Resolution update: January 2015


1. Don’t die.

Done! So far…

2. Lose 20 pounds.

I have gained two pounds in 2015, which means I need to lose 22 pounds in 2015. Well done, Matt.  

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

Done. I added a plank every morning as well.

4. Stop drinking soda from two-liter bottles.

I drank soda from two-liter bottles on two occasions in January:

  1. My wife’s not-a-surprise party (thanks to a friend’s stupidity)
  2. A bottle purchased for my mother-in-law and left in the refrigerator

The results of this goal have already been extraordinary. First, I’m drinking an enormous amount of water in place of the soda. Also, I’m finding myself drinking less soda at work and in other locations as well.

My soda intake has already been cut at least in half.  

5. Practice yoga at least five days a week.

My shoulder injury is healed enough to resume yoga, though I may need a refresher course from my instructor. It’s been five weeks since I last practiced, and I can barely remember the routine. But I have a yoga mat now. That’s something.

6. Learn to cook three good meals for my wife.

No progress


7. Complete my sixth novel before the end of the summer 2015.

The book remains about half finished. I’m polishing a memoir before I return to it.

8. Complete my seventh novel.

The book remains about half finished as well.

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

I have three written and ready to go. I had two new ideas that I liked a lot heading into 2015, and this month, I added a third that Elysha likes best of all. I’ll be working on them in 2015. We will submit a book to editors at some point soon.

10. Sell a memoir to a publisher.

The memoir is written and is being polished now.

11. Sell a book of essays to a publisher.

The book is in the hands of editors now. We should know if it will sell sometime next month. You can keep your fingers crossed for me.

12. Complete a book proposal for a book on storytelling.

The outline of the book is nearly complete. I’ll need to write some sample chapters and do all the other tedious jobs that go into developing a proposal, but progress is being made, and I’m excited.

13. Write a new screenplay.

I’m still revising my first screenplay based upon film agent’s notes. To be honest, I’m stuck on the solution to a problem in the story.

No progress on the new one.  

14. Write 50 pages of a new memoir about the years of 1991-1993.

I have 25 badly written pages for this memoir that must be transformed into 50 good pages in 2015. No progress yet.

15. Write a musical for a summer camp

I’ve written about 5,000 words so far and deleted about 4,700. I haven’t been able to lock in tone or voice yet. My partner has written three songs, so as usual, he is waiting on me. 

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

I published a piece in the Huffington Post this week. This, however, is not a physical paper.

17. Submit one or more short stories to at least three publishing outlets.

No progress.

18. Select three behaviors that I am opposed to and adopt them for one week, then write about my experiences on the blog.

I have created a list of ideas for this resolution now.

My first idea: Backing into a parking spot. I rightfully assume that anyone backing into a parking spot is a lunatic of the highest order. I shall spend a week backing into parking spots and see what wisdom I can glean.

I have not begun this experiment yet.

19. Build an author mailing list.

Major progress made! I actually went to the MailChimp website, learned how to manage my subscriptions and send email, and sent my first author email to my list of about 900 people. I’d been gathering email addresses for more than two years and had never done anything with them, so the first step was to invite anyone who didn’t  want to be on my list to unsubscribe. Between unsubscribers and dead email addresses, I lost about 200 people

My list is now lean, mean, and ready for next month’s email.

Now I must find ways to increase subscribers and provide compelling content to keep them engaged.    

20. Build a new website for

I paid a consultant to discuss the redesign of my website and other aspects of my author platform, and it went well. While I would love to continue to manage my website through WordPress, I’m leaning toward migrating things over to SquareSpace, which has a considerably lower learning curve. But I’m hemming and hawing on this. Any thoughts?


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

No shows produced in January. We have two shows scheduled in February and recently formalized a partnership with the Connecticut Historical Society that will bring two shows to their venue in 2015.

22. Deliver my fourth TED Talk.

I will be delivering a TED Talk at Boston University in April.


23. Build a website for Speak Up.

Same hemming and hawing about my author website has held this up as well.

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

I attended a Moth StorySLAM at Housing Works in NYC in January. 

25. Win at least two Moth StorySLAMs.

I came in third in the most recent Moth StorySLAM after having my name drawn first from the hat. First sucks. I have won from first position once in my life, but that was in Boston, so it doesn’t really count. I’ve never seen anyone else win from first position, though I have heard that it has happened before.

I don’t believe it.   

26. Win a Moth GrandSLAM.

I compete in my first GrandSLAM of 2015 next month.

27. Launch at least one podcast.

We have decided to cross over to the dark side and purchase an Apple computer in order to make this process as simple as possible (and make the recording of Speak Up shows easier as well). We await the arrival of this machine. My website redesign must also be completed in order for this to begin.  


28. Pitch at least three new projects to five smart people.

I pitches one of my projects to one person in January, who had some great suggestions for me to move forward.

29. Host at least one Shakespeare Circle.

Nothing scheduled yet.


30. Enroll in the final class needed for certification as a high school English teacher.

No progress. 

31. Set a new personal best in golf.

Two feet of snow is hindering the pursuit of this goal. It is not stopping my friend from sending me photos from the golf course in Florida.

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