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January 01, 2011

New Year’s Resolutions: 2011

In keeping with tradition, here are my New Year’s resolutions for 2010.

I’ve decided to eliminate some items from last year’s list because they have become so routine that they do not warrant resolution status anymore.  Eating oatmeal three times a week, for example, falls into this category.  Previous resolutions-turned-habit include writing for at least two hours a day and flossing every day.

Resolutions work.

So here they are.  Twenty-one in all.  Five more than last year.

I’ll admit it’s getting a little unwieldy.  

1.  Lose 23 pounds, bringing me down to my high school track and field weight.  

I know this may seem unrealistic, but I lost almost 30 pounds two years ago and have managed to keep all but 5 pounds off, so another 23 seems perfectly reasonable. 

2.  Do at least 50 push-ups and 50 sit-ups a day.

This one should be easy, since I do this 3-4 times a week already.  My only  exceptions in 2011 will be days when I am sick (I am rarely sick)and days when I am already doing weight training at the gym.

3.  Practice the flute for at least an hour a week.

In high school, I played the flute, the bassoon and the drums.  I purchased a flute a few years ago with the hope of playing again and have yet to practice enough to play well.  I want to begin that process this year.  

4.  Find a wine that I can drink every night or so. 

Research has shown that a person who drinks a glass of wine a day lives longer than those who abstain from alcohol altogether.  Being an abstainer, I find this  is annoying, since for years I thought I was doing the wise thing. 

Not enjoying the taste of alcohol anymore, I find this doubly annoying. 

This year I want to find a wine that I can enjoy enough to drink a glass every night.

At last night’s New Year’s Eve party I began my quest, managing to find a wine that I did not love but was at least palatable. 

A great start, I thought.   

Naturally, it is a wine no longer made.


5.  Complete my fifth novel. 

The subject is not yet determined (and I still need to put the finishing touches on MEMOIRS OF AN IMAGINARY FRIEND), but I have several ideas from which to choose.

6.  Complete and submit one children’s book to my agent.

I have many ideas for children’s books, some already written in rough draft form.  My agent has said that she is more than willing to pass a manuscript onto one of the children’s literature agents who she knows, and from there, who knows?

7.  Complete the book proposal for the non-fiction collaborative project that I began last year.

I’d prefer not to go into details on this project yet, but it is an idea that I have had for almost twenty years, and in 2010 I found the right collaborator to make it happen.    

8.  Complete an outline for my memoir

I’m much too young to write my memoir, but when I am ready, I want to have a list of events and life experiences ready to go.  I began this outline in 2010 on my iPhone and would like to complete it this year. 

9.  Convince my sister to write on at least once a week and do the same myself.

The information that my steel-trap-minded sister can provide will be invaluable in the memoir process.  Not to mention I love reading my sister’s stories from our childhood.  She remembered EVERYTHING.  I set up a blog in 2010 to capture these stories and share some back-and-forth exchanges, and though my sister has agreed to write with me, she has yet to fully commit to the project. 

10.  Drink at least four glasses of water every day.

This resolution is actually designed to induce me to drink less soda.  But rather than setting limits on my soda, I am instead requiring myself to drink four glasses of water instead in hopes that this will automatically curtail my Diet Coke consumption. 

I do much better with requirements than limitations.

My wife recently summed up the essence of my character by saying, “Matt doesn’t like to be told what to do.” 

That holds true even when I am telling myself what to do.  

11.  Complete at least one of the three classes required for me to teach English on the high school level.

The day may come when I want a change of scenery in terms of my teaching.  Since I already have an English degree and an elementary teaching degree, I am only required to complete three more classes to be certified to teach at the high school level, and one of those is Composition, which I suspect I will do well in without trying.  I’d love to complete all three classes in 2011, but one is a realistic goal.  

12.  Try liver.

A failure from last year, this should be easily achieved in 2011 (though I’m sure I said this last year as well).

13.  Publish an Op-Ed in a national newspaper.

A failed resolution from last year. 

14.  Participate in The Moth as a storyteller, at a live show or on their radio broadcast.

A failed resolution from last year.

15. See our rock opera (The Clowns) performed on stage as a full production or in a dramatic reading format.

16.  Organize my basement.

A failed resolution from last year, though significant progress was made.

17.  Land at least one paying client for my fledgling life coach business.

A failed resolution from last year.

18. Rid Elysha and myself of all education debt before the end of the year.

A failed resolution from last year.  And the year before.

19. Replace the twelve ancient windows on the first and second floor of the house with more energy efficient ones.

A failed resolution from last year.

20. Make one mortgage payment from poker profits.

A failed resolution from last year, though I came close to achieving this goal.

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

As always, I reserve the right to add to this list during the first seven days of 2011. 

After that, the list is locked.


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I have two comments:

1. I think that only devoting one hour to the flute per week is too low. If you really want to get somewhere with an instrument, you need to put in more time.

2. As I've already said to you, I think you should consider beer over wine; it's quite a bit better, and I think that the variety is much more diverse, so you can probably find quite a few that you would enjoy drinking.

1.You play the flute? I've been picking mine up again from time to time. Let's practice together sometime! I stole (never brought back) all my HS concert/marching band music!

2. Greatest 'heart meds' ever: Crane Lake Cabernet. Reasonable at only $8.99, London Shop, for the three and a half evening bottle. $3.99 Crazy Bruce, for the 'if I don't have to share it, it could last one more night' bottle.

3. Don't bother with the liver. Can be loaded with toxins since it is a filtering system.

4. You'll be amazed how much a simple change like water affects your life...
To get myself to drink more, I picture my brain all shriveled up like a prune, unable to make the appropriate 'connections' due to the widening of the fold gaps. Plus it helps you sleep better. One glass right before bed.

...Not that I am telling you what to do... ;)

There is no mechanism to resolve strategic disagreements between Mr Huang and Bain Capital, or clarity over his ability or desire to retain his Gome holding

There is no mechanism to resolve strategic disagreements between Mr Huang and Bain Capital, or clarity over his ability or desire to retain his Gome holding

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