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13 Tips To Create A Viral Blog – Joshua Becker

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One of my favourite types of people to interview is other bloggers who have had a worldwide impact. A person who fits this category perfectly is Joshua Becker from the blog Becoming Minimalist. His blog gets more than 2.2 million views a month, and he has gone on to be a best-selling author.

Before getting into the topic for our interview, I asked Joshua if he started out thinking of himself as a writer or blogger. His reply to me was “definitely not Tim.” He started his blog because he wanted to journal his family’s transition from middle class America into minimalism.

It’s this very distinction, that I believe after talking with Joshua, made him so successful at blogging. Many people start a blog to become millionaires or attract lots of people, but like Joshua, my reason and his reason for blogging are totally different to the traditional approach.

Both of us believe the following statement about successful blogging; if you’re starting a blog to have lots of social media followers and make heaps of money then quit now – you will fail!

The following thirteen tips are what Joshua told me you need to start a viral blog just like his.

 

1. Add viral elements to every post

It’s no secret that lists posts (like this very article) are a key element to viral blogs. List posts tell the reader what to look for, what to expect and allow them to skim to the points of post that are most relevant to them.

The other element is that your headlines must engage the reader right from the start. Joshua told me that your headline needs to offer a promise of some sort. What can you guarantee by the end of the article to the reader if they invest the time in reading what you have to say? Titles that offer this promise and then deliver on it by the end of the post are the ones that are most shareable.

Having said all of that, Joshua says that often the posts you write at the last minute with the least amount of planning, end up being the most successful – this has been true for me as well.

 

2. Flip the perspective of your writing

If there was another defining moment in my interview with Joshua it was this one; if you want people to start reading your articles then flip the perspective of your writing from being about you, to being about helpful advice that can help your audience.

For the first two years, Joshua blogged in relative obscurity. At the start Joshua was writing what he calls very “me centred content” about what he was doing each day in his niche of minimalism. About two years in Joshua decided to change his blogging and write articles that could help another person.

As an example, a simple article about how he was getting rid of his clothes, turned into how someone else could get rid of some of their clothes – same topic, different perspective.

 

3. Destroy the belief that blogging is dead

When Joshua was starting his WordPress blog everyone was saying that blogging was dead. Even now, seven years on, he says that people are still saying that blogging is dead. According to Joshua, the truth is that blogging is more relevant than ever.

The common misconception is that social media has replaced the need for blogs. In reality, blogging provides a totally different opportunity that social media does not. With social media sites like Facebook, you can’t have longer form conversations with readers.

Most users on these sites are scrolling through on their mobile phone and are not interested in sitting down and reading something. On social media, the behaviour is more about reading the first paragraph of something and then scrolling onto the next post.

With a social media platform it’s not your space whereas with a blog you can set the tone, theme, culture and design of everything from the buttons to the sidebar.  If you look at Joshua’s blog, it’s all about minimalism and the layout of his blog follows the same theme. It would be impossible to try and replicate this format on social media from scratch.

Joshua Becker Social Media Blog Quote
 

4. Define the success of your blog early

Another successful attribute of Joshua’s blog is that he defined what success looked like early on. As I said earlier, you can’t just tell yourself you want to build a following and then start blogging. The outcome of Joshua’s blog was to journal about his family so this kept him motivated.

For your own blog, success might be, achieving a goal that you are working hard for, or documenting your life’s work (this is one of mine). These are real goals and they are very achievable. If you define success as something like money or the number of followers, then you won’t be able to stay motivated.

In Joshua’s case, he blogged for almost 18 months with no one reading. Is your blogging goal strong enough to do the same? If not, then now’s your chance to redefine it.

 

5. Use some beginner tools to attract readers

One of the most common questions that all successful bloggers like Joshua get asked is “how do I build traffic from nothing?” I asked the same question to Joshua and he told me that it’s about the little things.

When you create a blog post on wordpress you get the option to add tags. This simple tool is how people found him in the early days. Once Joshua had a few posts on the site, he then shared new posts on Facebook with family and friends

He then began leaving comments on other people’s blogs that were in the same niche so that people could click his name and find his blog. The next step was to email other bloggers and let them know that he was writing in a similar field to them. After that, he began sharing their work on his blog.

When he wrote an article that was relevant to something on another bloggers site, he would link out to it in his post. Surprise, surprise, other bloggers started returning the favour and doing the same for him.

The final step he took was to have a few guest posts a couple of times a month from other bloggers. That meant that the guest blogger got exposure to Joshua’s audience and vice versa. So that’s how Joshua built traffic early on. It’s pretty simple and something that anyone could do right?

