Each month I review the progress of my yearly goals and report on that progress as a means of holding myself accountable.
Here are the results for March.
1. Don’t die.
I didn’t even come close to dying in March, which I can’t say for every month of my life.
2. Lose 20 pounds.
I lost a whopping five pounds in March for a total of eight pounds for the year.
I exercised a lot and had no time to eat.
3. Eat at least three servings of fruits and/or vegetables per day, six days a week.
Done! Along with bananas, grapes, apples, and pears, I also ate carrots that I cooked myself and green beans that I did not cook and didn’t really like but ate anyway.
Also, potatoes in any form count as a vegetable.
4. Do at least 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, and 3 one-minute planks for five days a week.
Also, I told my students that I do this, and they do not believe me. I may start doing these exercises in class.
5. Do burpees three days a week.
I did three burpees every single day in March. By some miracle, I have no wrist or thumb soreness at the moment.
I don’t think three burpees a day are doing anything for me.
I’d also like to reiterate something about burpees:
They are stupid and ridiculous. This was a terrible idea.
6. . Complete my seventh novel before the end of 2019.
Still waiting for a go-ahead from my editor regarding my next book. This is the problem with being two books ahead. No one is in a rush for your 2022 novel.
My agent plans a phone call in April if no response is received.
Again, I could just start writing the damn thing.
7. Write/complete at least five new picture books, including one with a female, non-white protagonist.
8. Write a memoir.
I did not like the half page I wrote in February, so I started again. I have about two new pages written, which might as well be no pages written.
9. Write a new screenplay.
No progress. But my friend, David, just finished a screenplay and has a little heat right now, so I’m slightly inspired.
10. Write a musical.
11. Submit at least five Op-Ed pieces to The New York Times for consideration.
12. Submit one or more short stories to at least three publishing outlets.
13. 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 need three behaviors to attempt.
14. Increase my storytelling newsletter subscriber base to 3,000.
56 new subscribers in March for a total of 557 new subscribers in 2019. My list now stands at 2,667 subscribers. Though March marked a steep decline in subscribers, 3,000 is well within reach.
If you’d like to sign up for my newsletter, you can do so here:
15. Write at least six letters to my father.
None written in March. None written this year.
16. Write 100 letters in 2019.
One more letter written in March. Five overall. Off to a flying start.
17. Convert Greetings Little One into a book.
A kind, generous, and amazing human being has begun work on this project.
I am thrilled.
18. Produce a total of 10 Speak Up storytelling events.
Three shows produced in March:
A Speak Up show at Space Ballroom in Hamden, CT on March 3
The Great Hartford Storyslam (in concert with the producers of two other shows) on March 23
A Speak Up show at Real Art Ways in Hartford, CT on March 30
A total of four so far in 2019.
19. Begin selling Speak Up swag at our events and/or online.
Logo is 99% finalized. Printer for our swag is secured. We are hoping to begin selling tee shirts, hats, and such at our live podcast taping on May 18 as well as online.
20. Pitch myself to at least 5 upcoming TEDx events with the hopes of being accepted by one.
Done! I’ve pitched myself to five TEDx conferences so far.
One has expressed interest. Two passed. I await word from the final two.
I’m also speaking at a TEDx salon in April.
21. Attend at least 15 Moth events with the intention of telling a story.
I attended one Moth StorySLAM and one Moth GrandSLAM in March, bringing my total to five events so far.
22. Win at least three Moth StorySLAMs.
I finished in second place at my Moth StorySLAM in NYC in March.
Two wins so far in 2019.
23. Win a Moth GrandSLAM.
I finished in second place by a tenth of a point in a Moth GrandSLAM in January.
I finished in fourth place in my Moth GrandSLAM in March.
I’ll now need to win a NYC GrandSLAM now to complete this goal.
24. Produce at least 40 episodes of our new podcast Speak Up Storytelling.
Four new shows released in March. A total of 12 so far. We haven’t missed a week in 2019.
Listen to our latest here or subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.
25. Perform stand up at least four times in 2019.
I’ve hit a bit of a snag in terms of this goal. The open mic night where I’d been performing was shut down thanks to stupid people behaving in stupid ways. I have an opportunity to perform in a local comedy showcase, which I will do, but I was in need of another open mic.
Thanks to you, dear readers, I have leads on two possibilities.
26. Develop and teach a Storytelling Master Class, in which participants have an opportunity to tell at least two stories over the course of the day or tell a story and then retell it based on feedback.
Done! Scheduled for June 1. Enroll today!
27. Pitch at least three stories to This American Life.
28. Pitch myself to Marc Maron’s WTF podcast at least three times.
I wrote to Marc early in January, asking for him to consider me as a guest.
No response yet.
If you know Marc Maron, or know someone who knows Marc or know someone who knows Marc’s producer or booker, please let me know. I know that Marc and I would have an amazing conversation, and it’s currently my biggest dream to get on his show.
29. Host a fundraiser for RIP Medical Debt, which would allow us to relieve the medical debt of struggling Americans for pennies on the dollar.
30. Complete my Eagle Scout project.
31. Print, hang, and/or display at least 25 prints, photos, or portraits in our home.
32. Renovate our first floor bathroom.
Final design decisions have been made. Work will commence very soon, I hope. Awaiting Elysha to schedule the work.
33. Organize our second floor bathroom.
34. Cook at least 12 good meals (averaging one per month) in 2019.
I made no meals in March, but in fairness, our number of family dinners in March were limited due to a very full calendar.
Four down. Eight to go.
35. Plan a reunion of the Heavy Metal Playhouse.
36. Ride my bike with my kids at least 25 times in 2019.
I rode my bike with Charlie three times in March for a total of three rides.
37. 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.
Done! I did not comment on physical appearance with the exception of my wife and children in March.
Done with ease.
38. Surprise Elysha at least six times in 2019.
No surprises in March (except for some bad ones).
Two surprises complete so far.
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.
40. Clean the basement.
Incremental progress. Every week I throw away or organize a few items. It’s still going to require a full day at some point and perhaps a trip to the dump or even a dumpster.
41. Set a new personal best in golf.
Weather has made this impossible.
42. Play poker at least six times in 2019.
43. Spend at least six days with my best friend of more than 25 years.
Bengi and I spent a Sunday morning walking the track in his town and catching up, and it was fantastic.
I hope to see him again in April.
44. Post my progress in terms of these resolutions on this blog on the first day of every month.