We are pleased to feature participants in this year’s NO-vember effort who have taken the time to share some of their goals and successes here. So, please read their stories and be inspired!
November, for me, was about discipline. I set out to improve upon both my physical and mental health this November. I seem to go through periods of intense focus, when I am drinking enough water, exercising regularly, and making the time to plan and prepare meals, and then (longer) periods when my focus is shot. Of course I sleep, feel, and think much better when I am active and sticking to a plan to make the healthiest choices, but it’s so difficult to restart once I miss a day or two, and then I spend weeks (or months!) upset with myself for not having the time or discipline to start again. In November, I made a conscious effort to get outside when the weather was nice; I set up a treadmill in my bedroom so that I’d see and use it every day; I bookmarked my favorite online workouts at the top of my browser so I’d see and click them often; and I made the time to plan ahead so that I had ingredients on hand and could prepare the healthiest meals.
Also, outside of my job at Webster, I am a working writer, and since finishing an intense MFA program last summer and telling myself I deserved a “short” break, I’d been out of the habit of sitting down at my writing desk every day after putting in full days at Webster. For a creative writer, not-writing for long periods of time becomes sort of a torturous state of existence. So this November I committed to National Novel Writing Month, which is basically a beast of a writing commitment, wherein participants commit to completing the first (usually very sloppy) draft of a 50,000+ word novel. Every few years I’ve signed up to do NaNoWriMo, even though I’ve only ever been able to finish an entire first draft of a 50,000-word novel one of those years. Still, the public commitment to complete such a huge project in a span of 30 days is a great motivator to jump-start my creative habits and restore the discipline it takes to sit down every single day and make the time to write. After all, 2000 words a day aren’t going to write themselves! I did not finish a new draft this November, but I wrote much, much more than I would have had I not committed to the project, and in the process of sitting down to write more often, I began thinking of other new projects I’d like to begin.
— Tanya Seale, Administrative Assistant, Enrollment Management