 

6. Blog 2-3 times per week (it’s been tested)

At the start of Joshua’s blogging career he tried to write posts every single day.  By trying to achieve this difficult goal Joshua found that his posts were very short and rushed because he was trying to write something new every single day.

He ended up cutting back and writing three times a week instead. In reality, no one is coming to your website every single day so you shouldn’t feel like you need to publish something new every day. By cutting back to three times a week Joshua found that he had longer, better quality posts.

These posts were being enjoyed more and better still, they were being shared a lot more than before. After a year of blogging three times a week, Joshua cut down to writing two times per week. The level of quality in his posts got even better and they begun getting shared even more.

Joshua did try blogging only once per week but he found that his blog numbers started to decrease and that once per week was not enough. So there you have it, the blogging frequency myth has been demystified for you and you now know how many times per week you need to write to have success.

 

7. Find the time away from distractions

I asked Joshua during our interview what the basics were that someone needed to blog. His reply was that you need a topic you are passionate about, a platform to publish your writing on and the time to write.

Joshua said to me that the last one (time) is the most important because finding the time to blog and making the commitment to do it is the real challenge. The easiest way to find time is to stop watching TV and write instead!

Distractions are another part of the time component. Try writing in 45-60 minute blocks and you will find that you can write for longer. If social media is another distraction for you then do what Joshua does and use some software, like Ommwriter to block out distractions.

Having the time is one thing but consider what time of the day you write best. For Joshua and I, we both write best in the morning. Ask yourself, what time do you write best?

 

8. Think carefully about the number of words

Word count is all about training your audience to expect a certain number of words. For Joshua, he typically writes 600-900 works, which works best for his site’s audience. Bloggers like Seth Godin write very short posts of 200 words or less, but the quality of the content is very high and his audience are trained for his short bursts of brilliance

Other well-known bloggers like James Clear tend to write longer posts and again, the audience have come to expect this from him.  If you can combine the way you write with how long your audience want to read you will have the optimal word count.

 

9. Find a relevant photo

Given the type of blog that Joshua has, photos are not as relevant as maybe some other sites. Needless to say, Joshua still thinks that the photo matters. He says that you need to find a photo that loosely represents what you’re talking about and is inviting.

The other point to consider is what photographers call “eye-flow.” Joshua typically looks for photos where your eyes tend to scan down as you look at it, which will lead reader’s eyes to the post text. Some websites that Joshua uses to find photos are Unsplashed, Pixabay and Minimography.

 

10. Mailing lists are about conversions – nothing else

Mailing lists are something that every blog has but Joshua has an interesting view on how to use one. He says that a lot of people offer a free eBook or free course to capture readers email addresses. The problem Joshua has with this method is that you attract hundreds of email addresses but the conversion rates on any emails you send to them in the future are crummy.

The reason for this result is quite obvious; these methods will only get you a one-time subscriber who just wanted your free product. What Joshua does is have a subscribe button at the bottom of every page and then that way he is only capturing people that have enjoyed his writing and want to know when there is new content.

The other point that Joshua raised was that you should avoid having annoying pop-ups on your site trying to force people to subscribe. His view is that you put a subscribe box where it can be found, but don’t jam it down the readers throat.

 

11. Be patient your tipping point will come

As you can see from Joshua’s story so far, patience is a big part of blogging. If you do it for the right reasons and you’re patient, your tipping point will come. There were two very clear tipping points for Joshua where his blog traffic started dramatically increasing.

The first one was when Leo Babauta from Zen Habits wrote a blog about minimalism and referenced Joshua’s site as a good blog to read on the subject – this sent a lot of traffic his way. As you can see the law of reciprocity is at work again (there is a reason we harp on about this on Addicted2Success).

The second part of Joshua’s tipping point was when he made the clever decision two years in to take all the major posts from his blog and turn them into an eBook. This eBook became a way for Joshua to reach out to other blogs and say, “hey I just wrote this eBook, if you want to check it out or send people to it then here it is.”

After both of these events occurred, Joshua discovered that Facebook was well suited to his theme and he began sharing his posts on there, which saw his numbers increase further.

 

12. Monetise your blog (Joshua’s formula)

Before I go into this point I need to make it clear that this is Joshua’s formula so it doesn’t mean you need to follow this exact method. So what you’re all wondering is how did he quit he job and make money fro his blogging?

