Skip to content
Every month I report the progress of my yearly goals in order to monitor progress (or the lack thereof) and hold myself accountable.
 
The following are the result from February.

PERSONAL FITNESS

1. Don’t die.

Still alive and kicking. I’m scheduled to be vaccinated in two weeks, thus improving my odds of survival quite a bit.

2. Lose 20 pounds.

Our NordicTrack exercise bike remains broken after the much-awaited parts failed to repair the bike. We are now awaiting another part, which is infuriating. And since I won’t go to the gym during a pandemic and I’ve only been able to ride my bike twice in February due to the cold and snow, I’m stuck without many cardio options.

It’s killing me.

I’ve lost just one pound in 2021.

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

Done.

In fact, I did push ups, sit ups, and planks on all 28 days of February to compensate for the loss of the bike.

It hasn’t helped much.

4. Cycle for at least 5 days every week. 

I was only able to ride my bike for a total of 2 days in February while waiting for parts for our NordicTrack.

Those were cold, unpleasant rides.

5. Set a new personal best in golf.

No golf played. Golf courses in Connecticut remain closed for the winter.

WRITING CAREER

6. Complete my seventh novel before the end of 2021.

Progress continues.

7. Complete “Someday is Today” before the end of 2021. 

Progress continues.

8. Complete “Storyworthy 2” before the end of 2021.

I sent the nearly completed version of this book to my agent for her review. I await word on her thoughts.

9. Write/complete at least three new picture books, including one with a female, non-white protagonist, and one protagonist who is not neurotypical.

No progress.

10. Write 40,000 words of a memoir.

No progress.

11. Write a new screenplay.

No progress.

12. Write a solo show.

I’m in the process of revising and expanding based upon feedback and will schedule a meeting with my collaborators in March.

13. Write a musical.

Work continues.

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

No progress. But I signed up for a class on strategies for submitting pieces to Op-Ed departments, including the New York Times.

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

No progress. I am told, however. that Lavar Burton has a podcast where he reads speculative fiction.

I may submit something there.

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

No progress. I still need to write about my experiences with ASMR and my reading of 50 Shades of Gray from last year.

If you have suggestions on something I should try or adopt, please let me know.

17. Increase my newsletter subscriber base to 6,000 (from 4,497).

I added 50 subscribers in February for a total of 4,646.

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

18. Send a newsletter to readers at least 25 times (every other week). 

Two newsletters sent in February. Still on pace to hit my goal.

19. Write at least six letters to my father.

Two letters plus photos and gifts sent in February. Two letters in total in 2021.

20. Write 100 letters in 2021.

Five letters written in February. Six so far in 2021. Not a great start.

21. Convert 365 Days of Elysha into a book.

No progress.

22. Complete and release my limited episode podcast on “Twenty-One Truths About Love.”

DONE. Completed and published. You can listen to the five episode series in the Speak Up Storytelling feed.

STORYTELLING/SPEAKING CAREER

23. Produce a total of 6 Speak Up storytelling events.

Elysha and I produced our first show of 2021 on February 13. We have another scheduled for March 20.

24. Pitch myself to at least 3 upcoming TEDx events with the hopes of being accepted by one.

No progress. Waiting for TEDx conferences to open up for the fall of 2021 and 2022.

25. Pitch myself to Master Class at least three times in 2021. 

No progress.

26. Attend at least 5 Moth events with the intention of telling a story.

I attended two Moth StorySLAMs in February with the intention of telling a story.

My first two Moth StorySLAMs of 2021.

27. Win at least one Moth StorySLAM.

DONE! I won my 51st Moth StorySLAM in February. Certainly not the same as a live, onstage StorySLAM, but it’s always an honor to tell a story to an audience of any kind.

Also, I’ve been telling stories onstage since 2009 and finally told a story from my 24 year career as a wedding DJ.

28. Win a Moth GrandSLAM.

I will be competing in a virtual Moth GrandSLAM in March.

29. Produce at least 25 episodes of our podcast Speak Up Storytelling.

Seven episodes produced and dropped in February. A total of 10 in 2021. Way ahead of schedule.

30. Perform stand-up at least 3 times in 2021.

No progress.

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

No progress.

32. Pitch myself to Marc Maron’s WTF podcast at least three times.

No progress.

33. Produce at least 12 new videos for my YouTube channel in 2021. 

No progress.

34. Explore a means of producing my storytelling instruction asynchronously for an online platform.

I’m currently reviewing a proposal from an company that wants to partner with me in creating asynchronous content for my storytelling instruction.  I think I may have found the right people with whom to work. I’m excited.

HOME

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

Our painter contracted COVID-19 so her work is delayed. She begins this month.

36. Assemble an emergency preparedness kit.

I purchased survival straws that make contaminated water safe to drink in January.

I still have a long way to go.

37. Clear the basement.

Several items removed every week in February along with trash pickup.

Incrementalism.

FAMILY/FRIENDS

38. Call brother or sister once per week. 

No calls in February.

I am a terrible brother.

Maybe I should schedule these calls.

39. Take at least one photo of my children every day.

Done.

40. Take at least one photo with Elysha and myself each week.

No photos taken of Elysha and myself in February.

I’m really failing at this goal so far.

41. Plan a reunion of the Heavy Metal Playhouse.

No progress.

42. I will not comment, positively or negatively, about physical appearance of any person save my wife and children, in 2021 in an effort to reduce the focus on physical appearance in our culture overall.

Done. I commented negatively about my own physical appearance in February, but that doesn’t count.

43. Surprise Elysha at least six times in 2021.

I surprised Elysha once in January by sending flowers to her while at work on her birthday. They were reportedly some of the best flowers she has ever received.

I surprised Elysha with a Pusheen knit hat in February. It was actually a replacement hat after the one I purchased for her birthday did not fit.

Two surprises so far in 2021

44. Play poker at least six times in 2021.

I hosted and played poker once in February. My first game of 2021.

I finished in the red. Unusual for me and not preferred.

45. Spend at least six days with my best friend of more than 30 years.

We should both be vaccinated in the next couple weeks. Add to this the warming weather, and we should be able to see each other soon.

NEW PROJECTS

46. Play music in class.

Success. I have introduced my students to several specific songs so far, in addition to the music of Elvis Presley, Sam Cooke, and starting today, Bruce Springsteen.

To my students’ credit, many of them are enjoying the music and keeping an open mind.

47. Learn to play the piano by practicing at least three times a week. 

Done.

I averaged about 5 days of practice per week in February.

48. Convert our wedding video to a transferable format.

Efforts were made again. Progress was still zilch. I’m going to need a professional of some kind to assist.

Know anyone? Or a company that specializes in this sort of thing?

49. Memorize 5 new poems.

I’ve memorized “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost. Admittedly I knew more than half of it before I began, and I will continue to need to reinforce it before I am sure that it’s committed to memory for good, but it’s essentially done.

I’m now working on “In Flander’s Field” by John McCrae.

50. Write to at least 3 colleges about why they should hire me.

No progress.

51. Understand Instagram better.

No progress.

52. Complete my Eagle Scout project.

No progress.

53. Post my progress in terms of these resolutions on this blog and social media on the first day of every month.

Done.