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29 posts categorized "New Year's Resolutions"

October 01, 2011

Resolution update: September 2011

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

I am still down exactly 21 pounds as of this morning.  Three days spent at a YMCA camp followed by the Patriots home opener tailgating bonanza killed me.  

2.  Do at least 50 100 200 push-ups and 50 100 sit-ups a day.

I did not miss a day in September.

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

I practiced for 15 minutes this week, the first bit of practice all year.  Maybe it’s the start of something great… 

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

Did not drink any wine in September.    

5.  Complete my fifth novel.

I am three chapters into the new book.  I had to rewrite the first two chapters about ten times until I got them right, and even now they still might not be right.  My half-finished novel occasionally calls to me, urging me to take the path of least resistance and finish it. 

I refuse. This new book will be better. 

I have a lot of work ahead of me.

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

Still done. Revisions of the story continue, and a new story has been written. I meet with my critique group next week to hear first impressions.      

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

My photography partner and I have ironed out our differences and are ready to move forward.  Unfortunately I am devoting most of my writing time to the new book.  But I still hope to have a proposal written before the end of the year.  Still possible but less likely.      

8.  Complete an outline for my memoir

Done. The writing of the memoir continues.   

9.  Convince my sister to write on http://107federalstreet.blogspot.comat least once a week and do the same myself.

I’m not giving up, but I feel like giving up.  Maybe it was wrong to choose a goal that depended so much upon another person.   

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

Done.

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

I am scheduled to take the high school English certification test in November.

I will need two more classes, plus a passing score on the test, in order to be certified to teach middle and high school English. 

Since I originally needed to complete three classes and now only need two, I feel like this goal is accomplished, since it was only through my persistent efforts with the Department of Education that one of the required classes was eliminated. 

Anyone buying this rationalization?

12.  Try liver.

Nope.

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

The piece that I have written for The Millions, an online magazine offering coverage on books, arts, and culture, might be my last chance at completing this goal, though I may still repackage a blog post in the form of an editorial and shop it around.   

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

Done.  I will completing in the the Moth’s GrandSlam event on October 17.   

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

Our reading is scheduled for November 5 and 6.  You can read all about it and find out how to purchase tickets on the theater’s website by clicking here.

16.  Organize my basement.

Progress continues, but a full day will still be required to complete the job. December break is my target. 

17.  Land at least one paying client for my fledgling life coach or professional best man business.

Done!  In fact, I met with my client today!  

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

Still waiting on the funding.

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

Still waiting on the funding.

20. Make one mortgage payment from poker profits.

No poker in September. I remain stuck on a little less than 25% of a mortgage payment so far.

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

Done.

September 01, 2011

Resolution update: August 2011

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

Down 21 pounds as of this morning.  I may be setting a new goal shortly.  

2.  Do at least 50 100 200 push-ups and 50 100 sit-ups a day.

I did not miss a day in August. 

I have also started running for about 30 minutes in the evenings after Clara has gone to bed as well as some barbell work in front of the television. 

Though it is not a part of my New Year’s resolution, my string of three straight months without missing a day at the gym was snapped last week by the hurricane, but not by any lack of effort on my part.  I went in the morning, but they were closed.   

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

Failed again.

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

Tried six new wines in August.  Elysha surprised me with a night out at a wine bar.  I found one wine that was better than the rest, but I did not find one that I especially liked.   

5.  Complete my fifth novel.

This just got a lot harder.  After approaching the halfway point of my next novel, a new idea lodged itself in my head and would not leave.  I tried to ignore it but could not.  I promised that I would get to it soon, but it refused to bargain.  So I have done the unthinkable: With four months to go in 2011, I have put my manuscript aside and begun a new one.

I have a lot of work ahead of me.

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

Still done.  I will be resubmitting a revised version in September.   

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

My photographer blew off our August meeting, and I am a quite upset about this turn of events.  I will follow-up with her in September and hopefully get things back on track.    

8.  Complete an outline for my memoir

Done.  The writing of the memoir continues.    

9.  Convince my sister to write on http://107federalstreet.blogspot.comat least once a week and do the same myself.

She agreed to write. She promised to write. And once again she didn’t write.

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

Done.

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

Good news!  I may not be required to complete any coursework.  I have registered for the Praxis II test for English in November (which is reportedly the most difficult of all these certification tests), and if I pass, that may be all I need to do. 

I must now decide whether or not to study for the test or take it cold. 

12.  Try liver.

Nope.  But I found someone who wants to try it with me!

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

Nope.  And sadly, I did not win the short story contest. 

