New Year’s resolutions: 2014

The following are my New Years resolutions for 2014. As always, I reserve the right to alter the list for up to one week after posting. Suggestions are still welcome.


1. Don’t die.

Recommended by a reader a couple years ago, this continues to be an excellent resolution.

2. Lose ten pounds.

I lost ten pounds last year, and since I began losing weight four years ago, I’m lost a total of 45 pounds. I’m within 15 pounds of my high school weight, when I was a legitimate athlete. I’m hoping to get back to that point someday soon.

3. Do at least 100 push-ups and 100 sit-ups five days a week.

Unchanged from last year, it remains an excellent goal.

4. Launch at least one new podcast.

Author Out Loud, our first podcast, will launch in January. My goal is to launch a second podcast, dealing with storytelling,  education or parenting, later in the year.

5. Complete my sixth novel before the Ides of March.

Though my sixth novel will likely sell before it’s actually finished, I will eventually need to finish writing it. April 15 will give me my April vacation to complete it if not before.

6. Complete my seventh novel.

I plan on writing another novel in 2014 as well. This book may or may not be started already.

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

I failed to achieve this goal last year, not because of rejection as much as my inability to pull a manuscript together. I will rectify this in 2014.

8. Complete a book proposal for my memoir.

I have a large chunk of this book written, but it needs to be re-written. I will spend 2014 writing 3-5 excellent chapters plus a proposal.

9. Host at least one Shakespeare Circle.

I intend on hosting an evening of Shakespeare. Friends will join us around the table to read a Shakespearean play aloud, with each person assuming a different role. I already have a group of people who have agreed to attend.

10. Write a screenplay.

This is a challenge that I would like to undertake after befriending a screenwriter and becoming a fan of Scriptnotes, a podcast about screenwriting.

11. Write at least three short stories.

I wrote three short stories in 2013 and would like to write at least three more in 2014 with an eye toward eventually publishing a collection.

12. Write a collection of poetry using existing and newly written poems.

I have many poems from my college and post college days that I like a lot. I’d like to revise them and write some new poetry in order to complete a collection by the end of the year.

13. Become certified to teach high school English by completing one required class.

I took one of the two required classes in 2013. I’d like to finish the certification by completing one more course.

14. Publish at least one Op-Ed in a physical newspaper.

I published several Op-Ed pieces in online outlets last year, and while I plan to continue this, I would like to get at least one piece in a physical newspaper while they still exist.

15. Attend at least 10 Moth events with the intention of telling a story.

In 2013 I attended 16 Moth events. Ten seems like a reasonable number for 2014.

16. Win a Moth GrandSLAM.

I’ve won 10 Moth StorySLAMs since I started competing in 2011, include 7 out of 13 last year. I’ve competed in three GrandSLAM championships but have yet to win one.

17. Give yoga an honest try.

I failed to complete this goal in 2013.

18. De-clutter the basement.

I made significant progress in the basement in 2013. I would like to complete the work in 2014.

19. De-clutter the shed

I made significant progress in the basement in 2013. I would like to complete the work in 2014.

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

I failed to complete this goal in 2013.

21. Produce a total of 6 Speak Up storytelling events.

My wife and I launched our storytelling venture in 2013 and produced a total of three shows. We’d like to double this number in 2014.

22. Deliver a TED Talk.

I spoke at two TED conferences in 2013. I’d like to add to my total in 2014.

23. Set a new personal best in golf.

My lowest score for nine holes is a 45, and my lowest score for 18 holes is 95. I’d like to improve on either score in 2014.

24. Find a way to keep my wife home for one more year with our children.

My wife has been staying home with our children for the last four years, working part time when Clara entered preschool and Charlie was not yet born. I would love to give her and my son one more year at home before she returns to work fulltime. In order to make this possible, I will have to find a way to earn enough money (through writing and/or other sources) and cut expenses for one more year.

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