Resolution update: January 2017

1. Don’t die.

Still alive and kicking. 

2. Lose 20 pounds.

I lost one pound in January. Not exactly a good start.

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


4. Practice yoga at least three days a week for at least 15 minutes each day.

I haven't started on this goal yet. I really should.

5. Take the stairs whenever I am ascending or descending five flights or less.

Done! Even though I don't work in a building with an elevator, it turns out that I run into elevators more often than I thought. Parking garages, especially, and each time, I took the stairs and am happy I did.


6. Complete my sixth novel before the end of 2017.

I'm waiting for a decision on what book I will be writing. I have a few options and am awaiting thoughts from my agent and editor. 

7. Complete my first middle grade/YA novel.

The sale of my first middle grade/YA novel will hopefully take place soon (keep your fingers crossed!), and with that sale, work on this book will commence. 

8. Write at least three new picture books, including one with a female, non-white protagonist. 

Two new ideas added to the growing list of ideas, but no progress as of yet. 

9. Complete a book on storytelling.

I'm still waiting for this book to sell. When it does, work will commence.

10. Write a new screenplay.

No progress. 

11. Write a musical.

No progress.

12. Submit at least five Op-Ed pieces to The New York Times for consideration.

No progress.

13. Write a proposal for a nonfiction book related to education.

I'm taking notes on one idea as the school year progresses, and I have several other ideas that I am expanding into paragraph summaries. Work on this will likely commence at the end of the school year. 

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

No progress.

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

No progress. Also, I'm in need of behaviors. Last year I tried backing into parking spaces, daily affirmations, and bottle flipping.

Thoughts for this year?

16. Increase my author newsletter subscriber base to 1,600.

I grew my list by 37 subscribers in January to 1,321. If I continue at this pace, I will exceed 1,600 by the end of the year. 

17. Write at least six letters to my father.

No progress,   

18. Convert Greetings Little One into a book.

No progress. 

19. Record one thing learned every day in 2017.

Done! My favorite thing learned in January is this:

Mayer–Rokitansky–Küster–Hauser syndrome is named after four men born in 1787, 1804, 1879, and 1921 respectively. It's a condition by which a woman is born without a uterus and vagina. 

It also needs a new name.


20. Produce a total of 12 Speak Up storytelling events.

We produced three shows January: Real Art Ways, Infinity Hall, and a special Martin Luther King, Jr. Day show in conjunction with West Hartford Public Schools and Solomon Schechter Day School.  

21. Deliver a TED Talk.

I've pitched talks to four organizers. Waiting for responses. 

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

I attended one Moth StorySLAM at The Bell House in January. My name was sadly not drawn from the hat. 

23. Win at least three Moth StorySLAMs.

No progress. Didn't get to tell a story in January. 

24. Win a Moth GrandSLAM.

No progress. I compete in the NYC GrandSLAM in February. 

25. Produce at least 50 episodes of my new podcast Live Better.

I pulled down my first episode after receiving feedback from a friend who works in radio. I'm currently re-recording with a slightly different format. 

26. Perform stand up at least once in 2016. 

A local stand up venue has invited me to perform. I'm getting my material ready. 

27. Write a one-person show.

The "writing" for this has been going surprising well and is nearly complete. I don't actually write the show but work it out in my mind and then record finished sections.

Even better, a theater may be interested in having me perform.  


28. Explore the option of teaching a college class.

No progress.   

29. Cook at least 12 good meals (averaging one per month) in 2016.

No progress.

30. Plan a 25 year reunion of the Heavy Metal Playhouse.

No progress.


31. I will stand in vocal opposition to every negative comment made about age disparities between male and female romantic couplings because I choose to respect a woman’s choices of romantic partner regardless of their age or the age of their partner.

Done. I had one opportunity to do so in January and did so with great aplomb.  

32. I will report on the content of speech during every locker room experience via social media in 2017.   

Done. I summarized a week of locker room experiences at one point but did not miss a chance to report on the content of the speech in January.

Not surprising, I heard no man bragging about sexually assaulting women.  

33. I will stop presenting the heteronormative mother-and-father paradigm as the default parental paradigm when speaking to my children and my students.

Done. Not as hard as I thought. I switched over to "parents" in January and haven't slipped yet.     

34. I will not comment, positively or negatively, about physical appearance of any person save my wife and children, in 2017 in an effort to reduce the focus on physical appearance in our culture overall. 

I insulted a student's Pittsburg Steelers jersey during the week of the AFC Championship game. I think this counts as a comment about physical appearance, and yet it still seems justified to me. Otherwise I was a success. 

35. Surprise Elysha at least six times in 2016.

No progress.   

36. Replace the 12 ancient, energy-inefficient windows in our home with new windows that will keep the cold out and actually open in the warmer months.

No progress. I can feel the heat creeping out of the windows by the second.   

37. Optimize our television for a streaming service. 

No progress. 

38. Set a new personal best in golf.

No progress until the snow goes away. 

39. Play poker at least six times in 2016.

No progress.

40. Spend at least six days with my best friend of more than 25 years.

No progress. 

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