It’s going to be an interesting (and busy) November and December.

I recently reviewed a list of all of the non-work projects I currently have underway, with the hope of dropping (or at the very least deferring) some of them. After that exercise, I was still left with an overly ambitious set of goals I hope to accomplish before the end of 2009, all on top of the usual background noise of my day job and my on-again-off-again health.

Late in the officeThe challenge is that there are too many important things that must get done. Things whose time has come. Things that I’m not willing to give up on, and can no longer delay.

Major Project #1: Raise funds to cure Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis
October 19 was recommitment for the Las Vegas Half Marathon for Team Challenge. What that means is that I’m now committed to run 13.1 miles on December 6 and raise at least $4,000 to help fund research and other vital programs to beat Crohn’s and colitis. This is my third half marathon for this cause, and although progress is being made by the researchers and medical experts, there still is no cure. So I keep running.1 And despite what my body (and my own Crohn’s disease) tells me, I’ll continue running until we beat this thing. If you’d like to help this effort, please visit my Team Challenge donation page.

Major Project #2: Participate in and successfully complete my first NaNoWriMo2
It’s been 24 years (!) since my works of fiction were last published, two science fiction short stories.3 To be honest, I never expected to be 20+ years into my adult life without having established myself as an author. To return to “published” status, I need to start restoring my writing muscles and get back in my college habit of writing 1,000 words of fiction each day. NaNoWriMo is a convenient opportunity to re-establish my old writing habits and take that first step back toward publication.

Major Project #3: Secret Project X
Hey, it’s a “secret project” so I can’t say much about it at this time. In the meantime, however, I am documenting the experience so I can share some cool stories and information with you once it’s moved beyond the secret stage.

So what’s my point sharing all of this?

Sometimes there are multiple goals that a person refuses to give up, and occasionally all those goals come calling at once. So you do everything you can, tap all your resources, burn the midnight oil, call in some favors, and do everything in your power to make it all happen. Because what’s the point if you can’t make a difference (help fund the cure for Crohn’s), achieve a personal dream (become a regularly published author) and do something for the future (Secret Project X)?

What are the projects and goals that have called to you, and that you couldn’t push off until next year or later? And how did you succeed? Please share your stories.


  1. For the record, in addition to running I am also a donor. During the last twelve months alone, I’ve donated over $3,000 of my own money toward vital Crohn’s and colitis research projects. []
  2. National Novel Writing Month — Participants commit to writing a 50,000 word novel during the month of November. []
  3. A Gift from the Forest” and “False Spring” both were published in literary magazines in 1985. []

By Kevin A. Barnes

I am a writer, marketing practitioner and astronomer-in-training. My interests include science, technology and the future of just about everything. You can learn more from my Bio page.

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