Fitness goals for 2019 (New Year Resolutions 2019)

I achieved my fitness goals for 2018. I got a silver for my IPPT. I exercised regularly, at least 3 times a week. Of course I lapse every now and then, failing to achieve the thrice weekly workouts, but I maintain my routine well enough and improve my fitness levels to be able to achieve a silver standard for my IPPT. I achieved it in the new IPPT cycle right after my birthday. I did my IPPT in camp during my annual ICT training. The redeeming factor of my entire experience during ICT was, you guessed it, getting the silver standard for IPPT.

This year, my fitness goals are largely unchanged. I will still exercise 3 times a week. But this time, I will make it more intense, combining cardio interspersed with strength training. I want to have a more toned body shape, perhaps a six-pack and defined biceps. I am not looking to look super muscular, drowning myself in protein shakes while doing cross-fit. That doesn’t sound fun at all. Instead, I will have milestone achievements when it comes to fitness.

So the New Year Resolutions 2019 for fitness is this:

Workout 3 times a week

Get a silver standard in IPPT in 2019. First milestone

Get a gold standard in IPPT in 2019. Second milestone

I have till September before the window period is open to do my IPPT. I can probably achieve silver, but gold is a tall order. Running within a certain timing is a huge challenge for me. It requires more specialised training aside from the usual runs or jogs that I do to keep my stamina up. I need to find a way to build up and increase my stamina, at the same time, have the strength and energy to run faster that ever before to achieve a run time that hit the gold standard.

I have 9 months to figure it out.

Thrice weekly workouts have become routine. Maybe I might challenge myself and do 4 times weekly. Keep it intense throughout the year.

We will see how it goes.


Circles Life

Last week I pulled the trigger and switched telcos from Singtel to Circles Life. I did this despite having an ongoing contract with Singtel on my current cellphone line. I switch knowing that I will have to pay and early termination fee because the exorbitant monthly fees that I am paying to Singtel on my current subscription no longer justifies the level of service I am getting as compare to the price that Circles Life is offering. Furthermore, despite knowing that I will need to pay the termination fee, the cost savings from my monthly bill in Circles Life will offset the cost of the termination fee well in advance the time it will take to be free from the contract.

I did the switch online, with a promotional offer for additional data and cash back rewards if I made the switch before the year’s end. It was seamless and within a day, the new sim card arrived with a sleek looking welcome package. Although the porting of my current number from Singtel to Circles Life will not take place till the evening on the 2nd of January, I am hopeful that the transition will be smooth.

I am expecting an outstanding termination fee bill that I will have to pay to Singtel once the port is successful. But I don’t care. The fee is small and I will still save money in the mid term from the cost savings from the cheaper monthly bill that I will be paying to Circles Life.

Happy New Year!!

There is so many things to look forward to in 2019. My New York and Morocco travels are the biggest events I am looking forward to the most, especially in the first half of the year. Things are a little hazy in the second half. Graduation ceremony will take place in the middle of the year and I am looking forward to walking on that auditorium, receiving my Masters Degree certificate on stage.

I am optimistic about 2019. Good things are going to happen in 2019.

As part of my process in finalising my New Year Resolutions for 2019, one of the resolutions that I will be writing it down will definitely be writing more in this blog. I will commit to spending more time sharing my life in this blog, the good the bad and even the ugly. I will update more often throughout the year, even writing about the mundane stuff. Previously, my blog updates were sporadic, writing only about significant events that happened in my life. This year, will be different.

Some of you may have noticed that I have not finalise my New Year Resolutions for 2019 yet despite the fact that 2019 is here. That is fine by me. So long as I come up with a finalised list soon in the coming days, it’s still not too late.

Next up, I might be talking about my fitness goals for 2019.

Reading goals for 2019 (New Year Resolutions 2019)

I am an avid reader but not a voracious one. I suffer from episodes of intense reading sessions followed by absolute disgust for books. I go through these cycles several times in a year.

Apart from the magazines and news sources that I subscribe to, I am quite conservative when it comes to deciding just how many books I want to read for the year.

