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Resolution update: March 2024

Every month, I report the progress of my yearly goals to monitor progress (or the lack thereof) and hold myself accountable.
The following are the results from March 2024.


1. Don’t die.

Still alive. Super alive, in fact.

2. Lose 10 pounds.

I weigh exactly the same amount today as I did on January 1.


However, I lost 37 pounds last year – absent any of those new medications – so holding steady is a good sign.

Still, I have a goal and need to begin working toward it.

3. Do a targeted push-up workout at least four times per week. 


4. Complete 100 sit-ups four times per week. 


5. Complete three one-minute planks four times a week.


6. Cycle for at least five days every week. 

Done. I missed only four days in March. I was traveling on two of those days, and my bike was broken for two others.

I’ve recorded 87 rides in 91 days in 2024.

7. Meet or beat the USGA’s average golfing handicap for men of 14.2. 

I’ve begun recording my handicap on a new, more accurate, more official app, but I have yet to play enough golf to yield an official handicap. But the weather is changing. Golf is on the precipice.

On a positive note, I was fitted for a brand-new driver. This should change everything.


8. Complete my eighth novel.

I’ve begun work on the novel based on the editor’s feedback. Excellent progress.

9. Write my next Storyworthy book.

I need to meet with my agent and editor to determine the subject of this next book. I have a great idea, but I suspect they will want a different idea.

10. Write, edit, and revise my golf memoir.

I discussed this book with my agent last week and made a plan to proceed.

11. Write my “Advice for Kids” book.

Solid progress was made in March. My students have been helpful by shouting, “Add that to the list of advice!” every time I offer them a bit of wisdom.

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

Charlie and I have outlined at least two satirical picture books based on a book that Elysha read to her students in January. The books are irreverent, inappropriate, and fantastic.

I’ve also begun writing children’s books about Connecticut’s infamous October 2011 snowstorm and the gypsy moth invasion of New England in 1981.

13. Write about my childhood in partnership with my sister, Kelli, at least twice per month. 

Kelli and I spent a day together in February but forgot to discuss this topic. We still need to discuss.

14. Launch a Substack.

I continue to be on pause, waiting to see what happens to Substack. A small but significant scandal has hit the company, and I don’t want to begin writing on a platform that may die. I will take a wait-and-see approach.

15. Write a new solo show.

All the work on this project is being done in my head since I’ve never written down anything I ever say onstage, so I don’t have much to show for my work, but I am working hard nonetheless.

16. Write a musical.

No progress.

17. Submit at least three Op-Ed pieces to The New York Times for consideration.

No progress.

18. Write at least four letters to my father.

One letter was written in March. One so far in 2024.

19. Write 150 letters.

I wrote 11 letters in March. Recipients included current students, a politician, my children’s teachers, storytellers, the sound engineer for my audiobook, a friend, and my children.

I’ve written a total of 48 letters in 2024.

20. Write to at least six authors about a book I love. 

I have identified two authors to whom I will write. No other progress made.


21. Perform a new solo show.

A theater has been tentatively secured for the debut of this show, either in August or November of 2024.

22. Complete the re-recording of Storyworthy For Business. 

The revised course outline is nearly complete. I will meet with my production manager to finalize things before recording. We plan on having it completed and ready to go by September.

23. Record and produce at least two new Storyworthy courses.

I’ve recorded two webinars that will likely become courses that we sell. They have already been added to the platform for members, which might not count as a new course unless we also sell them separately.

So maybe?

24. Produce a total of six Speak Up storytelling events in 2024.

Two shows produced in March!

  • “Matt and Jeni Are Unprepared” on March 2 at TheaterWorks in Hartford.
  • “Sportsing” on March 16 at the Connecticut Museum of Culture and History

We also have the following shows scheduled for 2024:

  • May 3: A fundraising show at Sedgwick Middle School in West Hartford, CT
  • June 11: A Speak Up – CPA Prison Arts show at The Pond House in West Hartford, CT
  • June 15: “Stores Sell: Storyworthy Strategies to Grow Your Business and Brand” release party at the Connecticut Museum of Culture and History
  • June 17: A Speak Up – Voices of Hope collaboration at the JCC in Hartford, CT

25. Submit pitches to at least three upcoming TEDx events, hoping to be accepted by one.

No progress.

I will be speaking at TEDxBU on April 20.

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

I attended one Moth StorySLAM and one Moth GrandSLAM in March.

Three Moth events so far in 2024.

27. Win at least one Moth StorySLAM.

Done! I won the Boston StorySLAM. My 60th Moth StorySLAM victory!

