hours. Before sunset, I usually do my cleaning, journaling, and article writing; it’s also when I do most of my most serious thinking.

Photo by Philippe Oursel on Unsplash

So what’s the trick?

Take a bottle, preferably over .5 liters, and fill it with room temp water. I find that a standard glass of water won’t work here because it takes more effort to raise and lower your arm, which adds an extra layer of friction, and it doesn’t hold enough. So once the water bottle is full, put your mouth to the water bottle and count down from ten to zero, taking a gulp for every number you count. Keep your mouth on the bottle between drinks and if you’re having trouble getting the water down, wait for a second or two before continuing. As you go through this routine, you will feel like it’s easier to drink, and you may even find that you want to count up to three again once you reach zero.

And that’s it. You’ve just had somewhere between eleven and fourteen gulps of water, which is over half a liter of water. In the coming seconds, you will feel more alert and focused, and a bonus is that you’re already on pace to crush your daily water requirement.

Tomorrow when you wake up, give this a shot, and chances are, you’ll notice a visible improvement within just thirty seconds of doing it.

I would love to know if this helps you!



Macklin Buckler

Hi, I’m Macklin, a freelance writer from New York with an obsessive desire for authentic storytelling. You can find my writing on macklinbuckler.com.