Your beliefs form a big part of your monetisation strategy. For Joshua, he has never had any advertising or Google Adsense on his blog. He believes that advertising on a website is merely selling a readers attention and he wants his readers attention on what he is writing, not on ads.

All of Joshua’s income comes from book sales and Amazon affiliate links for books he has recommended to his readers. Even though Joshua makes a lot of his money from book sales, he says “it’s easy for people to see a book on the New York Times bestseller list and think wow I wish I could be that lucky.”

This thought often occurs without really understanding how many late nights, early mornings and vacations were sacrificed to write the book.  For this monetisation model to work, he has learnt that the only way is to self-publish his books because traditional publishers will pay fairly small royalties.

The places he recommends to self-publish books are Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, iBooks and Kobo Books (good for international sales). To publish your book on these sites you will need to have your Word Document converted into the various file formats. Joshua uses 5JDesign to do this process.

Once you have the different file formats, you can just go to each website yourself and upload the book, write a description, upload your cover and set price. These tasks will take you an afternoon to do yourself.

While PDF books are not as common anymore, there are sites like eJunkie where you can set up affiliates to help sell your book. Joshua sold one of his early books for $10 and gave the affiliate a very generous $5 for each sale they helped him make.

The other reason to have a PDF version of your book is so you can send it to other bloggers who might be interested in it for free. To be successful at this, you have to have the mindset that you will lose one sale, but that the blogger who gets your book will help you make many more sales.

Some other sites that Joshua has used to sell PDF books through are Smash Words and Gumroad.

Joshua Becker - Author Quote - Becoming Minimalist
 

13. Build more traffic by promoting your book

Just publishing a book will help your blog traffic a bit, but Joshua recommends that you take it further by promoting your book using some of the simple tips he has used.

As I mentioned in the previous tip, offer the book free to bloggers but make sure you insist on a review from them that they put on their own site.  You should also find yourself a team of readers to read your book in exchange for leaving a review on Amazon (the reviews are honest so you don’t know what you will get).

Get into the mindset that the more free books you send out, the more reviews you will get, and the more people you will have talking about your book.

To find the team of readers Joshua suggests you do a blog post and say, “hey I’m looking for 50 people to read my book, leave your email address here if you’re keen.” You can then use a simple WordPress contact form to capture the email addresses or use something like Mailchimp to link to your WordPress blog.

If you’re mailing list is big enough, you could send an email out to your database with the same message instead of doing a blog post or do both.

If you’re blog has a very small audience then websites like GoodReads are another great place to post your book. Experimenting with “Sponsored Facebook Posts” is another way you could promote your book. Don’t be afraid to also jump on Twitter and let people know and ask them to retweet it for you.

“The marketing of a book doesn’t start the week before it comes out or even months in advance. Ideally, it should start years in advance where you have been helping other writers, promoting other people’s books, and being a cheerleader and supporter for them. If you have done this then, you will have some strong supporters at the start of the book launch”

***Final Thought***

 So you now have all the tips you need to go off and start your own blog. I hope that you’re inspired and please share your blog creation with me once you get going.

Joshua’s Favourite Book – More Or Less by Jeff Shinabarger

Joshua’s Favourite Quote – “In every encounter we either give life or we drain it; there is no neutral exchange.” – Brennan Manning

If you got value from Joshua’s blogging advice, then I strongly encourage you to check out his new not for profit organisation The Hope Effect that is going to change orphan care around the world.

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared hundreds of thousands of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around success, personal development, motivation, and entrepreneurship. During the day Tim works with the most iconic tech companies in the world, as an adviser, to assist them in expanding into Australia. By night, Tim coaches his students on the principles of personal development and the fundamentals of entrepreneurship. You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net

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12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Evan

    Dec 24, 2015 at 9:07 am

    Hey Tim!

    Great article, studying someone who’s got in-depth experience from supplementing his income with blogging and gathering the most valuable lessons from it.

    This post has been super helpful for me since I’m writing for the benefit of other people too and growing an audience of success-chasers. There are great tips for lifting other people up and supporting their movements while you build your own!

    Thanks!

    – Evan

    • Tim Denning

      Dec 30, 2015 at 2:22 am

      Thanks Evan. I also learnt a lot of Joshua and his tips were really clear and simple for any blogger to follow. I hope you use them to grow the reach you are looking for on your own site. Cheers

  2. Doug

    Nov 1, 2015 at 4:47 am

    Great article Tim! A theme I picked up on throughout was that of patience and persistence… necessary things to hear for a new blogger such as myself. Thanks for the good read!

