Life can be crazy in our house. With four children of ages from newborn to teenager, a busy professional life and a bustling social calendar, it can seem like I am constantly going from place to place, dropping off, picking up, checking off boxes on a seemingly never-ending list of to-dos.

If you have a family, chances are pretty good that you know the feeling. Everything begins to swirl together to the point where days fade from pre-dawn alarm clocks to falling into bed without much having been accomplished and, yet, a million things being done. Modern life is a constant uphill struggle to keep up and trying to keep your head above water, deliver on commitments and get through the days leaves precious little time to reflect or look forward. (more…)

New Year’s day is the day everyone decides they want to change. We want to lose weight, get a different job, save more money, finally take that vacation we’ve always dreamed of and about a thousand other things. It makes sense. New year, new you. We call them resolutions, but walk into any fitness center come March and you’ll see just how un-resolute real life can be. Packed to the ceiling the first week of January, a couple months later, everything has gone back to normal and you don’t have to wait for the machines.

I’ve done it. Everyone I know has done it. Very few people I know have bucked the trend and actually seen things through. (more…)

I’m tired. I have a headache. A week in the woods, not sleeping well and maybe a couple too many cocktails helped me ring in the new year last night. And yet, here I am hungover, exhausted and wanting nothing more than to crawl back in bed but I’m writing this anyway. Why?

Because I told myself I would.

I’ve been working for the last few months on my plan for this year. I’ve been quantifying the way and pace at which I work, prioritizing the things I’d like to accomplish and transforming things I’d like to do into measurable, actionable plans.

I’ve never been one to set resolutions. Or, if I have, I’ve never been one to stick to them. Resolutions are nothing more than wishes… ones that go mostly unfulfilled. But I wanted this year to be different. I wanted to finally do the things I’ve been saying I would do for years and, in some cases, for as long as I can remember.

I also wanted to have a plan. Not just a pie in the sky monkish plan of tireless labor and effort, but a realistic plan based upon and grounded in the reality of my life. Over the next few days I’ll break down each of the following goals and how I went about setting them and devising a manageable, realistic plan for achieving them, but today is about accountability.

I wanted to put these ambitious plans out into the world so that I could no longer keep them buried in my mind and on my laptop.

Here’s what I’m planning to do in 2016:

  1. Write 8.5 books in no more than 30 minutes a day, six days a week.
  2. Write 366 journal entries. (It’s a leap year)
  3. Run a 5K starting from the couch; do 100 push-ups, 200 crunches and 100 squats; swim a mile starting from next to no ability; do my first and build up to 20 pull-ups; and take on a class-based fitness challenge – all in less than 35 minutes of daily activity.
  4. Write 300 blog posts (only 299 more to go!)
  5. Read 26 books.
  6. Interview 26 people I admire.
  7. Learn Spanish, Italian and German (in no more than 10 minutes a day)
  8. Save an extra $5,000 before Christmas (without killing myself)
  9. Not miss dinner, games and family activities (not letting the above goals interfere)

Is it ambitious? You bet. But it’s also manageable. I’ll share how I plan to do it and update progress here. I’ll also share stories of other people who are taking on the things they want by building smart plans as I go.

I hope you’ll join me and stay in touch becauseĀ 2016 is going to be a heck of a year.