The goals that I have set in recent years have always been to read about 24 books a year. That works out about 2 books a month. Totally achievable. 2018 was different. I was busy with my studies. So I lowered my bar to 16. It’s the final days of 2018 and I am short by one book. And that is ok. I still find reading 16 good books in a year an achievement. Furthermore, I never lose sight of my goals and still kept at it even when the going got tough, juggling work, school and a multitude of things that have happened in my life in 2018.

2019 is the year where I swore to push myself even harder in almost every aspect of my life. 2019 is the year where I will push the envelope, going further, harder, faster and deeper. I am setting my sights higher in every aspect of my New Year Resolutions.

So what is my reading goal for 2019? I have decided to read 30 books in 2019. This is the most ambitious goal I have set for myself when it comes to reading.

Will I be able to reach my goals? As of now, I am pretty confident that I can achieve it, provided that life doesn’t throw a curveball at me.

I am going to do it. This will be set in stone as part of my New Year Resolutions 2019. Soon, I will compile my resolutions into a list so that I can write it in a brand new Moleskin notebook that will serve as a constant reminder whenever I write stuff in the notebook.

One month impression of the iPad Pro 11 inch

So it has been more than a month of using the iPad Pro 11 inch and despite the screen issues that I had when I initially bought it, I managed to get it replaced free of charge within the week and everything is fine and dandy. I am pretty sure that the replacement iPad Pro is a brand new one, since it came in a plain cardboard box that is sealed, but I am not complaining if it is refurbished. I practically cannot tell if it is brand new or refurbished. It looks brand new to me and I am not going to complain.

So far, using the iPad Pro is fantastic. The device when used as a media consumption device, is terrific, probably overkill since the iPad Pro has a super powerful processor inside that is meant for cpu intensive tasks like photo editing and video editing, tasks that I have never done on my iPad Pro. But still, the experience of using the iPad Pro for reading and watching videos is second to none.

I read stuff on my iPad Pro a lot, and so texts are crisps, scrolling is buttery smooth and the overall layout in whatever I read is perfectly aligned and easy to navigate, apps like the NYT, Washington Post, National Geographic, The New Yorker and many others makes reading on the iPad Pro a joy because of the apps that are streamline to take the experience of reading articles on the device that much more pleasant. Coupled with the fact that the iPad Pro is pretty lightweight, means that holding the device for a hours on end is not an issues. I experience very little fatigue holding the device for extended durations while consuming content on the iPad Pro.

I have had no regrets getting the 11 inch model over 12.9 inch model. I believe for my use case, the 11 inch model is a better fit. Using my device in public places like while commuting in the train to work is not an issue for me on my 11 inch iPad Pro. It’s light and big enough without looking too pretentious using the bigger version. I believe that If I were to get the bigger version, it would have been too big for my use case. If I were an artist, and have the capability of using the iPad Pro to draw and use it as a creative device, then the 12.9 inch model would have been a better use case. But no, I read a lot on my device and the 11 inch model is not too big for my liking.

Battery life is amazing. It sips battery at simple tasks and is able to perform admirably smooth in more demanding situations. App switching is seamless and have no issues with the amount of RAM that comes with the device.

I find the Smart Keyboard folio that I bought along with the iPad Pro a joy to use. Typing feels amazing and accurate. Despite what some reviewers say about the keys being too mushy, or the feeling isn’t right because it is wrapped in some kind of cloth material, I have zero issues with it whatsoever. I am typing this entry on my iPad Pro, with the Smart Keyboard folio and have no problems typing accuracies. I am pretty sure that I would have typed just as fast on my mechanical keyboard on my main PC rig as compared to the Smart Keyboard folio.

The added peripheral just adds value to the overall functionality of the iPad Pro. With the keyboard, I not only consume content, but I can be more productive in creating content, typing documents, journaling, blogging on the device. The only minor complain or suggestion that I would make in making the keyboard more attractive to use would be to have backlit capabilities. That would have been a useful feature to have in situations where you type in dark lit places.