I am currently working on an article for The Millions, an online magazine offering coverage on books, arts, and culture. 

I am also submitting a column idea and sample piece to McSweeney’s, a very popular literature and humor website.

I may also repackage a blog post in the form of an editorial and shop it around.    

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

Done.  As the winner of my StorySlam, I compete in the Moth’s GrandSlam event in October as well.  Details to follow.   

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

Our dramatic reading is scheduled for November 5 and 6.  You can read all about it on the theater’s website by clicking here.

16.  Organize my basement.

Progress continues, but a full day will probably be required to complete the job.  Perhaps over December break if I can’t get to it sooner.

17.  Land at least one paying client for my fledgling life coach or professional best man business.

Done!   

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

Still waiting on the funding.

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

Still waiting on the funding.

20. Make one mortgage payment from poker profits.

No poker in August. I remain stuck on a little less than 25% of a mortgage payment so far.

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

Done. 

July 31, 2011

Resolution update: July 2011

It was a big month for me, and while these resolution posts are probably the least-read posts on my blog, they are some of my favorites, especially after a good month. 

Two difficult resolutions were accomplished this month, and progress on many others continues at a steady clip. 

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

Down 19 pounds as of this morning.  This goal is within my grasp. 

2.  Do at least 50 100 200 push-ups and 50 100 sit-ups a day.

I missed four days in July.  An all-day and most-of-the-night trip to NYC kept me from push-ups and sit-ups on one day, as did two weddings and a sore elbow on three others.

In my defense, I am routinely doing well over 200 push-ups a day, now, so those four missed days were more than made up for in the push-up department. 

However, I’m still only doing 100 sit-ups a day.  They are decidedly less fun. 

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

No practice.  I’m ashamed of myself. 

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

Tried one new wine in July.  Did not like.   

5.  Complete my fifth novel.

Not much happened with the new book in July, as my agent was reviewing it and I was editing MEMOIRS OF AN IMAGINARY FRIEND and working on a couple other writing projects.  But the manuscript is back in hand and the revisions for MEMOIRS are done.  As my agent would say, onward!

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

Still done.  And this month I revised the story in accordance with the children’s book agent’s recommendations.  I meet with my children’s writing group next week, and after I get some final feedback, I’ll send it back to the agent with my fingers crossed.

To be honest, I did not like the suggestions that the agent gave me at first, and it was only through meeting with my writing group that ideas on how to accommodate her suggestions arose.  As a result, it’s a much better book.

See?  What the hell do I know? 

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

I have a meeting this month with a photographer to begin work on this project.      

8.  Complete an outline for my memoir

Done.  I have moved into the writing portion of this process.  It has become a book dealing with productivity, but it also includes a great deal about my own life as well.  I’m excited about it.   

9.  Convince my sister to write on http://107federalstreet.blogspot.com at least once a week and do the same myself.

She agreed to write.  She promised to write. And then she didn’t write. 

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

Done, though it turns out that the science behind this is questionable

Nonexistent actually. 

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

I submitted my application to the State Department of Education yesterday.  Now I await their response.  Hoping that the bureaucratic wheels don’t grind too slowly.  They will inform me of what classes I need to take in order to teach high school. 

12.  Try liver.

Nope.

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

Nope.  But I entered a short story into a contest sponsored by a literary magazine upon the suggestion of my editor.  She was also kind enough to edit it for me.  So my fingers are crossed on that front as nothing happens on this actual resolution front.  

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

Done!  I went, I told my story, and I won!  I will be participating in The Moth’s GrandSlam competition in September!  Date and time TBD. 

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

Our dramatic reading at the local playhouse is scheduled for November 5 and 6.

16.  Organize my basement.

Progress continues at an excellent pace.

17.  Land at least one paying client for my fledgling life coach or professional best man business.

Done!  I have my first paying client!  A regular reader of this blog decided to work with me in order to achieve his goals, and we meet for the first time in August.  I am very excited about this and think that it will be a productive and meaningful partnership.   

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

Still waiting on the funding.

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

Still waiting on the funding.

20. Make one mortgage payment from poker profits.

No poker in July. I remain stuck on a little less than 25% of a mortgage payment so far.

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

Done.  One day early, baby!

July 01, 2011

Resolution update: June 2011

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

Down fourteen pounds since the beginning of the year. Nine to go.

Even my doctor noticed my weight loss at my recent visit. 

2.  Do at least 50 100 200 push-ups and 50 100 sit-ups a day.

I have increased sit-up goal to 100 a day, simply because 50 had become a joke.  Even the 200 push-ups are becoming relatively easy, so I have changed my routine from sets of 25 push-ups at a time to sets of 40 at a time with shorter breaks in between.

