In an effort to hold myself accountable, I post a list my New Year’s resolutions at the beginning of each month, along with their progress (or lack thereof).
1. Don’t die.
Most important goal still looking good.
2. Lose ten pounds.
Holding steady with three down and seven to go. With half of 2014 now in the books, this means I am failing this goal.
3. Do at least 100 push-ups and 100 sit-ups five days a week.
4. Launch at least one new podcast.
Author Out Loud, my first podcast, is still yet to launch (and therefore still not my first). Once we have that podcast running smoothly, we can think about adding a second podcast.
Progress so far: I brought my Apple laptop home from work, though I’m starting to think that I may just use my PC instead.
I’m doing great. Huh?
5. Complete my sixth novel before the end of the summer.
Revisions on the next novel have continued to stall progress on the new one. It remains more than half finished.
6. Complete my seventh novel.
Progress continues on this one as well. In fact, I may finish my seventh novel before I finish my sixth, which makes no sense.
7. Sell one children’s book to a publisher.
Work continues on The Little Bad Wolf and two other manuscripts.
8. Complete a book proposal for my memoir.
The proposal for a memoir comprised of the 3o or so stories that I have told on stage for The Moth, Speak Up, The Mouth, The Story Collider and other storytelling organizations is complete. I await news of its sale.
Work also continues on a memoir that focuses on the two years that encompassed my arrest and trial for a crime I did not commit. These two years also include an armed robbery, the onset of my post traumatic stress disorder, my period of homelessness and the time I spent living with a family of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
It was a memorable two years.
I’m also secretly writing another golf memoir that is going better than expected. Last summer, I wrote one almost by accident, and I think it’s some of the best writing I’ve ever done.
How could I not take another foolish stab at it again?
9. Host at least one Shakespeare Circle.
Nothing scheduled yet.
10. Write a screenplay.
More than 20 pages written. It’s going well, I hope. My film agent will eventually tell me. I also met with my screenwriter’s group in June. It was a productive meeting.
11. Write at least three short stories.
I am still nearly finished with one short story. I hate this goal. What was I thinking?
12. Write a collection of poetry using existing and newly written poems.
Done! The collection is complete and in the hands of my literary agent. I await her response.
13. Become certified to teach high school English by completing one required class.
Still one class and $50 away from completion. My wife is actively looking for a place online where I can complete this relatively obscure requirement.
14. Publish at least one Op-Ed in a physical newspaper.
My first column in Seasons magazine published this month.
I also pitched a column idea to a major online magazine that is seriously being considered.
I also published a piece in The Cook’s Cook, a magazine for aspiring food writers and recipe testers. You can read the April-May issue here.
Neither of these are Op-Eds. Please ignore that fact in the event I need to use these in order to claim that I have completed my goal.
15. Attend at least 10 Moth events with the intention of telling a story.
I competed (and won!) another Moth StorySLAM on the last day in June at The Bitter End in NYC, bringing my total number of Moth events in 2014 to nine.
16. Win a Moth GrandSLAM.
I have a GrandSLAM scheduled in July in Brooklyn and August in Boston.
Based upon the previous 6 GrandSLAMs that I have competed in, this should mean to more second place finishes by the end of the summer.
17. Give yoga an honest try.
No progress, though the co-writer of another book that I am attempting to write has offered to introduce me to this sport.
I also learned that competitive yoga exists. I’m thrilled.
18. De-clutter the basement.
Small progress made.
19. De-clutter the shed
No progress, but it’s summer now. I really should be making progress on this goal.
20. Conduct the ninth No-Longer-Annual A-Mattzing Race in 2014.
21. Produce a total of 6 Speak Up storytelling events.
Our total stands at four with our next show scheduled for July 19 and shows planned in September and December at Real Art Ways and October at The Mount in Lennox, MA.
22. Deliver a TED Talk.
I delivered a TED Talk in March at Brooklyn Boulders in Somerville, MA.
I have also been contacted about speaking at two other conferences in the fall and am awaiting word on my pitches.
23. Set a new personal best in golf.
I played more than a dozen rounds of golf this year, failing to break 50 every time.
24. Find a way to keep my wife home for one more year with our children.
We still don’t know how we will afford this, but we made the decision to keep Elysha at home for one more year with our son.
25. Post my progress in terms of these resolutions on this blog on the first day of every month.