28. Win a Moth GrandSLAM.

I competed in the Moth GrandSLAM in Boston in March and placed second.

I think I should’ve won, but I think that a lot.

I’ll be performing in a GrandSLAM in Seattle in October and in Washington, DC, later this year.

My New York City GrandSLAM appearance will also be rescheduled for later in the year after snow prevented me from attending in February.

29. Pitch “You’re a Monster, Matthew Dicks” to at least a dozen theaters and/or directors in 2024.

I pitched “You’re a Monster, Matthew Dicks” to one theater in January. I then performed the show on March 30 at the Mopco Improv Theater in Schenectady, New York. It went quite well.

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

No progress.

31. Perform stand-up at least six times. 

No progress.

32. Pitch three stories to This American Life.

One story has been pitched thus far.

33. Submit at least three pitches to Marc Maron’s WTF podcast.

No progress.

34. Send a newsletter to readers at least 50 times. 

I’m going to need to revise or eliminate this goal. I’m sending a lot of emails to Storyworthy members and customers now, so defining a newsletter versus a Storyworthy email is tricky.

I’ll reflect and perhaps pivot. Substack and this goal may merge into one depending on what happens with Substack.


35. Organize the basement.

It would appear that the basement ceilings are too low to make finishing the basement worthwhile. So cleaning may commence without the much-anticipated work.

36. Clear the garage of unwanted items.

Large items still need to be removed, and Elysha’s long-forgotten classroom detritus needs to be eliminated. Likely a summertime job.


37. Text or call my brother or sister once per month. 


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


39. Take at least one photo with Elysha and me each week.

On photo of Elysha and me taken in March. Four so far in 2024.

40. Plan a reunion of the Heavy Metal Playhouse.

No progress. But in a strange coincidence, a teacher in our school grew up in Attleboro, where the Heavy Metal Playhouse was located, and is friends with the person who manages Crystal Village, where it was located.

An in-person reunion is probably impossible, given how spread out my friends are today, but it gave me a little hope.

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


42. Surprise Elysha at least 12 times.

There were no surprises in March—at least none that I can recall or record. This may be the first month in four years that I did not surprise Elysha in some way.

Recording my audiobook stole away much of March.

Two surprises in 2024 so far:

  1. Tickets to “Little Shop of Horrors” on Broadway
  2. Tickets to “Merrily We Go Along” on Broadway

43. Play poker at least six times.

No progress.

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

No progress.


45. Memorize the lyrics to at least five favorite songs. 

I memorized the lines to my new favorite Styx song, “Our Wonderful Lives.”

You should go listen to it.

One song memorized in 2024 so far.

46. Practice the flute at least four times per week.

I’ve practiced six times in March. Not exactly focused practice, either. Not good.


47. Read at least 12 books.

I did not finish a book in March.

I actually read “Stories Sell: Storyworthy Strategies to Grow Your Business and Brand” aloud, which took an endless number of hours.

But should I count my own book on this list?

I’m currently reading:

”Smart Brevity” by Jim VandeHei, Mike Allen, and Roy Schwartz
“The Power Broker” by Robert Caro
“Hello, Molly” by Molly Shannon
“Misfit” by Gary Gulman

Books read in 2024 include:

  1. “Upstream” by Chip Heath
  2. ”Happy Pepple Are Annoying” by Josh Peck
  3. ”Comedy Comedy Comedy Drama” by Bob Odenkirk
  4. “The Power of Regret” by Daniel Pink
  5. “Fluke” by Brian Klass

48. Finish reading TIME’s 100 Best Children’s Books of All Time

No progress. I’ve read 22 books from the list thus far.

49. Unify my passwords using a password manager.

Nearly complete.

50. Learn to use QuickBooks for my business.

Done! Invoicing, payroll, and taxes are now all managed via QuickBooks. It’s much easier than I thought.

51. Rectify the heating problem in my studio.

I received estimates on this project, which is honestly more than I expected. Still, it needs to be done.

52. Learn the names of every employee who works at my school.

I learned the names of two people in March. I’m trying to count the number of people whose names I don’t know, but new people keep appearing. It’s like a game of Wack-a-Mole.

53. Assemble a complete toolbox.

I’ve purchased all of the necessary tools and a box in which to organize them. I still need to gather the stray tools around the house, consolidate everything into one place, and rid myself of redundant tools.

54. Edit our wedding footage into a movie of the day.

No progress.

55. Memorize three new poems.

I have nearly memorized “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost, which is longer than you think.

I can also perform the poem in ASL.

56. Complete my Eagle Scout project.

No progress.

57. Post my progress regarding these resolutions on this blog and social media on the first day of every month.