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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 January.



1. Don’t die.

Completely alive. Unless, of course, this is all just a computer simulation, which is entirely possible. But if that’s the case, there’s nothing I can do about it.

2. Lose 20 pounds.

I have lost exactly zero pounds in January.

3. Eat at least three servings of fruits and/or vegetables per day, six days a week.

Done! It required a lot of bananas, grapes, and apples, but I did it!

Also, potatoes in any form are a vegetable.

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


5. Do burpees three days a week.

Done. I did 1-6 burpees per day, three days a week. I also hurt my thumbs in the process. They are really sore.

What the hell?


6. . Complete my seventh novel before the end of 2019.

Wrapping up my middle grade novel this week and will dive into the next adult novel next month.

Kind of waiting for a go-ahead from my editor, too. This is the problem with being two books ahead. No one is in a rush for your 2022 novel.

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

No progress.

8. Write a memoir.

I started writing. I wrote three pages and hated all three of them.

I’ve decided to start in a new place, which means I’m now starting over again.

9. Write a new screenplay.

No progress.

10. Write a musical.

No progress.

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

No progress.

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

No progress.

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.

249 new subscribers in January. Two more months with numbers like that and I’ll achieve my goal before spring.

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 January but I received one, which was very exciting.

16. Write 100 letters in 2019.

Two letters written in January. Off to a flying start.

17. Convert Greetings Little One into a book.

A couple of people are considering taking on this project on my behalf, so there is possible positive movement in this regard.


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

No shows produced so far in 2019.

We launch our season at Infinity Hall in Hartford on Saturday, February 23. You should come!

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

Revisions of the new logo continue. Once it is finalized, swag can be ordered.

20. Pitch myself to at least 5 upcoming TEDx events with the hopes of being accepted by one.

I’ve pitched myself to three TEDx conferences so far.

One has expressed interest. No word from the other two.

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

I attended two Moth events in January:

A StorySLAM and a GrandSLAM.

22. Win at least three Moth StorySLAMs.

I won a Moth StorySLAM in Boston in January.

One down. Two to go.

23. Win a Moth GrandSLAM.

I finished in second place by a tenth of a point in a Moth GrandSLAM in January.

I’ll be competing in another GrandSLAM in March.

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

Four new shows released in January. We didn’t miss a week.

Listen to our latest here or 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’d also like an open mic where I can perform on a regular basis.

If you know of an open mic in the Hartford area, please let me know.

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.

No progress.

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.


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.

30. Complete my Eagle Scout project.

No progress.

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

No progress.

32. Renovate our first floor bathroom.

Contractor has visited our home and advised us in terms of the work required. Elysha has tentatively chosen tile and sink. Work should commence soon.

I can’t wait.

33. Organize our second floor bathroom.

No progress.


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

I made breakfast for dinner for the family in January. Pancakes and bacon.

One down. Eleven to go.

35. Plan a reunion of the Heavy Metal Playhouse.

No progress.

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

Weather has made this impossible.

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 January.

Done with ease.

38. Surprise Elysha at least six times in 2016.

I mailed a card to Elysha’s school, telling her how I much I love her.

One surprise complete.  

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.

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.

41. Set a new personal best in golf.

Weather has made this impossible.

42. Play poker at least six times in 2019.

No progress.

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

I spoke to my friend and we agreed to see each other much more often. He proposed an evening out in January, but I was unavailable. We both agreed to get together in February.

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