How to Succeed at NoExNo Without Even Dying


We’re 5 days into November, which probably means you are thinking (panicking) about how you will conquer your goal(s) before month’s end. If you’re anything like me (severely lacking motivation without structure), you may be trying to figure out the best strategy to ensure that on November 30th, you can confidently give yourself a pat on the back for completing your goal.

To make sure we all cross the finish line together, here are some of my tips for fool-proofing your NoExNo success:

Refine your goal.

I encourage you to make your goal as specific as you can. For example, if your goal is to “eat healthier,” try modifying it to something easier to keep track of, like “I will only eat whole foods,” or “I will not eat refined sugars.” The more specific you are, the more confident you will be that you have reached your goal.

One of my NoExNo goals is to “finish the Warm + Fuzzy Project.” For me, this means that I will write and send warm + fuzzy notes to the 60+ people who signed up to receive them this year. When I send off the last warm + fuzzy note, I will know that I have completed my NoExNo goal.*

Make your goal quantifiable.

Along the same lines, make your goal quantifiable, if possible. Last year, it was easy to know if I had completed my goal because my goal was to write 1,000 words every day. If your goal is something along the lines of “work out more,” “sleep more,” or “read more,” consider modifying your goal to make it easier to keep track of. How many minutes of exercise will you complete per week? How many hours of sleep per night will you get? How many books will you read? It’s much easier to throw in the towel if you can’t be confident every day that you are doing something to meet your goal.

Give yourself a plan of attack.

Once you have a clear idea of what it means to complete your goal, you can create a plan to accomplish it. For me, this means setting a daily or weekly goal to accomplish. In order to meet my goal, I have decided to complete 15 warm + fuzzy notes on a weekly basis. This may look different for you. Unless your goal is to help me complete mine, in which case: I love you.

If you want to complete a project, how will you make progress toward its completion?

Don’t be afraid to refine and modify your goal. If I learned anything last year, it’s that our goals were dynamic. They took on lives of their own. While I originally set out last year to complete a screenplay, I ended up starting entirely new projects and contributing Pep Talks to NoExNo. I invite you to be flexible and forgiving with yourself when you don’t meet your goal just as you planned. You can change your goal if you need to.

Good luck, NoExNos!

 * you can make my goal even more challenging by signing up to receive a warm + fuzzy note.


Allison Baker is a content marketer, novice improviser, and expert bourbon connoisseur. She is the founder of No Excuses November and is a very skilled procrastinator.

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