A Look Back at NoNothingNovember

I recently had an eMail exchange with the author of Goldmund Unleashed. He had some good points and primers to ask of the NoNothingNovember challenge – here are the questions and my answers.


It’s a bit early to see whether NoNothingNovember has had a long-term impact on my life (even though it has changed my life like few things before), but with a couple of days gone by, I can take a first review.

#1 – What were my biggest takeaways?

a) It took me 3 weeks to get all my vices out of my system.

While I did reward myself with some Christmas candy for completing the challenge, I am getting back into my NoNothingNovember schedule.

I just know how beneficial it is to stick to a schedule and not distract myself too much. A couple of weeks is all it takes to install a habit.

b) You gotta DO. Every day.

While I was doing NoNothingNovember, I had my journal post up every day. In general, I managed to get that done in the morning before leaving for work – 1 – 1.5 hours of time. Only now do I realize how great of a tradition that was.

I still have a “normal” day job as a researcher. Thus, I have to decide how to use my remaining time wisely. Writing 1.5 hours in the morning on a journal means less time to write about more general topics – and less time from working on the blog design.

Yet, journaling means WRITING every day. I STILL managed to write another blog post every three days.

Without that daily writing, it is tougher to get another article written. As counterintuitive as that may sound.

It almost seems that the journal posts were the “price” I have to pay to get other articles done.

Fine with me.

c) You don’t need much time to be happy. Don’t let that moment pass by.

“We overestimate what we can get done in a year, while we underestimate what we can get done in 5”.

Tony Robbins made this statement on a podcast I was listening to. That struck a chord with me.

I think one of the biggest mistakes that prevents us from getting to where we want to be is to underestimate the usefulness of small time units.

I still often think “only 15 minutes of time, can’t really do anything of what I wanted to do”. When we have big goals, we think we need a big amount of time.

The mistake here is to not see it through the lens of time. 15 minutes are still 15 minutes. They add up on the long term.

During NoNothingNovember I had no choice but to WORK towards my goals. I could not use any excuse.

That taught me to be pragmatic with the resources I had.

These points really amount to one central point.


It really does not matter how squeezed you are for time. You take what you have and build with it.

That, really, is the way to move forward.


#2 – How did I grow during this month?

The “bad” habits that prevented me from working on my goals – those were the vices I chose to get rid of during NoNothingNovember.

It was hard at first, because my mind and body ddi not want to give up instant gratification.

But once I taught myself to get rid of them, I changed my mind from short term to long term. I am now much better connected to body, mind and soul.

I have taken away the addictive junk that has buried me and can now truly move forward. I am setting my mind onto real goals.

Recently, I had a very unpleasant confrontation at work – in the past, I would have started to panic and blamed everything else but myself.

But now I can think much more clearly on how to deal with this incident – it does not change myself and my goals, It’s just a little diversion along the way.

At the end of the day, I feel a sense of accomplishment. In the past, I asked myself “where has my day gone?”. Now, I only focus on how much further I got towards my goals.


#3 – Would I do this challenge again?

Definitely. In fact, I have started to follow Victor Pride’s “30 Days of Discipline” and Robert Koch’s “Brains and Brawn”. So I am already on to the next challenge.

I find it important to have structure in my life. Otherwise, it just slips by, and before I know it, years have gone by that you never get back.

On the other hand – if you cultivate good habits, you can follow your goals without waiting for “inspiration” to strike. You are already taking the steps to make your goals a reality.

You have to be proactive to get going and pragmatic to use the resources you have.

Simple. And then, step after step, you get done what you wanted to do.

#4 – We are the choices we make. How do I make my choices?

I don’t know if I am really aware of my choices. I know the direction I want to head.

If it does not feel right where I am going, I turn around.

But other than that – I don’t try to name my desires. I lean back and wait, looking at the images my mind comes up with and decide whether I like it or not.

Up to that point, I am a passive consumer of the ideas that my subconscious mind sends to me.

And I stay as open as possible. I take up everything that happens around me.

These impressions go back into my mind.

At one point, an image appears that gives everything I like a form. That is when I make my decision.

So you can say the way I “listen to my gut” when making decisions.

I don’t work on a plan, writing out pluses and minuses and weighing each factor with a number. I trust that my subconscious mind will come up with the best baseline for my decisions.

Then, once I see an opportunity that fits with what my mind has conjured, I make the decision.

The only disadvantage of this decision process is that you could be more easily influenced by your environment and not really do what YOU want to do.

That’s why getting into the “manosphere” and working on myself was so important for me – because it helped me develop the courage to stand up for myself and do what I really want.

Check out “Great Resources” within the left column. They are full of advice helping us to become stronger.

For an overview about my NoNothingNovember challenge, check http://lifesciencementor.com/nonothingnovember/.