Resolution update: January 2018

Note: I've added a goal since posting my 2018 goals on January 1:

Pitch a new Moth Mainstage story to the artistic director of The Moth. 

I've had the honor of performing two stories on Moth's Mainstages over my career. I'd like to pitch another story to them in 2018.


1. Don’t die.

The AFC championship game got pretty intense, and a strange man in the stands at Gillette Stadium kept massaging my shoulders, but I survived, and happily, so did the Patriots . 

2. Lose 20 pounds.

Four pounds down. At this rate I'll be 48 pounds lighter by the end of the year and resemble something of a dish rag.

Fear not. I always start the year out strong. 

3. Eat at least three servings of fruits and/or vegetables per day. 

I had three servings of fruits and/or vegetables on 21 of 31 days in January.  

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


5. Identify a yoga routine that I can commit to practicing at least three days a week.

No progress.

6. Stop using the snooze button.

Done. And I must tell you, I feel so much better when I climb out of bed when that first alarm sounds or I simply wake up. The allure of ten more minutes in bed is strong, but the refreshed feeling of rising immediately is better.  


7. Complete my seventh novel before the end of 2018.

I'm in the process of proofreading my next book and revising my next novel for the US and my next novel for the UK, so the launch of this novel has not yet commenced. 

8. Complete my second middle grade/YA novel.

I'm in the process of proofreading my next book and revising my next novel for the US and my next novel for the UK, so the launch of this novel has not yet commenced. 

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

No progress. 

10. Write a proposal for a memoir.

No progress. Once proofreading and revisions are complete, my agent and I will discuss which of these memoir ideas should be written first.

11. Write a new screenplay.

No progress.

12. Write a musical.

Initial talks for the plot, characters, number of songs, and deadlines have begun.

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

No progress. 

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

No progress. 

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

No progress.

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

No progress. I'm also looking for possible behaviors to adopt. Suggestions welcomed. 

17. Increase my author newsletter subscriber base to 2,000.

63 subscribers added in January. I'm off to a roaring start. 

18. Write at least six letters to my father.

None written in January.

19. Write 100 letters in 2018.

No letters written in January. Finishing a book was a priority. 

20. Convert Greetings Little One into a book.

No progress.  

21. Record one thing learned every week in 2018.

Done! My favorite from January:

In 1950, the city of Guadalajara moved a telecommunications building 10 feet in order to widen a city street while employees of the telephone company continued working inside. Also inside the building were the wife and son of Jorge Mantute, the architect of the move. They were positioned in the building to demonstrate Mantute's faith in the safety of the telecommunication workers. 

Today a statue of Mantute stands in his honor. 



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

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

23. Deliver a TED Talk.

I will be delivering a TED Talk at Wesleyan University in April. 

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

I did not attend a Moth event in January. I was scheduled to attend two, but poor weather and an Elysha illness kept me home. 

25. Win at least three Moth StorySLAMs.

No progress. 

26. Win a Moth GrandSLAM.

I am competing in a Moth GrandSLAM in February. 

27. Produce at least 25 episodes of our new podcast Storyworthy. 

No progress.

28. Perform stand up at least four times in 2018. 

No progress.

I am performing standup twice in February, including my first paid performance.

29. Pitch my one-person show to at least one professional theater.

No progress.  

30. Pitch a new Moth Mainstage story to the artistic director of The Moth. 


31. Write a syllabus for a college course on teaching. 

No progress. 

32. Cook at least 12 good meals (averaging one per month) in 2018.

No progress. 

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

No progress. 


34. Pay allowance weekly.


35. Ride my bike with my kids at least 25 times in 2018.

No progress. 

36. I will report on the content of speech during every locker room experience via social media in 2018. 

Done. I spent 21 days at the gym (including the locker room) in January, and I did not hear a single comment related to sexually assaulting women.  

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've also encouraged my students to adopt the same policy, at least while in the classroom.

38. Surprise Elysha at least six times in 2018.

No progress. 

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.

I looked into the cost of this project. Yikes!    

40. Clean the basement. 

I threw away 11 items in January in preparation for a full cleaning later this year.  

41. Set a new personal best in golf.

No progress. 

42. Play poker at least six times in 2018.

I was forced to cancel a planned game in January because weather moved an event onto my poker night. I also planned on playing at a Patriots tailgate but ended up talking and eating for the entire time. 

I have a game scheduled for February.

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

No progress.   

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