Hindi pa huli ang lahat.
Part 1: How to Start
From “Please be good to me 2018” to “I’ll make 2018 my year”
There are two types of people in this world:
Those who let things happen to them.
And those who make things happen to them.
Every year, we’re greeted by our Facebook feed with New Year’s Resolutions such as “losing weight” or “traveling more” by friends and family.
Inspiring at it seems, the reality is that 45% of people fail at their New Year’s Resolution in just a month.
Hence, memes such as this:
As much as we try to make room for new habits to make our year better, we ALWAYS come across reasons to get bogged down by work or life.
Suddenly the burst of inspiration at the start of the year slowly dies down as we get flooded with work, stress, and the creeping urge to just binge on Netflix rather than hitting the gym.
Which is why we came up with this guide to make sure you start your 2018 right with the right goals and the right tools to keep them on track.
Are you ready to make 2018 your year? Then let’s dive in.
Forming New Habits
Problem #1: Creating goals“
“This year, I will lose weight.”
“This year, I will explore the Philippines more.”
“This year, I will read more books.”
These may seem like awesome goals to start the year with, but the problem comes when it’s time to chop them into bits that you could follow through with.
How much weight will you lose? How long will it take for you to get there? Is losing 100 kilos in a year even possible for you?
Without clear goals to follow through with, two weeks in you end up looking in the mirror and start thinking to yourself, “Am I losing weight? Is this even worth it?”
Enter, SMART goals.
SMART Goals stand for:
SPECIFIC – What do you want to achieve? Lose weight? Read books? Travel more?
MEASURABLE – How many calories? How many books? How many provinces?
ACHIEVABLE – Enough to challenge you, but defined well enough that you can achieve them.
RELEVANT – Ties into your main goal.
TIME-BOUND – Every week? Every month? Every quarter?
So instead of:
“This year, I will lose weight.”
Turn it into:
“This year, I will lose 12kgs by hitting the gym every week and losing 1kg every month.”
SPECIFIC – Lose 12kgs this year.
MEASURABLE – How much weight? 12kgs this year, 1kg a month, or 0.25kgs a week.
ACHIEVABLE – Tough? Yes. Possible? Definitely.
RELEVANT – Does it tie up with your goal of losing weight? Yep.
TIME-BOUND – 12kgs this year, 1kg a month, or 0.25kgs a week.
Why this works
Rather than becoming like a headless chicken that blindly aims to “lose weight this year”, you’ve made it a promise to yourself to hit the gym and do workouts that help you lose 0.25kgs every week.
Psychologically, 12 kilos this year becomes more believable to yourself when you break it down to just 0.25kgs every week.
Problem #2: Following through with your goals
You came up with your own SMART goal. Great!
Next problem, actually doing it.
Most of us wait for motivation before acting on our goals. We wait for a couple hours waiting for motivation to hit, or maybe watch a couple motivational videos to get off our butts and into the car to head to the gym.
Most of us suck at this. So I propose an alternative: how about we DON’T wait for motivation?
Hacking your New Year’s Resolution : Turning your New Year’s Resolution into a habit
Research (and basically, common sense) shows that doing something against your will over and over again isn’t the best motivator when it comes to coming up with new habits.
So forcing yourself to sit in front of the computer all day to write that book you’ve been wanting to start seems to be the wrong approach.
Working on your New Year’s resolution doesn’t have to suck the fun out of everything.
Losing weight doesn’t need to be confined inside a gym around sweaty equipment. Losing weight could mean riding your bike around the city early in the morning, and ending it with breakfast by that cool organic café with the cute barista.
Starting your book doesn’t have to start with you going through the traffic hell of the Makati CBD, then confining yourself to a Starbucks where you had to wait for 30 minutes for seats to open up. Starting your book could be going up to your apartment rooftop with a cup of coffee in your hand and your laptop in the other, looking over the city skyline while you come up with a name for your lead character.
