No Excuses November 2013

novemberBy Allison Baker

If you’re anything like me, you have an impossibly long list of things you want to accomplish. And while eating ice cream and watching the singular season of “Orange is the New Black” in one sitting is ambitious, it’s not on the aforesaid list.

Until two years ago, “write a novel” was at the top of that impossibly long list of things I’ve always wanted to do. In November of 2011, I heard about a 30-day challenge to write a novel (NaNoWriMo) and decided, on a whim, to take the challenge. 30 days later, I had written a novel.

Now, I’m not saying that I wrote the next Great American Novel in 30 days (though, you can’t prove I didn’t). The point of the challenge wasn’t to write the most poignant prose ever penned (again, you can’t prove it wasn’t), the point was to endeavor to do something I never thought I could. My completion of NaNoWriMo was an important breakthrough for me. I realized that I could make time for anything if I made it a priority. I also shed layers of self-doubt that had been plaguing me for years.

The following November (2012), I wanted to simulate the momentum and motivation I had during NaNoWriMo, only I wanted to do something a little different. Instead of writing another novel, I decided that during the month of November, I would write 1,000 words every day.

The best part about NaNoWriMo was knowing that I wasn’t alone. So, for my new November goal, I decided to recruit a few other friends to join me, because misery loves company. I called our challenge No Excuses November, and shouted my commitment from the rooftops (ok, Facebook). But, an interesting thing happened.

Throughout the day, I began receiving emails from friends, family members and people I didn’t even know asking if they could join No Excuses November. It seemed they all had something they wanted to do or change. Suddenly, No Excuses November wasn’t about my goals anymore, it was about coming together to accomplish our own separate goals.

Last year, over 70 people participated in No Excuses November (or “NoExNo,” as we came to call it). This year, I think we can do even better than that.

What is the one thing you continue to make excuses for not accomplishing? Do you want to eat healthier? Do you want to get back into painting? Do you want to finally stop pretending you actually read Crime and Punishment (you’re not fooling anyone)?

What is that thing you’ve been meaning to do? You’re probably thinking of it right now.

Instead of letting that idea float around in your head, why don’t you join us this month and take a stab at training for a 5k, finally updating your resume, or learning to surf? Life is short.

In reality, we get busy and it’s not always possible to accomplish all that what we want to. But if we commit to something for a month, what if we learn that it’s not so hard to get that gym workout in everyday, after all?

If you join us this year for No Excuses November, I can’t promise that you’ll be successful, but I think you’ll learn a lot about yourself. It’s amazing how inspiring it is to watch others accomplish their goals.

Do you think you have what it takes? Join us! All you have to do is start something.



Guest blogger Allison Baker is a marketing director, writer, career procrastinator and the founder of No Excuses November. You can find more of her herehere, andhere.

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