647.224.5983 mary@marymstrachan.com

Over the past several months, I’ve noticed that I’ve been having really strong sugar cravings (which unfortunately I’ve been following through on.) I’ve had the sneaky suspicion that I interpret my body as wanting sugar when in fact, I’m actually THIRSTY! It turns out my suspicions are correct!

Which means I need to drink more water and stay hydrated!

Interestingly, I’ve also realized that I drink virtually no water all day. This has happened because I choose not to drink water during meals, and because I drink tea all day long (which I count as water.)

For the most part, I drink herbal teas, but have my fair share of black tea, too. Which, according to Joanne Jaworski (who I’ll interview in January for B is for Brilliant) is actually dehydrating!

Turns out I’ve been working against myself, people!!

It’s okay, though, because I came across a “productivity hack” earlier this year that I’ve been experimenting with, and it’s worked for me!

It’s called Habit Stacking. I read about it on Flipboard, in an article by James Clear. The concept is pretty simple: you stack a new habit on top of an old habit. There’s some brain science behind it, but let’s just say it’s a fast way to adopt a new habit, because you leverage something you already do.

So, here’s what I’ve been doing; every time I boil water for tea, I also fill up my water bottle and drink it while I wait for my tea to be ready. I keep the water bottle with my tea cup and drink both while I work away.

And voila! I double my fluids and increase my water intake. All. Day. Long.

(Literally did it while writing this to you.)

Side Note: As he filled his own 32 oz water bottle up yesterday, my husband asked me if I know how much water I’m meant to drink in a day. Since I’m obviously trying to increase my water intake, I confessed that no, I didn’t know.

Turns out there’s a formula** to figure that out too.

Take your weight in pounds.

Times it by 2.

Divide that number by 3.

That’s how many ounces you’re to drink.

To convert into cups, divide by 8.

Wow. That went a bit off topic, but if it helps YOU stay hydrated, I’m okay with that.

Back to Habit Stacking.

It’s my third favourite thing I wanted to share with you over the holidays.

Like I said before, it works because you’re adding a new habit to an already established habit. According to James, you can add the new habit before or after the old one. To be honest, I’ve been most successful adding it before or during the old habit, but that might just be me.

How about you?

Do you have any new habits you want to start?

Want to try to habit stack them?


  1. Take out a piece of paper and make two columns.
  2. At the top of the left column, write New Habit.
  3. And at the top of the right one, write Old Habit.
  4. List out the new habit(s) in the column on the left.
  5. One by one, give some thought to which old habit the new one could naturally attach to, and then add if you’ll do it before, after or during (note: I’m adapting James’ approach to include during.)

For each habit, write a sentence that looks something like this:

Before I (old habit), I’ll (new habit).

After I (old habit), I’ll (new habit).

While I’m (old habit), I’ll (new habit.)

For best results, start with small things, and let me know how it goes!  Send a note to me here and I’ll reply:  mary@marymstrachan.com

And good luck!

Mary Strachan

Mary Strachan

For the longest time, Mary tried to downplay her engineer-like super-powers.  Now, as the Get-It-Done Facilitator, she combines her love of systems with her intuition to help Visionary Entrepreneurs stop procrastinating and turn their to-do lists into DONE (so they can stop hiding and share their brilliance with the world!)

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