He SHOOTS, He…almost SCORES — 2013 Goals, not Resolutions


I’m the Wayne Gretzky of goal scorers…

well, let’s make that goal “makers”!


100% of shots

I don’t DO New Year’s Resolutions…but I DO do New Year’s GOALS.




I grew up a true stereotypical Canadian male — hockey courses through my veins. Which, as a blood-sucking lab technologist, it’s good to know that something runs through these old venous pipes.

I learned early on at 5 or 6 years of age that there are lots of contributing roles that can be filled by a fine hockey player. There is the defender who drops fearlessly, crotch or face-first in front of opposing goal scorers as they release a powerful slapshot towards the net.

There is the enforcer, who with his/her brawny intimidation and slurs against opponents’ mommys, beckons tears from the players of the other team, taking them off their mindset of scoring goals.

There is the playmaker who dipsy-doodles like an Olympic figure skater before slipping the puck to the another player who blasts it past the goalie.

And then there is the pure goal scorer, who pops the puck into the back of the net with staggeringly awesome consistency. I began my childhood hockey career as a fantastic goal scorer. Mostly because the other 6 and 7 year olds could barely skate, much less shoot a puck straight. Anyway, with each year passing, the other kids got better and faster and stronger. I learned to love cookies and got slower and fatter. I slowly migrated back to becoming a defenceman who gets the frozen puck slammed into his face and groin.

Almost anyone who plays or admires the game of hockey wants to score goals or see lots of them. Goals win games. Goals win the hearts of the cheering, adoring fans. And it’s goals that coax the panties off the young blonde Barbie-hockey groupies who hang out in cold city or prairie arenas each winter, looking for that strapping hot, hard, stick-toting stud with the “moves like Jagger”.

Lick the stanley cup

WARNING to HOCKEY GROUPIES…don’t do this outdoors in the middle of winter…

So it’s probably that last point that inspired my lifelong path from scoring great hockey goals to great goal-setting in life. It’s all about reaching for Maslow-like “self-actualization”. Goals are something that I’ve taken from the hockey arena and dropped squarely into the middle of my own day-to-day lap. I remember faintly the lessons of my Grade 13 physics class — when I wasn’t too busy staring at Charlene, the ever-so-sweet brunette ahead on my left — relating to Newton’s First Law that states,“an object at rest tends to stay at rest”.

Newton describes me to a TEE. I’m not like YOU. I like to rest. I like to stay at rest. I am so lazy.

But the best way to get me off my butt is with a good challenge, a GOAL, not through a New Year’s resolution. You may forcefully state that it’s semantics, but I believe that goals and resolutions have a slightly nuanced difference.

A RESOLUTION is “a firm decision to do or not to do something“. Like quitting smoking, or gaining enough weight to get on The Biggest Loser, or not licking flag poles in the winter, or starting a blog once I can think of something important to say.

From the practical perspective, most resolutions work from a negative point of view…”I won’t do this”, “I won’t do that”. By the second or third week of January…you’ve stumbled, you’re toast and the game has been lost until the following New Year, a full 11 and a half months distant.

A GOAL is “the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result“. Goals, unlike resolutions, come at you from the opposite, or more positive, perspective. A goal should be very specific and achievable – making a goal of growing an extra finger on the top of your head to flip at annoying drivers without having to turn around is laudable, but not achievable.

A goal sets a desired result that you go for unceasingly, like paying down 20% on the mortgage, or not paying your personal trainer more than $100 for sex, or convincing 2 friends to start smoking so that you feel less lonely. With goals, you generally have the whole year to work towards an objective that stretches you beyond where you are now, and hopefully to a level that you think is ALMOST unachievable for YOU.


At the end of 2011, I sat down at this computer and wrote down a list of those things that I hoped to accomplish in 2012. Honestly, I bombed totally on a few…BUT…I struck gold on a few others.

Following is a sampling of where I skipped unerringly along the Yellow Brick Road, and others where I swerved like your Drunk Uncle on New Year’s Eve.

So, Where did I strike LEAD?