There was a day when my wife and daughter were in New York when I did 600 push-ups in a day.

I did, however, miss a total of six days in June because of illness. 

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

No practice.  

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

No wine consumed in June.  

5.  Complete my fifth novel.

Five chapters into my newest book and things are still going well.  My agent has the first 10,000 words to review, and I must now shift into revision mode for MEMOIRS OF AN IMAGINARY FRIEND, which will stall things for about a week. 

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

Still done.  While my agent liked the book, the children’s book agent thought it needed work.  She liked the concept a lot and thought it had potential, but she suggested I revise it in a way that I am not sure I like.  So I’m stuck, trying to decide what to do.  I kind of love it just the way it is. 

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

I have a meeting in August to begin work on this project.       

8.  Complete an outline for my memoir

Work continues, and some writing has actually commenced as well. 

9.  Convince my sister to write on http://107federalstreet.blogspot.com at least once a week and do the same myself.

No progress yet.

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

Done.

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

Nothing done yet.

12.  Try liver.

Nope.

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

Nope.

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

Great progress!  My Moth pitch has made it to the website, where it currently has the most votes.  I have been informed that this is a curatorial process, so a committee will assess my story pitch based upon total votes, overall rating from the voters and their overall assessment of the pitch.  I wait to hear what they have decided.

I am also attending a live Moth event on July 12, where I plan on placing my name in the hat and hopefully getting picked to tell a story onstage.

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

Our dramatic reading at the local playhouse is scheduled for November 5 and 6.

16.  Organize my basement.

Progress continues at a decent pace.

17.  Land at least one paying client for my fledgling life coach or professional best man business.

None.  But I’ll remind you again that I’ve added professional best man to the list.  Please keep me in mind.  

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

Still waiting on the funding.

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

Still waiting on the funding.

20. Make one mortgage payment from poker profits.

No poker in June.  I remain stuck on a little less than 25% of a mortgage payment so far. 

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

Done.

May 31, 2011

Resolution update: May 2011

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

Down eleven pounds since the beginning of the year.  Twelve to go.

2.  Do at least 50 100 200 push-ups and 50 sit-ups a day.

I have increased my push-up total to 200 a day, and in May, I missed three days.  Two were purposely missed because I used the rowing machine at the gym, and one day was forgotten because I was spending the evening at the in-law’s home was fell out of my routine. 

I might want to think about increasing my sit-up goals as well, except that sit-ups just aren’t as fun. 

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

No practice. I remain a complete disappointment.  

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

I tried one wine in May and di not like it.  

5.  Complete my fifth novel.

Four chapters into my newest book and things are going well.  Once I have all four chapters in decent shape, I will send them to my agent for a first look. 

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

Done.  She liked it.  It has now been passed onto an agent who specializes in children’s book for an opinion.    

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

Still a summer project,      

8.  Complete an outline for my memoir

Done, but it grows by the week.  It would appear that my book on productivity will also be my memoir.  The two have merged into one entity. 

9.  Convince my sister to write on http://107federalstreet.blogspot.com at least once a week and do the same myself.

No progress yet.

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

Done. 

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

Nothing done yet.

12.  Try liver.

Nope.

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

Nope.

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

No, but I pitched another story about a week ago.  How long should I wait before assuming that they are not interested?

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

Our dramatic reading at the local playhouse is scheduled for November 5 and 6.

16.  Organize my basement.

Progress continues at a decent pace. 

17.  Land at least one paying client for my fledgling life coach or professional best man business.

None.  But now I’ve added professional best man to the list.  Please keep me in mind.   

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

Still waiting on the funding. 

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

Still waiting on the funding.

20. Make one mortgage payment from poker profits.

I remain stuck on a little less than 25% of a mortgage payment so far.  

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

Done.  On time for once.  

May 03, 2011

Resolution update: April 2011

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

I’m down eight pounds since the beginning of the year.  Fifteen to go.

2.  Do at least 50 100 push-ups and 50 sit-ups a day.

Didn’t miss a day last month and have officially increased the push-up requirement to 100 a day.

My wife watched me doing them last night and was impressed.

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

No practice.  I’m a complete disappointment.   

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

Nothing yet, but I tried five different wines in April thanks to a helpful waitress. 

5.  Complete my fifth novel.

Still deciding on which book will be my next, but serious progress has been made on one of the options.  It’s looking like I’ll be working on a primary novel and a secondary novel at the same time, in addition to my book on productivity and a couple children’s books. 

