Resolution update: July 2018

PERSONAL HEALTH

1. Don’t die.

Still alive. Feel fantastic. 

2. Lose 20 pounds.

Stuck at 12 pounds lost. 

3. Eat at least three servings of fruits and/or vegetables per day. 

I had three servings of fruits and/or vegetables on 22 of 31 days in July. Worst month so far.

4. Do at least 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, and 3 one-minute planks for five days a week.

Done.  

5. Identify a yoga routine that I can commit to practicing at least three days a week.

No progress. In August, I will spend a full week at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. I'll be teaching storytelling, but I'll also have the opportunity to take some yoga classes and perhaps find a routine that fits my lifestyle and personal preference.  

6. Stop using the snooze button.

Done and still highly recommended. Science is right. Snoozing is a terrible practice that you must end immediately. Get the hell out of bed once you are awake. You will feel a lot better.     

WRITING CAREER

7. Complete my seventh novel before the end of 2018.

My agent and I have settled on the next novel. Progress has begun.  

8. Complete my second middle grade/YA novel.

I've submitted my first middle grade novel to my editor and am awaiting word in terms of required revision. I can't choose or start the next book until the first is complete. 

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

No progress

10. Write a proposal for a memoir.

My agent and I have decided upon the memoir, and progress has begun. First draft of the proposal has been sent to my agent for review.

11. Write a new screenplay.

Writing has commenced.

12. Write a musical.

Writing has commenced. 

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

Nothing submitted in July. Three submitted so far.

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

No progress.

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

No progress.

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

No progress. I'm still looking for possible behaviors to adopt. Suggestions welcomed.  

17. Increase my author newsletter subscriber base to 2,000.

I added 98 subscribers added in July, and a total of 298 added in 2018. I'm 153 away from my goal. 

If you'd like to subscribe to my newsletter and receive tips on writing and storytelling, as well as links to amusing Internet miscellany and more, please subscribe here:

18. Write at least six letters to my father.

One letter written in July. Three letters written thus far.

19. Write 100 letters in 2018.

12 letters written and mailed in July, bringing my total to 44 in 2018.

20. Convert Greetings Little One into a book.

No progress.  

21. Record one thing learned every week in 2018.

Done! My favorite from July:      

There are only four countries in the world which have bigger GDP’s than California, and Russia is not one of them. In fact, three US states have bigger GDP’s than Russia - California, Texas, and New York.

STORYTELLING

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

No shows produced in July. Our total number of shows stands at 6. 

23. Deliver a TEDx Talk.

Done! I spoke at a TEDxNatick salon event in May. 

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

Two Moth StorySLAMs in July, bringing the total to five in 2018. 

25. Win at least three Moth StorySLAMs.

Two second place finished in July. One victory back in February. 

storyslam.jpeg

26. Win a Moth GrandSLAM.

Done twice over! I won my fifth GrandSLAM in February and my sixth GrandSLAM in April.

27. Produce at least 25 episodes of our new podcast Speak Up Storytelling. 

Episodes 1-11 are now now available wherever you get podcasts. The reception to the podcast has been excellent, and our audience is growing fast.

Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts, and please leave us a rating on Apple Podcasts.

C'mon, people.  

28. Perform stand up at least four times in 2018. 

Done! I performed in three open-mic events while in Grand Rapids, Michigan, including one night when I was asked to perform a second set. This brings my total number of stand up performances in 2018 to 5, including one paid gig.   

29. Pitch my one-person show to at least one professional theater.

Done! My one-person show has been pitched and been accepted by the Speak Up, Rise Up Storytelling Festival. I'll be performing on Tuesday, August 7 at 9:30pm on their Main Stage.

You should come!

30. Pitch a new Moth Mainstage story to the artistic director of The Moth. 

No progress.

NEW PROJECTS

31. Write a syllabus for a college course on teaching. 

No progress.

32. Cook at least 12 good meals (averaging one per month) in 2018.

No progress. 

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

No progress. 

MISCELLANEOUS

34. Pay allowance weekly.

Done! 

35. Ride my bike with my kids at least 25 times in 2018.

Only three more rides in July, bringing the total to five. 

36. I will report on the content of speech during every locker room experience via social media in 2018. 

Done. I spent 30 days at three different gyms (including three different locker rooms) in July, plus two locker rooms at golf courses, and I did not hear a single comment related to sexually assaulting women.  

37. I will not comment, positively or negatively, about physical appearance of any person save my wife and children (except in service of a story while appearance is relevant), in 2018 in an effort to reduce the focus on physical appearance in our culture overall. 

I did not speak of physical appearance with the exception of my wife and kids in July. 

38. Surprise Elysha at least six times in 2018.

I surprised Elysha FOUR TIMES in July, bringing my total number of surprises to nine. 

  1. I stuck a Starbucks gift card to her steering wheel with a note written in marker on the actual card.
  2. I purchased a shirt that I knew she loved (she pointed it out at a farmer's market, so I hunted down the sell) and timed the purchase so it would arrive while I was in Michigan.
  3. I arrived home from Michigan a day early without tell her that I had finished my work ahead of schedule. After the plane landed, I found her in a restaurant with a friend and presented her with a gift from the trip and some flowers.  
  4. I took Elysha to In & Of Itself, an incredible magic show in New York City. She had no idea where she was going or what we were doing.

39. 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.

I've received some more reasonable estimates for this project. It might actually be doable.

40. Clean the basement. 

More than halfway done this job.

41. Set a new personal best in golf.

I played several rounds of golf in July, and I came within 3 strokes of my personal best. 

42. Play poker at least six times in 2018.

No poker in July. I cancelled another game due to lack of players. 

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

A spent an evening working as a DJ with Bengi in July, bringing my total to two. 

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

Done.