  • Visit Ireland…NOPE, made it to Scotland, but not Ireland.
  • 100 Pushups non-stop…Not even close. I only made it as far as 41 on March 12.
  • Overall Financial Net Worth Return of >15%…Only halfway with a total return of 7.9%.
  • Run a sub-4 hr marathon…Missed again. It took me 4:35 to complete the Vancouver Marathon.
  • Write and Publish 1 article in the Globe and Mail “Facts & Arguments” section…I did submit an essay, but I’ve yet to see it in print.
If I can do 10 pullups, so can you!

If I can do 10 pullups, so can you!

And the GOLD?

  • Hold a Yoga plank for 5 minutes Non-Stop…Knocked that one off just a couple of weeks ago in mid-December…whew…killer!!
  • Try 2 “new-to-me” sports…Check. Did Tai Chi on a Yangtze River cruise in China in March. Snowshoeing in nearby mountains in January.
  • Visit Spain and China…Check (October) and Check (March)!
  • 10 Pullups (Chinups) Non-Stop…Check. Only barely accomplished TODAY!!
  • Increase Charitable Contributions by 10%…Check. or is it Cheque?? Both UNICEF and International PLAN got a 10% raise this year.
  • Start a Blog and write 2 new posts each week…Check…sort of. I did initiate this blog, but cut back to 1 entry per week about a month ago to concentrate some more time on music and songwriting.

Now 2013 sits before us, beckoning teasingly and holding hope for each of us. They say you should share your goals as a way of holding your feet to the fire. Telling others adds subtle pressure, helping to keep your motivation levels way up there.

So, my friends, I’m putting some of my 2013 list of goals out, here and now. I know you’ll be supportive, and not laugh TOO much in those areas where I crash spectacularly. Many still laugh raucously (and ever so cruelly!) at my earlier talk of retiring at 35, then 40, then 45…then…well, you get the point. Here I am at 55 years, gainfully (and happily I might add) employed in a medical laboratory.

GOALS for 2013

  • Pay off investment loans in anticipation of debt-free retirement in 2014
  • Bring blog posting total to 100 and views to 7500…today’s blog entry is #39 with 2,383 viewings to date.
  • Write 12 songs…one per month.
  • 20 Pullups Non-Stop.
  • Take cooking classes in Spanish-speaking country (Argentina/Costa Rica??)
  • Try 2 more “new-to-me”sports (eg. kettlebells, curling, paddleboarding)
  • 100 pushups Non-stop
  • Purchase 12-string guitar
  • Overall Net Worth Return of >15% -(investigate more underanalyzed small cap stocks, follow arbitrage opportunities)
  • Increase Charitable Contributions by 10%
  • Grow larger vegetable garden and process more for winter use.
  • Run 2 Half Marathon races (sub 2 hrs)

I keep my list of written GOALS on my desktop of the computer as a continual reminder, a strong motivator, and a Hannibal Lecter-like fear factor facing directly at me every day. We all have our core values, passions, and purpose…goal-setting is my way of reaching and stretching myself forward in those directions that are paramount to me.

I am the lead actor and director in my own life’s production. There are those who wake up each morning and cheerfully improvise their lives like a “Second City” performance. For me, spontaneity, joy, and enthusiasm are found on the rehearsal stage when I’m extending my limits in search of the goals I’ve set for myself.


SHHH…I’m Coming Out of a Different Closet


QUIET please!…I’ve just read a book written by Susan Cain that has been on The New York Times bestseller list for months called QUIET: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking.


An introvert walks into a bar.


What’ll it be, buddy?” asks the bartender.

“Pitcher of beer. To go.”

Yup, that’s me! Sorta.

We all cache a bit of ourselves away in some sort of closet. Some of us are quietly gay, some take pleasure in secretly collecting porcelain dolls, others dress up and play Medieval Knights on weekends, there are those who write porn novels under a pseudonym (hmmm…now there’s an idea!). We all have something in our personal world that we would prefer that most others not know, don’t we?

