Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year's Resolutions: A Numerical Estimate

In 2012, I accomplished a mere 37% of my goals for the year. I didn't bother estimating the likelihood of each, but, if I remember correctly, I believed I was going to achieve at least most of them. This year is (probably) going to be different. Not in the sense that I will accomplish all my goals (after all, if I can do all of them, then they were too easy), but in the sense that I will actually know afterwards how good I am at predicting my own behavior over the span of a year. Also, according to a 2007 study by Richard Wisemen, making your resolutions public increases the chance you will complete them (although, the effect is larger for females). The following are my goals for 2013, along with probability estimates for each:

1.) My company will double its number of clients before 2014. P(1) = 55%

2.) I will perform 1 set of 25 standard pull-ups and 1 set of 250 bodyweight squats on the same day before 2014. P(2) = 65%

3.) I will take the Spanish Language CLEP exam and will achieve a score of 55 or higher before 2014. P(3) = 40%

4.) During a single 24 hour period, I will write 48 hiragana and 48 katakana from memory with an error rate of 0% before 2014. P(4) = 95%

5.) During a single 24 hour period, I will write 2,200 kanji from memory with an error rate of 10% or less before 2014. P(5) = 40%

6.) I will be enrolled as a student at ASU again before 2014. P(6)= 70%

7.) I will complete every single exercise in Harry Gensler's Introduction to Logic: Second Edition with an error rate of 20% or less before 2014. P(7) = 50%

Assuming that the probabilities of the individual resolutions are correct and independent of each other, the chance that I will achieve all 7 goals during the year of 2013 is about 2%.