New Year's Resolutions 2013

The following are my New Years resolutions for 2013. As always, I reserve the right to alter the list for one week after posting. Suggestions are still welcome.

1. Don’t die.

This was suggested to me by a reader a couple years ago, and it makes sense to keep it on the list. It is my most important resolution.

2. Lose ten pounds.

After a year of stagnation, I intend on moving the needle on my scale in 2013.  Ideally, I’d like to lose about 20 pounds and get down to my ideal weight (as defined by my lunatic doctor), but after last year’s failures, I’m keeping things realistic.

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 the same as one I accomplished in 2012. I considered adding to the goal, since I typically exceed the 100 mark on a daily basis, but again, why not be realistic?

4. Launch at least one podcast.

The equipment has been purchased. The format of the podcast has been decided. Even the name has been chosen (thanks to a reader’s suggestion). I need to learn how to post a  podcast to a website and iTunes and complete a few simple tasks and I’ll be ready to go.  

5. Practice the flute for at least an hour a week.

This is a goal that I failed to complete in 2011 and 2012. I should stop torturing myself and abandon the goal, but I want to play the flute again, damn it.

6. Complete my fifth novel before the Ides of March.

My fifth novel, THE PERFECT COMEBACK OF CAROLINE JACOBS, is not finished but should be. I’ve given myself 75 days to complete it.

7. Complete my sixth novel.

Relying heavily on my summer vacation, I intend on completing my sixth novel by the end of 2013.

8. Sell one children’s book to a publisher.

I have three children’s books in various stages of revision and completion.  My goal is to sell at least one of them to a publisher in 2013.

9. Complete a book proposal for my memoir.

I have no experience writing a book proposal, but I know that it requires an outline, at least three chapters and a lengthy cover letter of sorts. I intend on accomplishing this in 2013.

10. Complete at least twelve blog posts on my brother and sister blog.

One entry per month is a reasonable goal, though  ideally I would like to post more often. As reasonable as it may sound, however, we failed to achieve this goal in 2012, coming up two posts short. Giving my sister a laptop will hopefully make this goal easier to accomplish.

11. Become certified to teach high school English by completing two required classes.

I need to complete one more class in order to become certified to teach English in grades 6-12. My wife has found a local community college offering the required class. Though I have no intention of leaving the elementary school classroom, I like to keep my options open.  I will begin my fifteenth year of teaching teaching elementary school in the fall of 2013, 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.

I would like to think that I could publish more than one in 2013, but I failed to achieve this goal in 2012, so I am not getting my hopes up.

13. Attend at least eight Moth events with the intention of telling a story.

I attended eight Moth events in 2012, so this seems like a reasonable goal. Ideally, I would like to attend one event per moth and will try to accomplish this in 2013, but setting a goal of 12 seems unrealistic.

I also considered setting a goal related to winning a specific number of Moth events, but this goal also seemed unrealistic. Many factors influence a storyteller’s chances of winning, and some of them are beyond the storyteller’s control. I would very much like to win a GrandSLAM championship in 2013, and I have at least one opportunity to do so, but again, establishing that as a goal seems unrealistic.

14. Locate a playhouse to serve as the next venue for The Clowns.

After next weekend’s performances, my writing partner and I will hopefully have our rock opera ready for a full run at a willing playhouse. Admittedly, most of the work involved with finding a playhouse will fall into the lap of my partner, but I will be supporting his efforts every step of the way.

15. 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 intended on correcting this in 2012 by participating in at least half a dozen yoga classes in order to gain a better understanding of it. I failed to do so but have made it a goal in 2013.

16. Meditate for at least five minutes every day.

This goal was recommended by a handful of readers in 2012, 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.  I don’t know if it has actually helped my life in any tangible way, but I have gotten quite good at clearing my mind for 5-10 minutes at a time and plan on continuing this in 2013.

17. De-clutter the garage.

I own a two-car garage that is essentially being used to store unused furniture. This will end in 2013.

18. De-clutter the basement.

The addition of Charlie to our family, as well as my wife’s temporary departure from teaching, has caused the basement to fall into a state of disorganization. This will end in 2013.

19. De-clutter the shed

There is a shed at the rear of our property that I have yet to clean or organize since moving into the house. It is full of gardening paraphernalia from the previous owner. This will end in 2013.

20. Reduce the amount of soda I am drinking by 50%.

I drink a lot of Diet Coke. It concerns my wife. In 2013 I plan on cutting my soda consumption in half. In order to do so, I must first determine how much soda I drink on a given day. I will keep a record of my soda consumption for a month in order to determine the average amount of soda I drink in a day and will then seek to reduce that number by 50 percent.  

21. Try at least one new dish per month, even if it contains ingredients that I wouldn’t normally consider palatable.

I successfully completed this goal in 2012 and feel that it’s worthy of repeating.

22. Conduct the ninth No-Longer-Annual A-Mattzing Race in 2013.

After unsuccessfully attempting to be cast for The Amazing Race years ago, I decided to plan, organize and run my own Amazing Race as a means of convincing producers that I was destined to be on the show. My first Amazing Race went off well, and I soon stopped caring about being on the show and instead wanted to run more races of my own. Thus the A-Mattzing Race (so named by a friend) was born. The last race took place in September of 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.

23. Post my progress in terms of these resolutions on this blog on the first day of every month.