Monday, May 2, 2016

Pact App: Tips & Tricks

I signed up for Pact back at the end of February. I was enticed by the thought of earning money for activities that I was already doing (exercising, eating healthy, eating fruits and veggies). What freaked me out and still freaks me out is the thought of paying the big bucks if I don't live up to my commitment. Even worse is the thought that my biggest pact, the fruits and veggies, is at the mercy and votes of the rest of the community. My bank account is basically in their hands.

In the last two months I have learned a lot about how to make the most of my Pact app and how to make it work for here you go.

Gym Pact:
Every Monday you can chose to work out anywhere from 1-7 days of the week. As someone without a gym membership, this means that I have to log 30 minutes on the motion tracker. I usually go for a walk on my lunch break, so that's no problem. But what about weeks where I am out of the office or have lunch meetings? Or weeks like this week when we have rain all 5 days? I usually check the weather for the week on Monday, check the rain and check my work calendar. I still committed to 7 days of workouts this week despite the gloomy forecast. This is because I can log my time on my stationary bike pretty easily at home. I have an armband for my phone that I strap to my knee and get pedaling. This is great for weeks when the weather is less than desirable.

For those with a FitBit, if you regularly get 10,000 steps in a day, you're set too. Pact syncs to the FitBit app and credits you 1 workout for each day that you get 10,000 steps or more. It also syncs with Jawbone Up and Moves for step counting, as well as MapMyFitness and RunKeeper for motion tracking, if one of these is your preferred app.

The twist? You can't log more than one workout in a day. So if I walk on lunch or ride my bike for 30 minutes, but also hit my 10,000 steps, I still have to do it all again tomorrow. I only get credit for one.

Food Log:
I think this is the easiest Pact. As long as you eat a minimum of 1,200 calories each day, you get credit toward your Food Log Pact. The Pact App syncs with MyFitnessPal and credits you for logging your calories each day. I love that I can use MyFitnessPal on my phone and my computer, so I can easily scan new items at home while I'm cooking dinner, then they're on my account the next day as leftovers for lunch.  I also like that it syncs with the FitBit it knows when I've worked out from FitBit and adds that to my available calories and vice versa. The hardest part about this pact is hitting my minimum calorie intake for them, without going over my maximum for my diet plan with MyFitnessPal. But fruits and veggies make a great snack when I'm close and count towards my Veggie Pact. The only time I cut back on this Pact was on vacation. I wasn't interested in logging my calories in Disney!

Veggie Pact:
This pact is the most subjective and leaves me the most stressed out, but there's ways to avoid this. Overall, the idea is that you can commit yourself for anywhere from 1-35 fruits and vegetables in a week. You submit a photo of each serving that you eat, props for selfies and proof that you're actually eating it, and the community votes on if it counts or not.  Unfortunately, photos aren't usually approved for 24-48 hours. So you could eat 5 veggies on Monday, go to bed content and wake up Wednesday to find out that you failed your Pact because 1 was voted down (since you can only get 5 per day approved the rest of the week, there's no way to make that 1 back up).  This is what happened to me. I finished my Pact for the week on Sunday and woke up Monday to find out something had been voted down in the middle of the night.  This is the hardest when you commit to the maximum and have no room for error. Keep in mind, this isn't so much of a problem if you commit to a smaller number than 35. For instance, if you commit to 28, that's an average of 4 servings per day. If one gets voted down, you still have time later int he week to make it up and room in your roster.

My trick? Now I always submit 6-7 servings per day. This way, if one of my first 5 servings gets voted down, I have a backup or 2. The go uncounted at the end of the week, just like a second workout, but it's a nice security blanket. Ultimately, the choice is up to you! How much do you want to commit to?!

Getting Paid:
This is the most important part! So, the more you commit to, the better the payout, obviously. But, in general, the more you commit to in a week, the higher the payout per task completed. For instance, 5 days of gym, 7 days of food logging and 35 veggies paid $3.36 total, whereas 7 days of gym, 7 days of food logging and 35 veggies paid $4.27 total. The breakdown in price per task across all the pacts was better simply by adding the last 2 days of gym pact. Either way, it was more money than I had a week ago! Once you earn $10+, you're eligible to withdraw to PayPal.

Taking Breaks:
Once you sign up for Pact, you're not stuck on this path forever. There are ways to report a medical emergency or illness ("oh no I broke my leg and I can't get any steps!" or "oh no I have food poisoning and can't run anywhere but the bathroom!"), and ways to suspend your Pact in coming weeks for vacations or just because you're not into it anymore. You can do this online through customer service or schedule a break on the app. If you fall out of love with Pact, you are committed to finish the week's activities you've signed up for, so don't quit on Tuesday and get charged for Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday!

Good Luck and Happy Pact-ing! Comment me with questions or feedback about Pact!