1. Do 100 consecutive pushups. My max is nowhere close to this (think Bill Murray in Stripes), but I’ve heard you can make rapid progress with the humble pushup. It works the chest, arms, shoulders, and core: a perfect, do-it-anywhere exercise. Plenty of apps and strategies exist for building up to a hundred. I think I have a legitimate shot.
2. Finish the first draft of my next novel. I’m halfway into it now but have a long way to go. It’s a bigger book than anything I’ve written before, but it’s also more enjoyable than anything I’ve written before.
3. Learn to do that crowd-parting, taxi-stopping finger whistle. At least once a season I could really use this, and at least twice a year I see someone do it, summoning dogs or people well beyond shouting range. I finally learned the proper technique and started making progress, but it has to be mastered for quickdraw situations.
4. Reread all of Shakespeare, for fun instead of duty. That’s about three plays a month and easily doable, especially if I’m reading for kicks, which is maybe the best way to read Shakespeare anyway.
5. I need at least one excessively optimistic fitness goal (aside from 100 pushups), so let’s say washboard abs. And then I shall wash shirts and linens upon mine abs and lo, the shirts and linens shall be clean. Getting leaner abs has less to do with exercise than it does with eating better, and losing extra pounds is going to help me hit that 100-pushup goal a lot quicker.
6. Straighten out my sleep schedule. I’m all over the place. Some months I’m awake past midnight, other months I’m sleeping at 10pm and up at 5am. I nap too much. I need to pick a schedule that works and carve it in stone. Eleven to six looks promising.
7. My wife is pining for an island in our too-small-for-an-island kitchen, so I’m going to build a wall of cabinets with an island that emerges from, and then returns to, the cabinet wall. I’ll call it Sandy Island, in honor of the vanishing island that was recently “undiscovered” after erroneously appearing on Google Maps. My wife will be delighted that I’m going on record about this project.
Colonial-American Word of the Day
Rantipole: (n) a rude romping boy or girl; also a gadabout dissipated woman