Ready to get started with a proper New Year’s Resolution that you’ll actually see to the end?
Take a pick from one of the SMART goals below, or use it as inspiration when coming up with one of your own!
Get Moving (Lose weight)
- “This year, I will lose 12kgs by hitting the gym every week and losing 1kg every month.”
- “I will cut back on unhealthy food by substituting one meal a day with a low-calorie, low-sugar alternative.”
- “This year, I will lose weight by limiting my fast food intake to only twice a week.”
Get Out (Travel the world)
- “I will travel to 4 new provinces this year going to a province I haven’t been to every three months.”
- “I will try out one new coffee shop a week every weekend this year.”
Get Creative (Start a new creative hobby)
- “I will shoot, edit, and release one short film a month.”
- “I will finish a 48-chapter book this year by writing one chapter a week.”
- “I will post one art photo a week on Instagram.”
Part 2: Apps and Tools
Got your SMART goal ready with your habit plan? Great!
Let’s make your New Year’s Resolution journey easier with a couple apps and tools to help you along the way.
Before jumping in, we need to make sure you actually stick to your New Year’s Resolution. With that in mind, here are the best apps help you track (and stick to) your new habits.
Both apps below offer similar features, including habit scheduling, statistics, reminders, and streak tracking (making sure you don’t break the chain of habits you started).
Android: Free up to 5 habits, unlimited for Php300/month
iOS: Free up to 5 habits, unlimited for Php209/month
With habit tracking covered, it’s time you jump in to a tool you’ll be using for the rest of the year!
Whether you’re planning to lose weight, travel more, or become more creative, we have you covered!
iOS: Free, premium for Php499/month
Runkeeper is an all-in-one fitness app that mostly covers outdoor workout activities.
From walking, to running, or cycling, Runkeeper helps you out by becoming your step counter, speedometer, and GPS tracker – all in one app. You can also setup workout reminders and directly share your recent activities to your social media.
It’s as easy as just turning on the app, setting up a workout, and putting on your earphones!
Premium plans offer a variety of workouts and coaching systems you can use in case you need an extra push.
iOS & Android: Free, premium for Php2,990/year
Sworkit is an app that’s more suited for indoor workouts. It’s basically a substitute for a workout coach when you don’t want to pay a pretty penny for the in-house gym instructor.
Features include workout plans with videos for you to copy while doing different exercises. Each workout comes with a mini-coach to guide you through your reps and rests.
Premium plans give you more workouts outside the regular cardio and weight loss ones, but if you’re not planning to become a Century Tuna model by the end of the year, the free plan is a good option to stick with.
Done reading through Sworkit? Good.
CARROT fit is basically the same thing, but with a judgmental AI coach that continuously mocks you for being lazy. What’s cool is that the AI sounds exactly like GLaDOS from the Portal series.
It’s a gamified version of a workout app, with XP and Levels for you to work up from, giving you more perks and easter eggs for every success you hit inside the app.
Android & iOS: Free, Premium for Php129/month
With around 75 million users and over 30 million songs, Spotify needs no introduction.
What needs introduction though is the hidden workout feature: Spotify Running
Under Browse, look for the Genres & Moods part and go to “Running”.
The magic of Spotify Running begins when you start jogging with it. The non-stop playlist automatically matches the tempo with how fast you’re running. Warming up? Here’s a slow beat to work you up. Already hitting your runner’s high? Prepare for an awesome beat drop.
It also comes with brand new remixes from Ellie Goulding and Tiêsto, made especially for running.
Already a Spotify user? Try it out!
Android/Windows & iOS/Mac: Free, Plus for Php550/year, Premium for Php1,100/year
Dubbed “the notebook for your brain”, Evernote is a powerful note-taking app that covers everything from typing to doodling, even up to professional features such as doing presentations and snapping business cards (which automagically turns into a text file for easy copy-pasting!)
