Confession No. 1: I've always been a bit fickle with water bottles.

As a fitness editor who is constantly reviewing new products, I get to test out the newest and coolest models: I've tried bottles that remind you when to drink, bottles you can personalize with a photo, bottles that filter your water on-the-go, bottles with retractable straws, and bottles of all shapes and sizes.

Yes, they're all very cool, but I never seem to hang on to the same one for very long.

That said, I think my latest water bottle obsession might actually stick with me for the long haul, if for no other reason than its pure simplicity and durability. It's a plain, aluminum (BPA free!) screw-top—covered in inspirational messages that motivate me to get moving. And that brings me to confession No. 2.

Stuck in a motivational funk
Ever since I completed my first triathlon back in July, I've been in a major workout funk. Without my rigorous team practice schedule and a concrete goal in my head, I've been hitting the snooze button and skipping my morning run more often than I'd like to admit.

My bike? It's been out of the closet a pathetic two times since the race. And I don't even want to talk about my nonexistent swimming habits.

In fact, the only thing I have been able to do with any regularity is yoga. On weekends, the new Lululemon store in my neighborhood offers free classes, and that's how I found my new motivational water bottle.

If you're familiar at all with Lululemon stores or their products, you know they're all about positive thinking and inspirational language. What drew me into their store in the first place was the chalkboard sign out front on the sidewalk that simply stated, "Do one thing a day that scares you"—something, I thought to myself, I had not been doing lately.

(Yep, I fell victim to the brand's "cult of selling," as Fast Company puts it. But that's OK!)

Next Page: Surrounding myself with inspiration [ pagebreak ]


My new lightweight aluminum Om bottle ($15, or $25 for the larger stainless steel version) travels with me everywhere, plastered with cheesy but effective—for me, at least—reminders to drink water (it flushes toxins out of your body), replace "should" and "could" with "will" (it's what successful people do), and sweat once a day (to regenerate your skin), among others.

I've got another one at home, too, a bright yellow "I heart running" bottle ($25) that sits on my nightstand and coerces me out of bed in the mornings.

Surrounding myself with inspiration
In all honesty, I know that a water bottle is not going to change my life. But sometimes just a few little changes can really help snap you out of a rut and improve your outlook.

Just to be sure, though, I'm not stopping there. Here are a few other ways I'm getting myself pumped to get back in my pre-triathlon shape.

  • I printed out this runner's daily checklist from Runner's World and hung it on my bulletin board behind my computer, and it reminds me what to be eating, drinking, and doing during my long day at work.
  • I added a cute table to my front hallway, with a shelf for my running sneakers and a little basket for my iPod, stopwatch, and barrettes to pin my hair back while I'm running. Now everything I need is right at the front door waiting for me!
  • I ordered an official finish-line photo from my triathlon, which I plan to hang in my bedroom. People may think I'm showing off, but I really just want to be able to look at it every day and remember how good that run felt.

Since I've made these changes in the last few days, I've definitely been a little more excited about exercising. Is it the water bottle, or all of these little things combined—or am I just ready to get back in the game? Either way, I'm embracing it.

Has a tiny change ever helped you jump-start a stalled workout routine? Share your tips here.