When committing to a lifestyle change, even if you fail or miss a step, it's always important to keep trying. Not everyone can go cold turkey on bad habits like smoking or too much snacking, so don't feel too disappointed if it doesn't work out on your first try. In some ways, every day is day one, and the beauty of forming new habits step-by-step is that your progress will only encourage you to do better. 


So even if you start with just one small change, as long as you commit to it, sooner or later, you'll find that this positive habit has also impacted other aspects of your life. To help you get started, here are some health hacks you can do that will also positively impact your daily financial habits:

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1. Go on a diet, even when you don't need to lose weight.

If you think weight loss is the only reason you should watch what you eat, then you might want to recheck every item in your fridgeEating isn't just about survival, but nutrition. This doesn't mean you need to sign up for a full-on keto or vegan diet. Even setting simple rules like avoiding junk and fried food or cutting down on sugar and sodium can do wonders for your body. If you're not following any rules, then you risk experiencing some deficiencies that can harm you in the long run. Make sure you're eating right, and alter your routine to accommodate the necessary changes. This way, you won't spend on excess food that will do more harm than good.


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2. Set a concrete goal, and track your diet.

After you plan your diet is the hardest part: following through. To keep you in check, use an app to track your progress or write it down in a journal if you want to keep it personal and old school. Of course, how you track your diet is also up to you. You can try calorie counting, or noting down your eating hours, or you can simply write down what you eat and slowly adjust your meal plans by the day. Either way, writing it down makes you more conscious of your eating habits, which will help you stay motivated.

TRY: My Fitness Pal app


FN TIP: Track your daily expenses down to the peso as well (aka geek out on all the numbers) so you can see which habits can still be improved.

3. Drink three liters of water daily. 

"Don't drink your calories" could possibly one of the simplest, most practical pieces of advice I've ever heard. Skip the soda, the cocktails, and the bottomless iced tea, and stick to what's most natural: good old H2O.

Not only will it save you money this year (excise tax, remember), a Cosmopolitan feature notes that drinking water keeps you looking young, improves your digestion, and boosts you metabolism.

FN TIP: Bring a water bottle and refill in your office, at restaurants or even before you hit the road so you can take sips throughout the day.

4. Replace coffee with tea.

If caffeine is your poison of choice, then just opt for tea instead. Of course, if you're the type to spend for coffee to enjoy the flavor, well, this might be harder to commit to. Start simple by substituting your second and third cups with it, and try different varieties of black tea to really perk you up.


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5. Avoid chronic snacking.

This can be especially hard when you have a high-stress job, but try to curb cravings by eating well and on time. Limit snacking to twice a day, and try to bring your own trail mix, rolled oats, or fruits to work so that you can snack on something with more nutrients than your usual convenience store haul.

6. Instead of buying a big breakfast, get creative with an easy-to-make option: hard-boiled eggs.

According to Health, "protein is the nutrient most of us need more of to stay healthy, slim, and energized—especially at breakfast." Get creative and try having hardboiled eggs with some veggies and herbs to pack on the nutrients and flavor. Check out some fun recipes here.

7. Buy fruits that are in season.

For your weekly grocery trip, check out low sugar fruits that are in season (read: cheaper and easier to find) and plan your menu accordingly. "Fruit is rich in antioxidants, which help to remove free radicals from our body, preventing diseases like cancer. When we don't eat fruits, we miss out on fibre which helps us to feel full and keeps our digestive systems healthy," says Anna Debenham on the Huffington Post.


8. Come home early three times a week to clean and work out. 

If you're going to sweat and get stinky, might as well hit two birds with one stone. The benefits? You keep your home tidy, and you spend less on spontaneous nights out. You're also more likely to sleep better and wake up happy and alert. It's the ultimate stress buster, and your future self will thank you for it.

TRY: Nike Training Club app

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9. Schedule work out dates with your boyfriend, family, and barkada.

Today’s gym buddy. ???? #lunniebunny

A post shared by Judy Ann Santos-Agoncillo (@officialjuday) on

Instead of meeting up to try the latest restos or see a movie, schedule a group work out instead. You can go to a free park or sign up for classes that give group discounts. This won't just improve your health but your relationships as well.

In an interview with Smart Parenting, mom-of-two Cecille Ilustre, who went from couch to triathlon, says the best part about her fitness journey isn’t the weight loss, but her growing bond with her family. “Na-encourage ko 'yung sons ko na maging active na rin... And 'yung bond namin, mas close... Lately, sa training, sama-sama kaming lahat, mas close.”


10. Start walking.

As we've said before, "taking 10,000 steps a day for your health isn’t just some urban legend that fitness buffs say. Many studies have previously mentioned the benefits that walking, jogging, or running towards this goal can give you—it lowers blood pressure, lessens your risk of heart disease, helps you lose weight, and basically makes you feel good about yourself."

If you're just traveling a couple of blocks or going up one to two floors, ditch the transpo and just go by foot! If you sit in an office all day, step out once in a while and get some sun. Doing so a few minutes a day will boost your productivity.

11. Save for an out of town trip and pack it with activities.

Getting active shouldn't be restricted to what's familiar to you—that can be the quickest way to plateau. Explore new destinations and get adventurous with the activities. Try surfing and scuba diving for the first time, or hike up a mountain with your friend who's been convincing you to go since 2015. You don't need first-class accommodations to have a grand time. At the end of the day, having a goal or investment in mind will keep you mindful of your daily expenses. Plus this way, you know it will go to something that's absolutely worth it: a lifetime of memories and another item off your bucket list.


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