What I’ve Learned About Accomplishing Goals by Taking My Clothes Off for Money [Katja Gee]


Although my NoExNo goal is writing-related every year, my day job is very different from the written word.  I actually work as an art nude model.  This means that I pose for sculptures, paintings, and photographs for everything from gallery exhibits to coffee table books.  I’ve even posed for a life-sized bronze fountain, as well as underwater.

There are a few things that I’ve learned from making a living naked that seem to apply to just about everything else I want to accomplish.  I’m hoping they’ll help me get through my NoExNo writing goal this year as well.

“Fun is doing difficult things well.”

 This is probably one of my favorite quotes of all time.  It’s from a local artist and teacher whose classes I pose for.  She says it every time someone is struggling with a drawing and wants to quit.  Fun is doing difficult things well, she’ll say, and art is hard.  But it’s worth it.

I feel like it’s the same thing with NoExNo: just like making art, setting and following through on a goal is hard.  But it’s also fun.

Just show up.

 Like making art, modeling is hard (and fun).  Although it may sound glamorous to lounge around naked all day, it actually takes a lot of skill and a pretty high pain tolerance.  When I’m posing for a painting or sculpture, I have to stay in the same pose for up to three hours at a time.  When I’m posing for photographers on location, I’m often scratched and bruised from climbing rocks and trees.  And it’s always cold: I’ve had hypothermia twice from modeling outdoors in the winter.

But do you know where most new models fail?  It’s not posing for long periods of time, or even withstanding the elements.  It’s just showing up.

After having worked with several new models, I’ve noticed that more of them flake on their first gig than actually pose.  I can understand why; modeling can be intimidating.  I had terrible stage fright the first time I stepped onto a modeling stand in front of twenty artists and took off my robe.  But the experience was absolutely worth it. I would have never known how much I enjoyed modeling, despite the pain and hard work, if I had never shown up and tried it.

Goals are the same way.  I’ve never failed a goal because I wasn’t skilled enough or tough enough.  I fail because I don’t show up and try to do it.  If you show up for your goal, you’re going to be ahead of the pack.

No apologies.

I love my job.  But let’s admit it: it’s a little weird.  People look at me strangely when they ask what I do for a living.  Some of them are even offended by my art.

I used to apologize to these people, but I quickly noticed that if I apologized to someone who was upset by my art, they would take it as an admission of guilt.  It was only further proof to them that what I was doing was wrong.

I eventually learned that some people would love my art, while others would be scandalized by it.  And no matter what I said on the subject, I wouldn’t change their minds on whether it was right or wrong.  So instead, I learned to not apologize, and to love my work for all its weird, cool glory.

In the same way, don’t apologize for your dreams and goals—not even to yourself.  Some people are going to understand what you want to accomplish, but not all of them.  And that’s okay; you don’t have to justify yourself.  Just get out there, show up, and have some fun!

Katja_Implied Nude-2e_LRKatja Gee is a professional art nude and underwater model, pianist, tomboy, whiskey lover, and blogger. You can see naked pictures of her on Facebook, Instagram at @katja_gee, or Tumblr at @katjagee.

8 Things to Motivate You This NoExNo (and beyond!) [Missy Sparks]

1. Fresh Air


2. Hot men or hot moms (whichever floats your boat)

3. Calendars (Google, duh!)


4. Breakup songs (“Sorry” by Justin Beiber)

5. Change (in scenery or a haircut)

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6. Extremes (help you bounce back)


7. Lists, lots of lists


8. Tomorrow, I’ll be accomplished

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IMG_4765Missy Sparks is a 20-something, living the green life in the city of trees. Professionally, Ms. Sparks is a [proud] water policy geek. Leisurely, she enjoys creative DIY projects for her house or her blog, The Avian Angle. And personally, Missy enjoys spending quality time with her pug pup, Jake, and her dashingly tall partner, Will. You can find Missy out and about running half marathons, wine tasting or sipping bourbon, and volunteering in her community with the Active 20-30 Club of Greater Sacramento.

Inanimate Objects that Have Made Fewer Excuses than Me [Alison Kranz]

Last year I concluded my list of zero fucks-ness with the quip “no one’s stopping you but you.” While this is true, it can be difficult to attain.

So, for some inspiration, I’ve gathered a collection of inanimate objects that have defied stereotypes and false boundaries to go on and accomplish something no one expected they could.

This mailbox learned how to dance.


This fire hydrant grew a beard.


This fence post sharpened itself into a pencil.


This lake grew a spine.


This hose bloomed into a bouquet of flowers.


This tree turned itself upside down.


If they can do it, so can you. Here’s to a productive and successful NoExNo!

Photo cred: Haley Titus

Photo cred: Haley Titus

Alison Kranz is an editor, writer, observer, runner, and abundantly photogenic model. She likes wordplay, flânerie, typing, squares, surrealism, and consistent correspondence. You can follow her on Instagram at @alisondearest or her + some lovely ladies at @bourbonbabes

Let’s Get Social: Hashtags, Cover Photos, and Bragging Rights

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If you’re reading this now, you know that social media is a huge part of the NoExNo community. The whole reason No Excuses November even exists is because of a single Facebook post.

To honor social media’s initial role in spreading the word about NoExNo, here are some ways to maximize NoExNo with social media:

Use the No Excuses November hashtag

When you share your goal setbacks and successes on social media, make sure to use the hashtag #noexno16 so fellow participants can cheer you on and track your progress.

If you’ve participated in NoExNo before, you know the best part is getting to see what fellow NoExNos are up to.

Whether Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook is the social media platform you prefer, you can utilize the NoExNo hashtag to let your friends know what you’re setting out to accomplish in November.

Participate in the Facebook group

It was actually a fluke that we started the No Excuses November Facebook group, but it quickly became the best way for NoExNos to connect with each other. The Facebook group is the place NoExNo participants can post their progress, cry about setbacks, and brag about successes. Every year, the Facebook group takes on a different role and I can’t wait to see how you guys cheer each other on in 2016!

Change your Facebook cover photo

Speaking of Facebook, another cool way to show your commitment to your goal this month is to rep No Excuses November on your social profile.

This is just an example (from last year), but it wasn’t especially hard to make:

Allison's goal

I used Canva to make this cover photo using a free high-quality image from Pexels. You can use any photo you want (maybe your own!) and edit the design with tons of free options. For someone who isn’t especially design savvy, I found this pretty easy to use.

Share your goal with the world

I know, I know. Sharing your goals publicly can be scary. But you know what? When you share your goals with your friends, there’s a certain amount of social accountability and support that comes with it.*

If you declare on Facebook that you’re taking a Krav Maga class as your No Excuses November goal, your friends will be excited to cheer you on in your new endeavor.

The flipside is that they’ll also know if you never follow up with or complete your goal.

The threat of social embarrassment is a powerful thing, you guys. You’re more likely to follow through with your goal when you share it with other people.

After all, isn’t that why you signed up for No Excuses November?

*There’s nothing wrong with choosing to keep your goals private. I’m only recommending it because it’s really helpful for me to share my goals because it motivates me to stay on track.

Allison BakerAllison 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.