The following are my New Year’s resolutions for 2012. I reserve the right, as always, to add or revise this list for one week following posting. Suggestions are still welcome.
1. Don’t die.
This was suggested to me by a reader, and I can’t believe I didn’t think of it myself.
It’s my most important resolution.
2. Lose ten pounds.
Losing ten pounds will bring me down to 170 pounds, which is well under my high school track and field weight. But my doctor informs me that my ideal weight is 170 pounds.
I think she’s crazy.
Nevertheless, I agreed to set a goal of 175 pounds in 2012.
3. Do at least 100 push-ups and 100 sit-ups five days a day. Also complete at least two two-minute planks five days per week.
This goal is similar to one I successfully accomplished in 2011. Instead of completing these exercises daily, I’ve built in two recovery days this year and added the plank, an exercise that I once did frequently when I worked with a trainer.
4. Practice the flute for at least an hour a week.
This is a goal that I failed to complete in 2011.
5. Complete my fifth novel before the Ides of March.
My fifth novel, THE PERFECT COMEBACK OF CAROLINE JACOBS, is almost half finished. I’ve given myself 75 days to complete it.
6. Complete my sixth novel.
Relying heavily on my summer vacation, I intend on completing my sixth novel by the end of 2012.
7. Sell one children’s book to a publisher.
I have three children’s books in various stages of revision. My goal is to sell at least one of them to a publisher in 2012.
8. Complete the book proposal for my non-fiction, photographic collaborative project.
Completion of this goal will require coordination between me and my partner, which did not happen in 2011.
9. Complete three chapters of my memoir.
According to my outline, my memoir will likely be about twelve chapters long. My goal is to complete one-fourth of the memoir in 2012.
10. Complete at least twelve blog posts on my brother and sister blog.
While prodding is still required, my sister has become fairly reliable in terms of writing for this blog. One entry per month is a reasonable goal, though ideally I would to post more often than this.
11. Become certified to teach high school English by completing two required classes.
With the certification test passed, I need only to complete two classes in order to become certified to teach English in grades 6-12. While I am not planning on moving away from the elementary classroom, I like to keep my options open. I will begin my fourteenth year of teaching elementary school in 2012, and there may come a point when I desire a change. I want to be prepared for that moment.
12. Publish at least one Op-Ed in a newspaper.
My hope is that I will have more opportunities to accomplish this goal with the publication of my next novel in August or September of this year.
13. Attend at least five Moth events with the intention of telling a story.
I would attend every Moth event if it wasn’t so difficult to drive into the city on a weeknight. Five is a reasonable number, though there is no guarantee that I will be able to tell a story every time. There are typically about fifteen names in the hat, and ten are randomly selected to tell a story. But I will give myself at least five chances in 2012.
14. Complete the necessary revisions of our rock opera (The Clowns) so that it can be staged as a full production in the fall.
Revisions are required in order to prepare the script for what we hope will be a full production in the fall.
15. Rid Elysha and myself of all education debt before the end of the year.
In 2011, we eliminated more than half of our sizable education debt. In 2012 I would like the remainder of that debt to be eliminated.
16. Give yoga an honest try.
I have been critical for yoga for years but have never actually attempted yoga (a source of consternation for my yoga-loving friends). I intend on correcting this in 2012 by participating in at least half a dozen yoga classes in order to gain a better understanding of it.
17. Meditate for at least five minutes every day.
This goal was recommended by a handful of readers, so I thought that it was worth investing five minutes a day in order to see if meditation could make a difference in my life. This will require learning how to meditate, so it may be a month or so before I actually begin meditating.
18. Agree to try at least one new dish per month, even if it contains ingredients that I wouldn’t normally consider palatable.
My wife would like an opportunity to prepare foods for me, and vegetables in particular, in ways that I might find more palatable. I agreed.
To start off the New Year right, I tasted and liked the cauliflower potatoes and butternut squash risotto that was served at our friend’s wedding on New Year’s Eve, even though I do not like cauliflower and squash in their unadulterated forms.
19. Conduct the ninth No-Longer-Annual A-Mattzing Race in 2012.
If you’re not sure what an A-Mattzing Race is (and are curious), I’ll write a blog post later this week that will describe the event. I was surprised to discover that I have never written about them before on this blog.
More than three years have passed since the last A-Mattzing Race (the last race took place in September 2008), and while all good things must come to an end, I am not ready to allow this part of my life to come to a close yet.
20. Post my progress in terms of these resolutions on this blog on the first day of every month.