The mobility of the iPad Pro, coupled with powerful specs and a keyboard makes this device one of the ultimate portable device I have ever used. Apple’s iPad have come a long way since its inception in 2010. I believe that now, only the software is pulling back what the iPad is truly capable of. And I hope that future iOS upgrades will make fundamental changes in how we interact with a device such as the iPad Pro that will take the functionality of the iPad a miles ahead of its competition (assuming there is any competition at all)

New Year Resolutions 2019.

I need to find time to craft my new year resolutions for 2019. For the past few years, I have crafted them and it seemed to have helped in achieving most of my goals and put my life in order. Although not foolproof, writing my resolutions and goals for the year has helped me keep my life in order. I have maintained my fitness, achieved my fitness goals, achieved my financial goals and other personal development goals that I have set myself.

There are definitely a couple of goals that fall short. Like for example, my reading goals were not achieved. But at least I tried my best in trying to achieve the goals I have set for myself. It is true in what they say when it comes to writing down those goals; physically writing them down is half the battle won. The other half is ensuring that the goals are specific, with numbers that are achievable and not based on some benchmark that makes your life hard. New year resolutions’s are not there to make your life difficult and miserable. They are to keep your life in order, in a way that would make you happy. They are the rocks that anchor your life, and keep you rooted in reality. They are your companion in reminding you that the time given is a blessing and that you should make the best use of them. The goals are meant for you and you alone, and it should not be compared with others. Write goals that are specific, with a number on it and that is realistically achievable. This means having to spend time reflecting on the past year and on yourself, and try to craft goals that are achievable based on your abilities. It can be a simple goal you set for yourself, as long as you make the effort in reaching those goals.

Sometime we lose track of those goals and set out lofty goals that make you miserable, because you know it is a huge challenge to achieve them. That should not be the way. Like I mentioned, it is ok to set out an easy goal to achieve; writing them, sticking to them and achieving them is far better than merely dreaming about them and not doing them.

My trick in making an effective New Year Resolution is to craft goals with milestones on them. For example, If I set myself to read 24 books a year, which is achievable without too much difficulty, I can set a second milestone of 30 books to push myself harder if I so desire. Same goes for financial goals. If I set myself to save $12000 a year, which translates to $1000 a month, I can set a second milestone of $15000. Since I know for a fact that $12000 is easily achievable, as I have done in previous years, crafting second milestones, would remind myself that I can do better with added effort. Ultimately at the end of the day, you can set a goal that is easily achievable and set a second milestone goal if you have the capacity to push yourself a little harder in achieving them.

I think one of the biggest mistakes in people crafting their own resolutions is making them ambitious and lofty, which leads to people lapsing on their goals as the year progresses, or crafting goals that are increasingly difficult over the years, which makes them more miserable as more and more of those goals are left unattainable because of unrealistic expectations.

Come up with goals that you know you can achieve them. There is nothing wrong with creating a goal in your resolutions that are simple to begin with. You can always write a second milestone goal for the added challenge.

I am writing goals below that will be part of my new year resolutions lest I forget:

Financial goals:

1. Moratorium on buying a new smartphone. No new smartphone purchases for 2019.

2. Moratorium on upgrading my computer. No computer upgrades for 2019.

A little setback regarding my New York trip

So previously my family booked a couple of a AirBnB accommodation in New York. It was the most economical option available, considering that hotel stays in New York is crazy expensive. And with six of use travelling as a family, it makes sense to book our accommodation on AirBnB, where we can book an entire house or apartment with enough bedrooms and bathrooms to fit all of us.

Apparently, one of our bookings was cancelled by the owner of the apartment. It seemed that he was caught renting out his place on AirBnB, which wasn’t exactly legal in New York, more of a gray area, when it comes to short rental regulations.

So now we are in the midst of finding a different accommodation and hopefully, no one else cancels on us, especially when it approaches our departure dates. It would be immensely inconvenient, not to mention, expensive to find alternatives, like hotels at the very last minute if the hosts of AirBnB that we have booked decided to cancel our reservations at the last minutes due to legal problems with renting those places out to us.

I hope this little set back would not affect use drastically in any way. I am keeping my fingers crossed, hopefully nothing unexpected happens when we are day, especially when it comes to accommodations.