No Excuses November: An Introduction

Welcome to No Excuses November. Today is the day. You have committed to a goal, whether big or small, and you are excited and possibly scared as all heck that you won’t accomplish that goal. Just me? Cool. Remember this excitement and resolve you have today because it will most certainly not be with you this entire month. Just kidding. But seriously.

Here’s what you need to know:

What is No Excuses November?

No Excuses November is a month-long (30 days, to be exact) project wherein a group of ambitious and excellent individuals (that’s us) pick a goal for ourselves to accomplish during the month of November.

Why No Excuses November?

As many of you know, I did NaNoWriMo last year and wrote a novel in 30 days. Many people asked me why I was doing it. Why would I write a novel in 30 days? Did I expect it to be any good? But they were missing the point. I didn’t set out to write a novel in a month because I thought it would be the Great American Novel (though you can’t prove it isn’t). I did it because I had always wanted to write a novel, but I was afraid to start because I was afraid it would be bad, that I would never finish it, that I didn’t have any good ideas. Excuses, excuses.

But guess what? I DID IT. 50,000 words in 30 days. It wasn’t easy, but I did it.

I loved NaNoWriMo because it pushed me. But this year I had different things I wanted to work on. That’s how No Excuses November was born. I wanted to simulate the motivation and accountability NaNoWriMo provided without the novel-writing bit.

Another lesson I took away from NaNoWriMo was that it is incredibly motivating to know that thousands of people are doing the same thing as you, and are probably struggling just as much. Most importantly, it’s motivating to know that you’ve told people about your goal and you really really really don’t want to have to tell them you bailed on it. This is where you come in.

YOUR No Excuses November

I think YOU can achieve your goals too. That’s what No Excuses November is all about. I hope that you will take away from this the knowledge that you can do something that seems scary and impossible (like giving up television, for example).

No Excuses November is meant to be the flame under your a$$ that pushes you into action. Because fire on your bum hurts.

Now, not all of you are writers. That’s awesome. Each one of you has made (or will make) a goal for this month that you want to accomplish, whether it’s going to the gym, spending time volunteering, or being nicer to that one guy at work who picks his nose at his desk. No goal is too small for No Excuses November!

Since not all goals may be quantifiable (e.g. eat healthier), you will be responsible for knowing just what it means to have achieved your goal. I do encourage making a quantifiable goal though, just so you know when you’ve done it! I won’t police you, but know that the Monsters of Unaccomplished Goals will haunt you in your sleep.

As you set out to participate in No Excuses November, it’s important to remember that it’s okay to fail. Maybe you didn’t make it to the gym like you planned. Maybe Starbucks ran out of your favorite coffee and you failed to finish that last page. It’s okay. It’s easy to give up after slip-ups after you think to yourself, “I can’t do this after all.” I think the most important thing you can learn from this project is persistence. To carry on when you think you can’t. Or something deep like that.

OUR No Excuses November

This is the first year of No Excuses November, and who knows, maybe we’ll do it every year. Maybe never again. But just know that I am proud of each and every one of you for joining me this month. Believe me, I need you more than you need me.

My goal: I will write 4 pages every day in November.

If you want to, feel free to email me your goal(s). Or not. You can keep them to yourself if you want. I will be checking up on you every so often this month, but know that I will be counting these emails toward my writing goal. Also feel free to forward this to friends, enemies, lovers, anyone you think may want to suffer– I mean, *accomplish goals* with us!

You are spectacular and wonderful people who are capable of great things, and don’t you forget it!

To no excuses!

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