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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 April.


1. Don’t die.

Still standing.

2. Lose 20 pounds.

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

I’ve lost 8 pounds in total.

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, onion, and asparagus.

Reminder: 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 did 3-5 burpees per day, 4-5 times each week in April.

Also burpees 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.

I’ve started writing anyway.

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

No progress.

8. Write a memoir.

I restarted again. I’ve written about 5,000 words that I think I like.

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.

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

One down. Four to go.

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.

58 new subscribers in April for a total of 615 new subscribers in 2019. My list now stands at 2,725 subscribers.

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 April. None written this year.

16. Write 100 letters in 2019.

One more letter written in April. Six overall. Killing it.

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.

Two shows produced in April:

  • A Speak Up show at the CT Historical Society on April 27

  • A Speak Up- Voices of Hope collaboration on April 14

A total of 6 shows produced so far in 2019.

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

Speak Up merchandise will be sold at our live podcast recording of Speak Up Storytelling on May 18.

We’re very excited.

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, and I’ve been nominated now for a sixth.

One has expressed interest. Four have now passed. I await word from the one in which I was nominated.

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

I attended two Moth StorySLAMs in April, bringing my total to seven events so far.

22. Win at least three Moth StorySLAMs.

I finished in second place in both of my Moth StorySLAM in NYC in April.

Both by one-tenth of a point.

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

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 April. A total of 16 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 found a stage.

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.

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.

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.

33. Organize our second floor bathroom.

No progress.


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

I made no meals in April.

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.

I rode my bike with Charlie one time April for a total of four rides.

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 April.

Once again done with ease.

38. Surprise Elysha at least six times in 2019.

Two surprises in April:

  • I purchased a a Pusheen cross-stitch kit and gave it to her on a day she was giving surprises to the kids.

  • I hired a landscaper to install a garden plot in our backyard, which she came home and found two weeks ago.

Four surprises accomplished 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.

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.

I played my first round of golf of 2019 last weekend. I played poorly.

42. Play poker at least six times in 2019.

A game was scheduled and canceled in April. A game is now scheduled for May.

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 back in March.

One down. Six to go.

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