Instead of the same old New Year Resolutions, let us look at something different.

The term “Shadow Skill” comes from a Manga and Anime series of the same title. I use it to describe life-skills that are useful and practical for personal development. I rarely talk about these skills until it comes up or the opportunity presents itself.

New Year resolutions are always a good and fun way to improve yourself and your quality of life, but don’t take this challenge lightly. The main goal of New Year resolutions is to present yourself with the challenge of life-changing skills with huge effects. New Year resolutions also makes some interesting reactions for some common questions like:


Q: “What are you planning for the weekend?”
A: “Shoot arrows and stuff..”
Q: “What do you do?”
A: “I climb big rocks and jump off airplanes.. Oh, you mean work?”

Typical New Year resolutions

Where most people would get a membership and crowd the gyms for a couple of months and give up, get into a fitness regimen or start a new diet. You choose to carve your own path, because you know you can come up with a new year resolution that is better and more personal. You will become your own version of a badass and it’s all up to you to choose your challenge. As an example, I’ll let you in on what I’ve been getting myself into for the last few years after moving to England and what motivated me to do so.

‘Badass’ New Year Resolution Ideas


Year 1: Rock Climbing

Badass Guide to New Year Resolutions- Shadow Skills _rock climbing

After a year of being lazy and enjoying the good life, I came to realise that the reason why I was passionate about video games, which turned into my career focus, was that I craved travel and adventure and I was passionate about it. While working for a game company in the midlands, I met a few friends, who did rock climbing. It took them almost a year to convince me to try it out. I tried it, and I was hooked. We went bouldering twice a week until my body was conditioned for it. After three months, I’ve gone up a few grades and I could climb longer and harder routes.

Year 2: Kung Fu and Archery

Badass Guide to New Year Resolutions- Shadow Skills_ kung fu and archery

One of my friends and I talked about this for months and I convinced a group of people in the company to take an archery course. We had lots of fun and got certified. I kept practicing in my garden. Then I came up with the term “Extreme Awesome” where you combine two or more disciplines and you get something like this:

Badass Guide to New Year Resolutions- Shadow Skills _ climbing and archery

It wasn’t easy but it was fun to try. It didn’t have to make sense. Fun was a good enough reason as any.

Making changes to your life

I was also working with a Chinese friend of mine from the Visual Effects department and we decided to get into Wing Chun Kung Fu. At this time I dropped climbing down to once a week and did one day of Wing Chun instead. I started to feel a change in my conditioning. It helped with my endurance and the flow of my movements. I’d sometimes practice Eskrima which is a Filipino Martial Art with a friend during lunch breaks.

Year 3: Skydiving

Badass Guide to New Year Resolutions- Shadow Skills_skydiving

I thought about doing it for some time but I’ve always thought about doing it sometime in the future. But at the end of the year before I was crushed by a failed relationship so my New Year resolutions included doing something crazy before I turned 30. I loved the heights of rock climbing but it wasn’t enough, I tried paragliding but it was too relaxed like a flying lazy boy. It was also at over 300 feet.

Seeking an adrenalin rush

I wanted an adrenalin rush so huge that for a moment, I can be IN the moment and not think of anything else. I found that in skydiving. The feeling is just so surreal that it’s difficult to put into words but it’s an experience I’d recommend for everyone at least once in their lives. I thought about doing a tandem jump but then I changed my mind to doing an AFF Level 1 Solo so I wouldn’t ever need to experience a tandem jump until finally I decided to take the entire Accelerated Freefall Course and aim for a skydiving license.

There are easier but longer ways to qualify but I wanted to commit all-in. So I booked a week off work and told everyone I was doing some “Ninja Training”. The closest thing I could describe the first few jumps is like the first kiss. Nothing’s both as exciting and terrifying at the same time. The most horrifying thing I’ve seen was staring out an open door at 13,500 feet above ground. Then you give in and it’s just pure bliss. What’s even crazier was when I came up with the EPIC WEEK where I did some lead climbing for starters, reached category 8 skydiver and finished it off with snowboarding. One week with 3 extreme sports.

Year 4: Electronics

Badass Guide to New Year Resolutions- Shadow Skills_electronics

This needed quite a long time and a lot of effort to master. It’s different from my usual activities but at one point I thought I’d revolutionise my other activities with new tech ideas including making my own audible altimeter for skydiving with an Arduino to autonomous drones for first-person views, scouting and aerial video to document my outdoor trips. It may not sound as active as the previous activities but remember that the main goal of New Year resolutions is to do something that hugely improves your way of life.

This year, my adventure team summited Snowdonia, which is the highest peak in England and Wales. I was expecting a hill, but it was tougher than that. It was painful.. but totally worth it.

Year 5: TBA

Badass Guide to New Year Resolutions- Shadow Skills_TBA

This is a new year and there’s still so many New Year resolutions to consider.. But it’s a shadow skill and I’m not telling unless I need to use it or talk about it. So search within yourself for that one thing you’d love to do which you can be passionate about. Surprise your friends and family. Because YOU.. ARE BADASS and nothing less. Whether it’s Latte Art, Mixology, or Sailing, Scuba Diving or Skydiving.. It’s your choice, your life, your rules.

But if you feel like sharing what you’d love to do for 2014. Leave us a message in the comments section. If it’s crazy enough, I might even join you. Besides, this isn’t even my full list and we need to plan some Epic WatchFit Events. =P

For more updates on what I’ve been up to lately, I’m getting back to twitter since more people have been asking me what crazy things I’m up to every so often.

Good luck, have fun and make some New Year resolutions that will make 2014 a kickass new year!



(image credit: inc)

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