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North Island Rising: How many of you will accomplish your New Year’s resolutions?

The relationship between resolutions and failure can have a serious impact on our self worth.

I’m not going to rob a bank this year. I’ve also resolved to not free climb Yosemite’s El Capitan. And in 2020, I am going to the gym three times a week and will not visit as many craft breweries as last year.

Pretty straightforward New Year’s resolutions and, according to the experts, one of them is a prime candidate for landing in the resolution recycling bin before January comes to an end.

However, on the positive side, two of those new year’s resolutions will stand the test of time.

Two out of three isn’t a bad outcome and I had a feeling it would be a far better average than what many a resolution-maker achieves. In fact, I wondered just how many people actually are able to keep that promised fresh start?

To find that answer, I decided it was time to climb to the top of the highest peak in the Himalayas and once again ask the knower of all knowledge, keeper of all wisdom and seller of your personal data, Google.

Google wasted no time in sourcing and collecting the necessary data and in a matter of moments, the depressing stats flowed across my screen.

According to Forbes magazine, it seems that on average only eight per cent of those making New Year’s resolutions are successful in accomplishing their promise.

It seems the majority of us will, according to Quicken, also do some serious spending (gym memberships, diet regimes, etc.) in an attempt to buy our way into that magical eight percenter’s club. The software and online accounting company reports that 78 per cent of us will spend upwards of $500 in the pursuit of resolution happiness.

That particular stat probably explains why the various buy and sell sites are heavy to treadmills in February and March.

It gets worse. After analyzing more than 31.5 million online activities, Strava, a social network for athletes, was able to pinpoint Jan. 12 as the date when most people reported failing to keep their resolution.

It’s a double-whammy dose of downer vibes when you consider Statista reports the top three resolutions as being: Save more money. Lose weight and get in shape. And have more sex.

All great resolutions, but if Statista is right, twelve days into January and we’re all going to be broke, out of shape and yes, less of the other one, too.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, Google went on to explain how psychologists say the relationship between resolutions and failure can have a serious impact on our sense of self worth.

And that’s why I decided to beat both the stats and the depression of unmet expectations by making three resolutions of which two were sure-fired, guaranteed to make it through the year promises.

The third was a strong candidate for the infamous 12-day collapse. But – and this is the big but – I’d finish the year with a minimum 66 per cent success rate.

So, happy new year and in the spirit of a better 2020, let’s all promise to rob fewer banks, avoid unnecessary and harmful risks, and to simply enjoy life as best we can.

Bill McQuarrie is a former publisher, photojournalist and entrepreneur. Semi-retired and now living in Port McNeill, you can follow him on Instagram #mcriderbc or reach him at

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