Thursday, January 14, 2016

Review: Eskwelahan Planner 2016 Edition

Whenever another year is about to arrive, one staple item in a person's wish list is a new planner. Yuppies even students nowadays carry one. For 2016, I opted for the Eskwelahan Planner which I bought at Fully Booked Eastwood Mall a few days before 2015 ended. In the first two years with my current job, I resorted to the usual generic planner and after having two of those (for 2012 and 2014), I decided I don't want one that looks boring (as I don't want a generic life for the whole year career wise).

You may think that this planner is more for the nerdy/geeky type of person (hence the name Eskwelahan) but let me tell you that this is not just for students -- it could also fit those in the corporate world.

I first learned of Eskwelahan planner from a former colleague Jasmine. At first, I just found the front cover nice. But there was more to its interesting cover. Let me show you some of its cool yet really useful features:

 1. Expenses tracker -- So that you get to monitor how much you spend the whole month and if you're close to hitting the zero-balance level even before payday arrives.
2. Mood/inspiration boards -- they're intended to be blank pages for you to doodle your ideas or past photos on .

3. Spaces for for your daily to-do list - The blank pages are not ruled ones so for someone who is OC with penmanship, putting notes on it  (and doing so on one straight line) could be a challenge.

 4. Games, quotes and trivia -- Who says planners can't become a source of interesting information? Every page of the 2016 Eskwelahan Planner contain bits and pieces of valuable details that could be useful conversation starters and icebreakers.

5. It contains coupons for discounts and freebies -- This to me is the best part ;-) From SkyRanch to Zen Zest to A1 Driving School, Eskwelahan Planner includes coupons that one can use within the year.

And if you're the  maabubot type of person, the planner also has its back pocket enough to store tickets, receipts or photos. I just jazzed mine up by putting a strip of washi tape from another online dealer.

Eskwelahan 2016 Planner comes in two colors: Gold ad blue back cover and retails for PhP400.00 (I got mine for PhP460.00 at Fully Booked). You may also order online by going to this link.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Another Year, A Number of Goals

It had to take a week after the New Year for me to draft up something for this year's list. Well, no one can blame me I guess. Given all that happened in the last two weeks of December 2015, I had to use that long-awaited break to literally hibernate my senses after giving all that I can to my job and "extra-curricular" activities in between. And it takes a week to finally (or maybe partially) get my mojo back to function normally again.
On the last day of 2015, I took timer to look at what I've written on my planner about my plans for that year. And with the outcome, two things became evident: 1. Writing out your plans are an effective way to achieve it; and 2. Based on those that I ticked (or circled), the past year  has been a fruitful one.  And so, this year, I decided to come up with another batch of things to fulfill for 2016. I didn't follow the usual template I had from last year (which I got from my Facebook news feed) instead, I had to justify the things in my list.

1.  To live lightly. If I was able to partially break that habit of worrying last year, probably I can do better this year.

2. Excel more in my job. Being in the same job is not an excuse to hide if not retire that happy mojo. Quoting a line from the Devil Wears Prada, "a million girls would kill for this job" and I was among the lucky ones to get it and so the more grateful I should be.

3. Focus on health and find time for relaxation. Being sick and having to visit the hospital 10 times last year isn't a joke. I'm guilty as charged of almost unconsciously becoming a workaholic and I plan to change that this year.

4. Try to be involved at election-related activities. The most prestigious position on the land is again up for grabs (and no, it's not Miss Universe, ha) and while the title associated to being a president is way too enticing, the more picky one should be with who is truly deserving to get that coveted approval. Exercise that solemn duty not just going out to vote but to seriously knowing your candidates.

5. Continue a project. Last year, I commenced on this activity, I called 12 Movies Project. Interestingly, in each movie that I saw I was able to gather a number of life lessons (at hindi "hugot lines" lang) most of which were written in my old planner. While I fell short of one movie to complete the 12, tt was that engaging that I want to do it again again this year.

6. Discover places. I've always wanted to set my foot on old churches which I have yet to visit. It was among the items on my bucket list until I decided to extend the list not just to places of worship but to those that narrate history -- MUSEUMS! After all, I'm a huge history geek and it would feed my inner historian :-)

7. Devote time and effort to personally know “JVT” and maybe ease my Math anxiety by getting math lessons. For I am being told by my conscience that I only live once and I don't have all the time in the world to keep letting the chance pass -- better find time to know people while you still have them.

8. Prioritize privacy on other matters. Because I am still a girl who needs to have her own secrets. enough said. :-)

9. Read more.Write often. As I do this entry, I still have a few books from last year waiting to be read and long overdue things drafted on my blog unpublished if not unfinished. And while both are what I loved doing, I admit they got neglected due to my busy schedule at work. I am not making promises though but I’ll see to it that I’d be able to set aside time for those this year.

10. To challenge myself by taking a leap of faith. And by that leap of faith means something I haven’t tried doing (but always wanted to) and it’s far from what you’re thinking. ;-)

While I have to admit (though I have to just to be honest), I don't believe in New Year's resolutions in the same manner that I don't believe in forever. One need not to wait for another brand new year to make amends and improve oneself. because I believe that each day, when you are granted that miracle of waking up to a brand new morning, you are also given with a new lease of chance to change for the better. It's just up to you if you want to get moving or live a stagnant life.

Makes sense, right?