Resolution update: May 2017


1. Don’t die.

Not even close to death this month. 

2. Lose 20 pounds.

I gained two pounds in May, mostly due to a schedule that kept me from the gym, bringing the total loss for the year to eight pounds.

3. Do at least 100 push-ups and 100 sit-ups five days a week.


4. Practice yoga at least three days a week for at least 15 minutes each day.

I participated in two yoga classes while working at Kripalu this month. Not exactly meeting the goal. 

5. Take the stairs whenever I am ascending or descending five flights or less.

I mistakenly took the elevator yesterday. I was chatting with a colleague and mindlessly boarded the elevator for a trip up three flights. Otherwise, it's been the stairs every time. 


6. Complete my sixth novel before the end of 2017.

Work continues in earnest. Due date in July.   

7. Complete my first middle grade/YA novel.

Work continues in earnest. Due date is December.  

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

I started work on a non-fiction picture book about the great Idaho beaver airlift of 1948.  

9. Complete a book on storytelling.

Work continues in earnest. Due date in July.

10. Write a new screenplay.

No progress.

11. Write a musical.

Work has begun. I've written the first two scenes and have begun outlining it so that my partner can begin writing songs. 

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

I have submitted one piece to the Times so far in 2017.

No luck.  

13. Write a proposal for a nonfiction book related to education.

I'm still taking notes as the school year progresses for an idea that I think might work, and I have several other ideas that I am expanding into paragraph summaries. Work on this will likely commence at the end of the school year. 

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

No progress.

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

On the suggestion of a reader:

I spent April praying to God at least once a day. Quite often three or more times per day. As you may know, I'm a reluctant atheist, so I hadn't prayed in a very long time. 

I'll be writing about the experience on my blog this month. 

I'm currently looking for my next behavior. Ideas anyone?

16. Increase my author newsletter subscriber base to 1,600.

I grew my list by 22 subscribers in April (and 142 overall this year). Total subscribers now stands at 1,426. If I continue at this pace, I will exceed 1,600 by the end of the year. 

17. Write at least six letters to my father.

I received a letter from my father in February. I am still writing a response.    

18. Convert Greetings Little One into a book.

No progress. 

19. Record one thing learned every day in 2017.

Done! My favorite thing learned in March is this:

Disney's Frozen exists in the same universe as Disney's Tarzan. Tarzan's parents are Elsa and Anna's parents, not killed at sea but shipwrecked on the island and later eaten by a leopard. 


20. Produce a total of 12 Speak Up storytelling events.

We produced one show in May at Infinity Hall in Hartford. 

This brings our total number of Speak Up shows in 2017 to eight.

21. Deliver a TED Talk.

Done! I spoke about the important things that teachers do at The Pomfret School in April. It went well! Hoping the producers recorded the talk well, and it will result in a quality video. 

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

I attended two Moth StorySLAMs in New York in May, bringing my yearly total to seven.   

23. Win at least three Moth StorySLAMs.

I won a Moth StorySLAM in Boston in March. I was not chosen to perform in the two slams I attended in May. 

24. Win a Moth GrandSLAM.

It looks like my next opportunity to compete in a Moth GrandSLAM will be in July.  

25. Produce at least 50 episodes of my new podcast Live Better.

I pulled down my first episode after receiving feedback from a friend who works in radio. I'm currently re-recording with a slightly different format.

I expect to relaunch this summer. 

26. Perform stand up at least once in 2016. 

A local stand up venue has invited me to perform. I'm getting my material ready. I plan to perform this summer. I will likely perform in New York with a friend as well.  

27. Write a one-person show.

The "writing" for this show is nearly complete. 

A local theater is interested in having me perform. I'll be meeting with the director in the summer. 


28. Explore the option of teaching a college class.

No progress.   

29. Cook at least 12 good meals (averaging one per month) in 2016.

No progress.

30. Plan a 25 year reunion of the Heavy Metal Playhouse.

No progress.


31. I will stand in vocal opposition to every negative comment made about age disparities between male and female romantic couplings because I choose to respect a woman’s choices of romantic partner regardless of their age or the age of their partner.

No opportunities to vocally oppose this unfortunate prejudice in May.    

32. I will report on the content of speech during every locker room experience via social media in 2017.   


Over the course of the month, I heard no man bragging about sexually assaulting women in any locker rooms (or anywhere else for that matter).  

33. I will stop presenting the heteronormative mother-and-father paradigm as the default parental paradigm when speaking to my children and my students.

Done. Not as hard as I thought. I switched over to "parents" in January and haven't slipped yet.     

34. 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. 

I referred to Donald Trump as "The Circus Peanut" twice in May. This is definitely a negative comment on physical appearance. I did it for comedic sake on on Twitter, but still, I'm disappointed in myself. 

I've also added my mother-in-law, father-in-law, and grandmother-in-law to my permitted list of people to whom can make comments about physical appearance.    

35. Surprise Elysha at least six times in 2016.

Two surprises so far in 2017.  

Flowers and a Cadbury Egg. 

36. 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. 

37. Optimize our television for a streaming service. 

We upgraded our cable television interface to a voice activated, much more intuitive system that may fit the requirements of a streaming service. This upgrade is tremendous. Credit Elysha for the upgrade as well as the reduction in our cable/Internet bill as well.  

This might be declared done in a month or two if we continue to be satisfied with this arrangement. 

38. Set a new personal best in golf.

I played two horrendous rounds of golf in May, but I'm getting accustomed to a new grip and new swing. Hopefully this is one step back for two steps forward.    

39. Play poker at least six times in 2016.

No progress. 

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

No progress. 

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