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

Nearly finished.  This month.  I promise.   

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

Still a summer project, But I have a lunch meeting with my collaborator scheduled for July, so that’s something.      

8.  Complete an outline for my memoir

Work continues, though my productivity book is becoming slightly and surprisingly autobiographical, which may steal large chunks of material from my memoir.  Not sure how to handle this.   

9.  Convince my sister to write on http://107federalstreet.blogspot.com at least once a week and do the same myself.

Despite her new job, no progress yet. 

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

Done.  And as expected, it is reducing my Diet Coke intake. 

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

Nothing done yet.

12.  Try liver.

Nope.

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

Nope.

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

No, but I have another pitch written. I will call this week. 

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

Our dramatic reading at the local playhouse is scheduled for November 5 and 6.

16.  Organize my basement.

Progress continues, although it was limited this month.  The cat was ill and started peeing on the basement floor, thus shifting my efforts from organization to cleanup. 

17.  Land at least one paying client for my fledgling life coach or professional best man business.

None.  But now I’ve added professional best man to the list.  Please keep me in mind.    

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

Still waiting on the funding.  My editor assures me that we have a best seller on our hands, so it shouldn’t be long.

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

Still waiting on the funding.

20. Make one mortgage payment from poker profits.

I have earned a little less than 25% of a mortgage payment so far.   

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

Done.  Three days late. 

April 03, 2011

Resolution update: March 2011

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

I’m down six pounds since the beginning of the year.  Seventeen to go.  Doing well.  My wife said I looked thin tonight.  Even better.  

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

Didn’t miss a day last month.  I’ve also increased the push-ups to 75-100 a day.

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

Still no practice.  But the flute is finally home.  That counts for something.   

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

Nothing yet. 

5.  Complete my fifth novel.

MEMOIRS OF AN IMAGINARY FRIEND (my fourth novel) is complete.  I am currently writing three different novels, a children’s book and a non-fiction book on productivity. 

I’ll have to settle on a book soon, because writing three novels at the same time is stupid.  In order to help me make a decision, I sent a list of possible ideas to my agent this week in hopes that she can make the decision for me.  Last time I asked her to do this, she told me to write MEMOIRS OF AN IMAGINARY FRIEND, and things are working out beautifully.  So I’m returning to the well.      

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

Not yet, but she should have something in hand by the end of this month, I think.  

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

Not yet.  A summer project.     

8.  Complete an outline for my memoir

Work continues on this project, though the outline has spread to my laptop, my journal, my iPhone and a bunch of post-it notes. Consolidation is in order. 

9.  Convince my sister to write on http://107federalstreet.blogspot.com at least once a week and do the same myself.

No progress, but my sister got a new job in March and may have more time to write.  I just sent her another pestering email.  

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

Thanks to my water bottle, done.

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

Nothing done yet. 

12.  Try liver.

Nope.

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

Nope.

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

No, but I have another pitch written.  I will call this week.  

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

Our dramatic reading is scheduled for late October or early November.  The date should be finalized shorty.  Huzzah!

16.  Organize my basement.

Significant progress was again made this month.  And thanks to my wife, I now have a dump permit, so let the chucking begin!

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

Nope.  Anyone?  Anyone?

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

Still waiting on the funding.

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

Still waiting on the funding.

20. Make one mortgage payment from poker profits.

Still suck on about 20% of my payment. 

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

I forgot about February and am three days late for March, so not so good. 

February 01, 2011

Resolution update: January 2011

As a means of holding myself accountable, I post the monthly results of my New Year’s resolutions here.

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

I lost half a pound in the month of January.  Not quite the pace I was hoping to start off the year.  But now I have tendinitis in my left knee.  That should help matters considerably. 

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

I missed the first three days of the month but have not missed a day since. 

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

Did not practice once in the month of January.  To be honest, I forgot about this resolution.  I need to bring my flute home from work in order to make this happen.

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

I drank two glasses of wine in January.  I liked one quite a bit but it was a wine that is no longer made. 

Of course. 

5.  Complete my fifth novel.

MEMOIRS OF AN IMAGINARY FRIEND (my fourth novel) is complete.  I am currently writing two different stories in hopes that one will take off and become my next novel.  A sequel to MEMOIRS is also not out of the question.  This is actually the first day that I do not have a story to definitively work on and I am feeling a little lost.

I should be able to make a more informed decision once I have an American publisher for MEMOIRS. 

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

Not yet, but perhaps now is the time to write one. 

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

Not yet.    

