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In January of this year, I established a list of twelve New Year’s resolutions.  At the end of each month, I report on my progress as a means of holding myself accountable.  Being the end of August, I thought I’d post my progress here as well. 

1. Finish my second novel before my birthday in mid February.

Done since mid-February, and sold in June. This week, I finished my first round of revisions. Back to work on book #3, which I would like to have finished in 2009.

2. Live a healthier lifestyle. Specifically:

· At least thirty minutes of aerobic exercise three times a week.

· Strength training at least three times a week.

· Three servings of fruits or vegetables a day.

· Lower my cholesterol so that it is no longer in the borderline high range.

· Continue to seek out opportunities to participate in organized sports

I exercised for at least thirty minutes on 25 of the 31 days of July, including two games of basketball, more than a dozen rounds of golf, and many, many hours on the elliptical. I joined a new gym and therefore have access to a wider variety of cardio-machines, which has worked out nicely. I also managed 20 days of strength training as well.

I ate three servings of fruits and vegetables on just 10 of the 31 days. You’d think that I could find a way to eat a piece of fruit every day.

Last month my cholesterol results came back and I dropped 40 points from my total cholesterol since the beginning of the year, down to 205. I’m shooting for a sub-200 score by the end of the year.

3. Rid Elysha and myself of all education debt before the end of the year.

Funds to achieve this goal will likely become available soon.

4. Beat Jeff or Tom in one round of golf.

No victories as of yet, though I have begun to play better thanks to advice from my friend, Scott. I wasted an opportunity a week ago when Jeff shot a 52 and I shot a 57, miserable rounds for both of us. But I’m finally beginning to hit my new irons and had some of the best tee shots of my life this past weekend, and my putting continues to be off the charts, so things are looking up.

5. Floss every day.

Still haven’t missed a day since December of 2007.

6. Go to at least twelve movies this year, thus debunking the myth that the parents of newborns are no longer able to go out to the movies.

Done. Last month Elysha and I saw our eleventh and twelfth movies of the year, finishing with The Time Traveler’s Wife, a Mommy and Me movie in which mothers (and one lone Daddy) can bring their babies to an afternoon showing of a movie, complete with baby changing tables and employees assigned to take food and drink orders so that parents do not have to leave the theater. There was a lot of sleeping babies and breast-feeding taking place, but I kept my eyes on the screen, content with the fulfillment of this goal.

Even though I’ve reached twelve movies, I have no intention of avoiding the theater for the rest of the year. The drive-in remains open through October, and we will spring for a babysitter if the movie is good enough.

7. Replace the twelve ancient windows on the first and second floor of the house with more energy efficient ones.

Funds for this project are not yet available and might not be available this year. Pray for a movie deal.

8. Cook at least one meal a week for Elysha.

I didn’t cook a single meal for Elysha last month, but she feels that I should abandon this goal. With my teaching, my writing and my DJ company, she has said that I do enough. But I still think that one meal a week isn’t asking much.

9. Eat at least three bowls of oatmeal a week in order to lower my cholesterol.

Still no oatmeal, but I lowered my cholesterol anyway!  So perhaps this one isn’t as important either!

10. Write for at least two hours every day without exception.

Done with ease.

11. Make one mortgage payment from poker profits

Poker profits are now approaching the $500 mark, well short of a mortgage payment. I just don’t have the time to play as much as I’d like, but one good month could put this goal within reach.

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