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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 February.


1. Don’t die.

Still kicking.

2. Lose 20 pounds.

I lost three pounds in February for a total of three pounds in 2019.

I’m not exactly off to a roaring start.

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.


5. Do burpees three days a week.

I stopped my burpees due to wrist soreness but resumed them last week.

Now my thumbs hurt. Maybe it’s unrelated, but I don’t think so.

Here’s something I didn’t know about burpees:

They are stupid and ridiculous. I won’t tell you how many I’m doing (not a lot), but I did them for three days a week over the final two weeks of February, and they still suck.

This was a terrible idea.


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

Still waiting for a go-ahead from my editor that the book I pitched will be the next book. This is the problem with being two books ahead. No one is in a rush for your 2022 novel.

I may just start writing anyway as soon as proofs for my next book are complete.

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

No progress.

8. Write a memoir.

After starting over in February, I’ve written about half a page, which is also stupid and ridiculous.

I should’ve written a lot more already.

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.

252 new subscribers in February for a total of 501 new subscribers in 2019. My list now stands at 2,611 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 February,

16. Write 100 letters in 2019.

Two more letters written in February. Four 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.

One show produced in February, and it was a great one, bringing our total so far to one.

But we have two in March, on Sunday, March 3 and Saturday, March 30, plus a Hartford story slam on March 23 in conjunction with two other producers.

You should come to all of them!

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.

Done! I’ve pitched myself to five TEDx conferences so far.

One has expressed interest. Two passed. I await word from the final two.

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

I attended one Moth StorySLAM in February, bringing my total to three events so far.

22. Win at least three Moth StorySLAMs.

I won a Moth StorySLAM in Boston in February. Two wins so far in 2019.

Two for two!

I’ll be at a Moth StorySLAM in NYC at least once in March.

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 February. Eight so far. We haven’t missed a week!

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.

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.

Final design decisions have been made. Work will commence very soon, I hope.

33. Organize our second floor bathroom.

No progress.


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

I made dinner three times for the family in February. Chicken, stuffing, carrots, and potatoes twice and spaghetti and a meat sauce the second time. I chopped vegetables and everything.

Four down. Eight 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 February.

Done with ease.

38. Surprise Elysha at least six times in 2016.

I mailed another card – much more clever – to Elysha’s school, telling her how I much I love her.

Two surprises 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 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.

No progress.

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

We’ve agreed to see each other more often and have been texting about dates.

This is progress.

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