Resolution update: June 2019

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 June.

Since we have reached the halfway point in the year, I also like to take a step back and assess the likelihood of me completing each goal.
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PERSONAL HEALTH

1. Don’t die.

Still standing.

LIKELIHOOD OF COMPLETION: Highly confident

2. Lose 20 pounds.

I didn’t lose any pounds in June. I didn’t gain any pounds in June.

I’ve lost 8 pounds in total.

LIKELIHOOD OF COMPLETION: Moderately confident

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, onions, potatoes, an assortment of vegetables in various soups, and an arugula and fig pizza.

Yeah. That’s right. Arugula.

LIKELIHOOD OF COMPLETION: Highly confident

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

Done.

LIKELIHOOD OF COMPLETION: Highly confident

5. Do burpees three days a week.

I did 3-4 burpees per day, 3 times each week in June. My shoulder hurts. I blame the stupid burpees.

LIKELIHOOD OF COMPLETION: Highly confident. Regrettably so.

WRITING CAREER

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 2022/2023 novel.

I meet with her on Tuesday in New York.

LIKELIHOOD OF COMPLETION: Moderately confident

7. Write/complete at least five new picture books, including one with a female, non-white protagonist. 

I’m currently working on three different children’s books. I like one very much.

LIKELIHOOD OF COMPLETION: Moderately confident

8. Write a memoir.

Work continues. I’ve switched from the present tense to the past tense. This helped a lot.

LIKELIHOOD OF COMPLETION: Moderately confident

9. Write a new screenplay.

No progress.

LIKELIHOOD OF COMPLETION: Not confident

10. Write a musical.

No progress.

LIKELIHOOD OF COMPLETION: Not confident

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

I submitted a piece to the NY Times Modern Love column in April.

One down. Four to go.

LIKELIHOOD OF COMPLETION: Highly confident

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

No progress.

LIKELIHOOD OF COMPLETION: Highly confident

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

I read that smiling when you wake up can be very beneficial. Supposed health benefits include:

  • When you smile your body releases the feel-good neurotransmitters dopamine and endorphins. This means that by smiling first thing when you wake up you’ll be starting your day in a better mood.

  • In addition, when you smile your mood is further lifted by the release of serotonin.

  • Smiling strengthens the immune system, so by smiling first thing in the morning and remembering to do it throughout the day you’ll be warding off disease, specially during flu season.

This is all supposed to happen even if your smile is forced. I’ve written before about how you can trick your brain through biofeedback (including smiling), but I really can’t see how a fake smile early in the morning will change anything about my day.

I’m about to find out.

LIKELIHOOD OF COMPLETION: Moderately confident

14. Increase my storytelling newsletter subscriber base to 3,000.

52 new subscribers in June for a total of 701 new subscribers in 2019. My list now stands at 2,811 subscribers.

LIKELIHOOD OF COMPLETION: Moderately confident

If you’d like to sign up for my newsletter, you can do so here:

15. Write at least six letters to my father.

One letter written in June for Father’s Day. One written so far this year.

16. Write 100 letters in 2019.

Five letters written in June. 14 overall. I have a lot of writing to do this summer.

LIKELIHOOD OF COMPLETION: Moderately confident

17. Convert Greetings Little One into a book.

A kind, generous, and amazing human being has begun work on this project.

I am thrilled.

LIKELIHOOD OF COMPLETION: Moderately confident

STORYTELLING

18. Produce a total of 10 Speak Up storytelling events.

One show produced in June at Infinity Hall in Hartford.

A total of 8 shows produced so far in 2019.

LIKELIHOOD OF COMPLETION: Highly confident

19. Begin selling Speak Up merchandise at our events and/or online.

Done! We began selling tee shirts and totes at our live podcast recording.

Next step is to make it available online.

LIKELIHOOD OF COMPLETION: Complete

merch.jpeg

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 and was nominated for a sixth.

All have now passed on my pitches. No one wants me.

I’ll just keep pitching.

LIKELIHOOD OF COMPLETION: Complete

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

I attended two Moth StorySLAMs and a Moth GrandSLAM in June, bringing my total to 12 events so far.