I used to think being dubbed an introvert was somehow akin to being labelled “pervert”, or “faggot”, or “poopy pants”…or worse still…”Weird Al Yankovic”, or “Pee Wee Herman”…you know, an insult (my sincerest apologies if you love Weird Al or Pee Wee!).

So here I am now dropping my pants in front of you and coming out of the closet. In flagrante delicto, so to speak.  Take a good look.


The very fact that I’m reading this book and also write a blog probably nails me as one, although not ALL readers and/or writers are introverts. I think it’s fairly obvious that no one is 100% introverted or 100% extroverted, although in most cases a person tends to gravitate to one side more than the other. Would you peg Tom Hanks, Johnny Depp or Julia Roberts, Lady Gaga as introverts? They are.


Two Hollywood Introverts…”you speak first”…”no, YOU speak first”…

When I was younger, I used to think that preferring solitude was weird. I don’t feel as odd anymore (at least not because I’m an introvert…there are SO MANY other reasons why I could be considered odd!) but I’m still not as cozy with being an introvert as a set of cashmere pyjamas.

Introverted yes, but I’m not shy. I prefer to spend time alone or in small groups of, oh, let’s say 4 or less. I can happily approach people and engage in a limited amount of small talk. But put me in a setting of 20 people and I clam up, unless I’m supposed to be giving a toast or a speech. And I can do that, even as an introvert. This is because I’m what I like to call a “Pretend-Extrovert”. I can turn on an extroverted side when the occasion demands it. (Esoteric Aside: On the Myers-Briggs Personality Test I come out as an “INFP”)

I even ENJOY public speaking, so long as I’m prepared. Just don’t expect me to jump up and down with super-charged energy afterwards. I’ll likely return home and curl up in the fetal position … oops, I mean, be by myself for the next day or so, recharging my batteries.

You know what my most hated word is? Network…as in, stand around in a group of strangers, Networking…making small talk in the hopes that some pint-sized piece of common ground will be discovered to raise my personal or business profile…ewww…SHOOT me now!

Some hallmarks of an Introvert:

  • Enjoy time alone
  • Consider only deep relationships as friends
  • Feel drained after outside activities, even if they were fun
  • Are often good listeners
  • Appear calm and self-contained
  • Think then speak or act
Western society is highly extroversion-oriented. The world today is designed for the power of the extrovert. Extroverts therefore dominate public life. In fact, the outgoing and likeable extrovert has become our cultural ideal. In our current business culture the two best predictors of corporate ladder-climbing success are verbal fluency and sociability. The deck is stacked against the quiet and more reserved, even though they often make very successful CEO’s.

Without introverts, the world would be deprived of: the theory of gravity, the theory of relativity, Chopin’s nocturnes, Peter Pan, Orwell’s ‘1984’ and ‘Animal Farm’, The Cat in the Hat, Charlie Brown, ‘Schindler’s List,’ ‘E.T.,’ and ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’, Google, and Harry Potter.


Writing is something you do alone. It’s a profession for introverts who want to tell you a story but don’t want to make eye contact while doing it.”

John Green


It’s interesting, but I feel strange talking about my leanings towards introversion. I’ve spent a lot of my life filled with a nagging disquiet about my need to spend time alone. I’m less Bill Clinton and more Woody Allen- of course I’m referring here to personality issues, not playing with interns or step-children! Would Todd Akin consider me a “Legitimate Introvert”?

If, like me, you’re the type of person who needs “down time” after a busy work day or social outing; if you enjoy a party but half way through the evening start wishing you were home in your pajamas, then you probably belong in my merry band of introverts. We won’t form a support group though, OK (no one would show up!)?

And, if you are a natural extrovert, I enjoy being with you and admire your abilities and strengths. I, as an outsider, contemplate you and marvel at how you function so happily and smoothly with tons of social energy.

I’ll leave you with two questions that I – and apparently most researchers –  haven’t come to any firm conclusions about just yet:

  • Are more men or more women introverts and is there truly a difference between the genders? 
  • Have the internet and texting/messaging changed the introversion vs extroversion equation…versus face-to-face communication? Are we becoming a more introverted society because of Blackberrys and iPhones? 


STAYING In Tonight