The Plus plan lets you sync to multiple devices and search for text inside images, while the Premium plan lets you do everything the Plus plan does,plus a passcode lock, offline access, presentations, and the ability to digitize business cards with just your phone’s camera.
iOS/Mac: Free, device-sync for Php1,250/year
Android/Windows & iOS/Mac: Free, device-sync for Php1,500/year
Both apps offer the same thing from cloud storage for storing your memories, up to tracking everything that happened throughout the day behind the scenes (automatically capturing data without you doing anything).
Both apps send you a reminder at the end of the day (or any time up to you) for you to journal, with most details automatically filled up thanks to the behind-the-scenes tracking (such as weather, steps, where you went, etc.)
If you’re doing your journaling with just one device, then the free plan fits you perfectly. But if you’re planning to move from one device to the other, both apps offer device-sync for a yearly plan.
Android: Free, in-app purchases for P465
Windows: One-time purchase for $19.95
Again, another case of different apps doing the same thing.
All apps offer full screen distraction-free writing (think, the virtual equivalent of writing on a blank piece of paper), giving you enough room for your thoughts.
iOS, Mac, Windows: Php350/month or Php1,500/year
The perfect pair with your writing apps.
Ever distracted by the occasional urge to open Facebook or YouTube in the middle of your writing session? Fret not!
Freedom is a distraction-blocker that blocks access to apps or websites that you set. Just set a time you want to be distraction-free and start working! Freedom then covers up blocked websites for you to work better.
iOS: Free, Premium for Php499/month
Photofox is a standalone photo-editor that lets you combine multiple photos and blend/merge them Photoshop style.
Ever wanted to create new cool images from scratch with just a single app, minus the Photoshop learning curve? Photofox is the app for you.
Snapseed is an Adobe Lightroom alternative that lets users edit photos directly from their phones.
A bit of a learning curve with this one as you’ll need to play around with it for a bit to get a hang of the gesture-based controls, but if ever you’ve been holding back on getting that Adobe Creative Cloud subscription and been wanting to learn how to play around with photo-editing, Snapseed is the app for you.
Sakay.ph is basically like Google Maps for commuting, complete with jeepney, bus, walking, tricycle, and even train routes!
Our new favorite feature? Traincheck — a MRT congestion prediction, perfect for thoseconvenient, relaxing MRT rides.
iOS & Android: Free
Basically a Zomato for locals, looloo is a review and exploration app to get you hooked up with restaurants, spas, and more around the Philippines!
Personally, it was one of my go-to apps during a trip to Baguio. Thepinikpikan is a scary delicacy. For the love of all chickens across the world, please do not try it. 😭
Web, iOS, Android: Free
Airbnb hosts usually offer up a free room or free bed inside their place and puts it up on Airbnb, giving travelers a cheaper alternative versus staying at expensive hotels.
What’s cooler is you get to stay with a local! No more getting lost or looking for tour guides. Just ask your host where the best street food is and you’re good to go!
iOS & Android: Free
Your GoPro camera’s perfect partner: the GoPro app connects to your GoPro camera wirelessly, turning it into a remote viewfinder, letting you watch your GoPro’s footage live, without having to squint at the GoPro’s tiny screen.
The GoPro app also lets you offload captured footage directly to your phone for instant viewing.
iOS, Android, and Web: Free, Premium for P249
Ever wonder where your money goes at the end of your sweldo’s lifespan?
Money Lover is a convenient way to track your finances and where you spend the most, with easy charts and graphs to show your biggest spendings and savings are within the month.
It’s as easy as setting up multiple “wallets” such as your savings account, ATM, or cash on hand, then tracking your daily spending straight into the app. After a couple weeks, you’ll be able to see a bird’s-eye view whether you’re over your coffee budget or under your savings goal.
Think you’re all set starting that new membership at the gym or writing that new book? Great!
For the last part of our Poundit.com New Year’s Resolution guide, we’ll be taking a look at the best equipment to help you out in 2018!