LIKELIHOOD OF COMPLETION: Highly confident

22. Win at least three Moth StorySLAMs.

Done! I won my third StorySLAM on 2019 and my 40th StorySLAM overall at Oberon in Cambridge

LIKELIHOOD OF COMPLETION: Complete

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, but I think I might’ve told my best story ever.

I competed but did not win the NYC Moth GrandSLAM in June. Silent scoring (I’m not a fan) prevents me from knowing how I placed (though I may be able to ask).

I may be competing in one more Moth GrandSLAM in NYC this year depending on the timing of the GrandSLAM and the number of storytellers in the queue ahead of me.

LIKELIHOOD OF COMPLETION: Not confident

24. Produce at least 40 episodes of our new podcast Speak Up Storytelling. 

Four new shows released in June. A total of 24 so far. We haven’t missed a week in 2019.

Listen to our latest here or subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.

LIKELIHOOD OF COMPLETION: Highly confident

25. Perform stand up at least four times in 2019. 

I’ve scheduled my first open mic for July.

LIKELIHOOD OF COMPLETION: Moderately confident

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 on June 1! It went surprisingly well.

LIKELIHOOD OF COMPLETION: Complete

27. Pitch at least three stories to This American Life.

No progress.

LIKELIHOOD OF COMPLETION: Moderately confident

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.

I’ve also officially requested that my publicist assist me in this endeavor.

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.

LIKELIHOOD OF COMPLETION: Highly confident

NEW PROJECTS

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.

No progress.

LIKELIHOOD OF COMPLETION: Not confident

30. Complete my Eagle Scout project.

No progress.

LIKELIHOOD OF COMPLETION: Not confident

31. Print, hang, and/or display at least 25 prints, photos, or portraits in our home.

We received our estimate from the painters. Depending on other expenses, we will likely be painting several rooms this summer or fall, at which point things can be hung on the walls.

LIKELIHOOD OF COMPLETION: Moderately confident

32. Renovate our first floor bathroom.

Work will commence next month.

LIKELIHOOD OF COMPLETION: Highly confident

33. Organize our second floor bathroom.

No progress. Summertime project that should commence soon.

LIKELIHOOD OF COMPLETION: Highly confident

MISCELLANEOUS

34. Cook at least 12 good meals (averaging one per month) in 2019.

I made no meals in June.

Four down. Eight to go.

LIKELIHOOD OF COMPLETION: Moderately confident

35. Plan a reunion of the Heavy Metal Playhouse.

No progress

LIKELIHOOD OF COMPLETION: Not confident

36. Ride my bike with my kids at least 25 times in 2019.

I rode my bike with Charlie one time in June for a total of six rides so far.

LIKELIHOOD OF COMPLETION: Highly confident

37. I will not comment, positively or negatively, about physical appearance of any person save my wife and children, in 2019 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 June.

LIKELIHOOD OF COMPLETION: Highly confident

38. Surprise Elysha at least six times in 2019.

Two surprises were set into motion in May, but neither has come to fruition yet. One of my friends just ruined a surprise that I had planned for today.

Four surprises accomplished so far.

LIKELIHOOD OF COMPLETION: Highly confident

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.

No progress.

LIKELIHOOD OF COMPLETION: Not confident

40. Clean the basement. 

Incremental progress. Every week I throw away or organize a few items.

I’m ordering a dumpster this summer, and I have hired someone to assist me.

LIKELIHOOD OF COMPLETION: Highly confident

41. Set a new personal best in golf.

I started taking lessons this summer, and I’ve committed myself to constant practice. The results are beginning to show, not so much in my scores this weekend but in my swing and understanding of how I should be swinging. It’s all very new, so it’ll be bad before it’s good, but for the first time, I have a path to playing better.

LIKELIHOOD OF COMPLETION: Moderately confident

42. Play poker at least six times in 2019.

A game was scheduled and canceled in June. That’s three cancelled games so far.

A new game needs to be scheduled for July.

LIKELIHOOD OF COMPLETION: Moderately confident

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

Bengi and I spent a Sunday afternoon playing board games at a local hobby shop in June.

Two down. Four to go.

LIKELIHOOD OF COMPLETION: Moderately confident

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

Done.

LIKELIHOOD OF COMPLETION: Highly confident