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.

If you had told me ten years ago, when I was working for a local newspaper covering local news and never really going anywhere, that one day I would be traveling all over the country (and the world) to attend and speak at conferences, I would not have believed you. Or, if I had, I would have dreaded my future.

They seem so boring. A bunch of people getting together at an event center or hotel convention center, droning from room to room, standing at booths and wearing name tags. I mean, no thanks, right? (more…)


I was in New York last week for work and, as I tend to do every time I am in the City, I had breakfast with an editor of mine – Adam Korn, of WilliamMorrow/HarperCollins. On the surface, Adam and I could not be more different. I am a six-foot-four corn-fed Catholic child of the Midwest who would rather spend a week in the woods than a weekend on the Upper East Side. He’s a five-foot-six Jewish kid who has never lived anywhere but New York. And, yet, our friendship is one the most treasured relationships in my life. Every time we get together, we talk about books and ideas. We finish each other’s sentences like old school chums. We talk with rampant enthusiasm and our hands, so much so that we often draw stares. (more…)

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The Good Life Project podcast has been sitting, undisturbed, in my iTunes account and on my iPhone for weeks. It was an impulse subscribe, just browsing the titles one night while sitting on the couch, avoiding writing. But, it’s been a couple of days since I’ve synced my phone and this evening I was all out of new episodes of other shows, so I decided to give it a try.

Host Jonathan Fields sounded familiar – I’m pretty sure I saw him speak at a conference a couple of years ago – and introduced his guest as hotel visionary and world-traveling festival guru Chip Conley. (more…)