It’s a stupid way to waste £50. But I’ve done it more than once.
First, decide to improve my well-being. Proceed to spend £50 on supplements. Feel so good about being on the path to health and righteousness!
Take supplements as recommended for maybe one or two days. Then miss a dose. Then another.
Taking pills is easy. But I still forget to do it.
So all the pretty bottles disappear to some distant drawer. Here they spend the rest of their shelf life, covered by the fog of forgetfulness. Their unconsumed health benefits slowly wasting away.
Don’t fall into the same trap. Here are simple tips to help you remember your supplements – and not waste your money.
1) Put them where you can see them
Out of sight, out of mind. The first step is making your supplements visible.
Don’t hide them in a drawer. Place them somewhere where you can see them.
Figure out where you will be when it’s supplement time, and use that area.
For example, put them on the kitchen counter if you are taking supplements with meals. Bathroom shelf for first thing in the morning. Or on your desk if it’s during the working day.
2) Add your supplements to an existing routine
The best way to develop a new habit is to link it up to an existing one.
That’s one of the reasons for taking supplements with meals. Once you get used to this, it becomes automatic.
If your life is too hectic for set meal times, think of some other milestone. For example, commuting or getting ready for work in the morning.
3) Reward yourself with a treat
This tip is a bit sneaky. The idea is to have (or do) something you enjoy right after taking your supplements.
Kind of like training a dog. Works for humans too!
For example, have a small bit of chocolate. Or a cup of coffee. Or do something you enjoy – sit down and read, or relax for 5 minutes.
Choose your treat wisely, so that it’s not counterproductive. Scoffing three extra chocolate bars a day would negate any positive supplement effect.
4) Dish them out in a pill organiser
Use a pill organiser (also known as pill dispenser, pill caddy or pill case) to measure out your supplements on a daily or weekly basis.
It’s just a plastic container with labelled cells for each dose. So you can see exactly where you are with taking your supplements.
You can carry your pill organiser with you in your bag. Just make sure it doesn’t become another hiding place!
5) Use a pill organiser gadget
If you like gadgets, why not get one more just for supplements?
This is the smarter, flashier younger brother of the pill dispenser. These clever things can measure out your tablets as and when required, send reminders and alarms, and log your intake.
6) Get a reminder app
Yes, of course there is an app for that! Get the latest technology to pester you with relentless resolve.
Although mostly designed for medicines, they work just as well for supplements and vitamins.
Phone reminder apps
Most phones have a standard default alarm app, which can also be used to setup reminders.
7) Sign up for a reminder messaging service
Setup a reminder and get a nudge via email, phone or text message every time you are supposed to take your supplements.
8) Tick boxes off on paper
If the last thing you need is one more app bothering you, just use plain old pen and paper instead.
Print out (or draw) a simple table with boxes for supplements times. Tick them off every time you do.
The table acts as the reminder. The completed rows of ticks give you a sense of accomplishment.
Simple supplements log: Download in Excel | Download in PDF
Just add the names of your supplements to the first column.
9) Move pots from one place to another
Sometimes all you need is just a simple system to track your supplements intake.
Moving supplement containers across a set space is as simple as it gets.
Just choose a pattern to move the container every time you take your pills.
For example, use a small shelf to keep your supplements. Start in the morning with the container on the left. After taking your morning dose, move it to the middle. Then to the right after taking the mid-day dosage. And to the left again after you take them at night.
10) Say it out loud to be mindful
We go about our daily tasks on an autopilot. We easily forget anything that’s not part of the autopilot.
One slightly mad method to break the autopilot is to say something. State clearly what you are about to do. This will focus your attention, and you will remember taking the action.
Look at the tablets in your hand before you take them, and say something like – “I am taking my Tuesday morning supplements”.
A bit crazy – but it works.
Remember your supplements – and don’t miss out on their health benefits.