The failure rate of New Year's resolutions is pretty high, around 78 per cent overall according to a 2009 article in the New York Times . Their report also divided resolutions into big and small and found that people who set small, realistic goals had a slightly higher success rate of about 35 per cent. And, if people follow this advice - setting milestones, rewarding themselves along the way, telling friends about their goals, focusing on the benefits of success and keeping a diary of their progress - they have about a 50 per cent success rate.
So friends, here is my personal goal for 2011: 10,000 push-ups, 10,000 sit-ups, 10,000 pull-ups, 10,000 squats. I've created a spreadsheet in Word with two of these goals on each page, which I'm going to tack to the wall of my bedroom along with a pen to keep a daily tally. (I'll send the spreadsheets to you if this sounds like something you'd like to attempt, e-mail me at email@example.com.) Basically the goal is to do something physical every day to combat the general decline in fitness that has accompanied fatherhood.
I'm pretty sure this goal is realistic. Truthfully, I already started pursuing it back in September but had to stop just over a month later after falling down on a wet bridge during a trail run and breaking a rib. All healed up, I'm ready to start again.
I know what you're thinking, "that's an awesome New Year's resolution - you should make them for other people." So that's what I did.
For PM Stephen Harper - Keeping a minority government going is hard work, but your political opposition has been making things easy for you with their knee-jerk reactions to everything. Maybe in 2011 you should try to win over Canadians rather than focus on keeping your opponents down and divided. For clarity, here is a list of things that Canadians don't like: extending the Afghanistan mission to 2014, the G20, changes to the census, bigger deficits and debt, endless posturing over a new election, threats to the CBC, monopolies in telecommunications, draconian drug laws, people who equate what Julian Assange does at WikiLeaks with terrorism, more foreign ownership of Canadian companies and resources, senate patronage appointments and broken promises to make it an elected body (then using those senators to kill a climate bill passed in the House of Commons), Canada's tepid response to global warming, our national failure up to now to repatriate Omar Khadr, accusing the opposition of cozying up to separatists whenever talk of a left-wing coalition surfaces, politicizing science, attempts to shut down the gun registry, the seal hunt, federal money for pro sports arenas... I could go on.