8.  Complete an outline for my memoir

Work continues on this project.  I am considering outsourcing some of the work to friend and family by asking them to recommend stories about my life that should be included in the memoir. 

9.  Convince my sister to write on http://107federalstreet.blogspot.com at least once a week and do the same myself.

No progress.  My sister lives a topsy-turvy lifestyle, and so far I have not been able to focus her on the task at hand.  

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

I actually did this for about a week and then forgot about the resolution entirely.  This kind of thing happens a lot during the first month of the year.

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

Nothing done yet.  But it’s looking like another snow day tomorrow.  Perhaps I’ll call the state and get that list of classes.

12.  Try liver.

Nope.

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

Nope.

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

Nope. 

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

Earlier this month we completed another round of revisions and conducted a reading in my home.  Interested parties operating at least two different theaters have the rock opera in hand and we await their verdict.

16.  Organize my basement.

Significant progress was made this month.

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

Nope.  Anyone? 

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

Still waiting on the funding.

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

Still waiting on the funding.

20. Make one mortgage payment from poker profits.

I actually earned about 20% of my mortgage in the month of January, and a large percentage of that money came from live games rather than online poker. 

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

Done.

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.

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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 http://107federalstreet.blogspot.com 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.

December 31, 2010

Resolution update: 2010 in review

2010 is about to become a thing of the past, and as such, it is time to review my successes and failures from the previous year. 

It’s wasn’t my best showing by resolution standards.  I successfully completed 7 of my 16 resolutions and made considerable progress on two others.

Not great.

Here are the final results of each resolution, some of which will most assuredly make a repeat appearance on my 2011 list:

1.  Lose seventeen more pounds, bringing my weight down to 185 pounds, which was my high school pole vaulting weight.

I added a total of five pounds to my weight since January of 2010.  Terrible.   

2.  Complete CHICKEN SHACK by April 15.

Not only did I finish CHICKEN SHACK, but I am nearly finished MEMOIRS OF A IMAGINARY FRIEND, which my brilliant agent has already sold rights to in six different countries. 

CHICKEN SHACK has yet to be sold, but with luck (and a little revision), it will end up being my third book written and fourth book published. 

3.  Eat three servings of oatmeal a week in order to reduce my cholesterol.

I’m going to call this a success.  Though there were weeks in which I ate less than three bowls of oatmeal, those were few and far between and were far outpaced by the weeks in which I ate decidedly more than three bowls.  I won’t know if my cholesterol is actually lower as a result until my physical late next year, but the goal of eating oatmeal was achieved.  More importantly, eating oatmeal has become a routine that I will continue in 2011. 

4.  Try liver.

I failed to eat liver in 2010.  The easiest of my sixteen resolutions went undone. 

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

I failed to publish an Op-Ed in any newspaper in 2010.  I attempted to publish one piece in four separate papers and was rejected each time. 

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

I pitched one story for The Moth’s radio broadcast and was rejected.  I attended one live Moth event, but it was a championship slam, so I did not have the opportunity to participate.  Another failure.    

7.  Complete the rock opera.

While we continue to tweak the rock opera, it is complete.  My partner and I listened to it last night, in fact, and took some notes on some possible revisions.  We hope to see a staged reading and/or actual performance in 2011 at one of our local theaters.  

8.  Read at least six novels that were published in 2010.

I finished reading fifteen novels published in 2010 and am in the midst of reading two more.  A rousing success. 

9.  Organize my basement.

Work on the basement is incomplete.  My hopes of completing it during my December vacation evaporated with the deadline for my new book.  

10.  Learn to use Dreamweaver with reasonable skill.

Success!  I am able to edit my webpage at will using this software.   

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

Not a single paying client in 2010 despite the glowing recommendations of my two pro-bono clients.

12. Go to at least twelve movies this year, continuing to debunk the myth that the parents of newborns are no longer able to go out to the movies.

I finished the year with exactly 12 movies, and that brings my two year total to 29.  Almost thirty movies seen in a theater or at a drive-in since the birth of my daughter.  Myth officially debunked. 

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

Incomplete.  With the foreign sales already made for the new book, it’s likely that 2011 will be the year that Elysha and I become debt-free, but this year was a failure in this regard.    

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

Also incomplete due to lack of funding. 

15. Make one mortgage payment from poker profits.

With a last minute surge in poker profits (from an especially profitable cash game last week), I came ever so close to this goal, falling about 22% shy of the mark.  A failure, but one that I feel good about considered how little poker I played in 2010 in favor of writing.  

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

I missed one month in 2010 but am willing to call this a success.