    • Tim Denning

      Nov 2, 2015 at 10:27 pm

      Thanks so much Doug. When talking to Joshua I also got the same theme which is that you just need patience. If your writing is good then even if you’re niche is done to death it doesn’t matter because you can provide a fresh take on what already exists. Best of luck with your blogging Doug.

  3. Ifeanyichukwu Miracle

    Oct 31, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    Thanks so much. Am inspired by this article to start off. Please Joshua i will need more help, more on step by step involved. To blog has been my hunger and dreams. I’m very excited to meet this post this night. God bless you.

    • Tim Denning

      Nov 2, 2015 at 10:25 pm

      Thanks for your comment. My advice and Joshua’s advice is just go for it and write about your passion. Let us know how you go.

  4. Esther Mellar

    Oct 31, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    Hi Tim,

    Thank you for advising me to read this article, it is very helpful. I also heard saying that writing a blog today without readers is like talking in an empty room, therefore it is advised to have some followers already before staring a blog. What are your thoughts about this?

    Cheers,

    Esther

    • Tim Denning

      Oct 31, 2015 at 8:08 pm

      Hi Esther, I personally don’t think you need any followers to start a blog. Organically through Google and WordPress you will pickup a few by tagging topics in your post. Once you have even one person reading your posts, all it takes is for you to write amazing content and that one person will share it with everybody else. The focus should never be how many followers you have, it always should be about the quality of the content. I would also argue that everybody has an audience already. People like yourself have at least 100 friends on Facebook and Twitter right? So you have followers already. You have to be prepared to do what Joshua did and write because you love it not because you are trying to get followers. If the content is good, the followers will come. Tim

  5. Stephen Osoko

    Oct 30, 2015 at 8:49 pm

    This was a truly helpful article for me.

    I also have a personal development blog and am very passionate about it.

    • Tim Denning

      Oct 31, 2015 at 8:31 am

      Thanks Stephen for reading. Best of luck with your blog and I hope we can give you some inspiration.

  6. Brad DeVore

    Oct 30, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    Great article Tim! A solid checklist to determine why a blog isn’t thriving. This post also delivered all the sources to cut research time in half for publishing a book. Thanks for the value! -Brad

    • Tim Denning

      Oct 30, 2015 at 9:27 pm

      Thanks Brad and glad you liked the article. Joshua is very switched on and gave me so many tips that I hadn’t thought of before.

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Success Advice

2 Secret Roads to Success – Why Some People Have It All and How You Can Too

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Have you wondered how some people seem to have it all – the 6-figure pay check, a healthy and fit body and amazing relationships? On the other hand, others are successful in one aspect of our lives (perhaps we are happy with our careers) but there’s always something that’s missing – that strong body, that perfect someone or living a meaningful life.

I’ve personally experienced having a successful career but failed at having a healthy and strong body. When I finally succeeded at getting and staying healthy, I realized that there are two completely different approaches, both of which need to be mastered to find success in life – the goal-driven approach and the process-driven approach.

The Goal-Driven Approach

A goal-driven approach is one in which our goals themselves, are sufficient to motivate us to act until we achieve them. This works well for:

  1. Short-term goals lasting a few days or a few weeks, where we can see the end in sight and push ourselves to get there.
  2. Goals that are usually within or just outside our comfort zone.
  3. Goals that have some certainty of success at the end. For example, working overnight and acing the client presentation the next morning makes us feel proud of our achievement and gets us recognition from our boss.

This approach inherently rewards speed, agility and short bursts of intense work. We end up relying on quick wins or successes which make the task worth it and help us feel motivated to achieve our goals.

Most of us are very adept at using this approach because we’ve grown up in environments, traditional education and companies, which operate this way. Schools and universities set exams and corporate jobs require us to complete tasks upon which we get good grades or promotions.

When the Goal-Driven Approach Doesn’t Work

What a goal-driven approach doesn’t teach us though is how to approach long-term goals like staying healthy, having meaningful relationships or building our careers around our purpose in life.

  1. These goals are usually so big and so long-term that we don’t fully understand all the steps to reach them.
  2. They don’t have any immediate reward associated with them so our motivation to chase them decreases after the initial burst of inspiration. For example, it’s impossible to lose weight and keep it off by just eating healthy for a week.
  3. Because they are so long-term, any future action of ours can completely wipe out the gains made in the beginning of the process which is even more de-motivating. For example, a week of eating healthy can be wiped out by one night of bingeing.
  4. There is also no artificial sense of urgency like deadlines -so we need to find the motivation internally to engage in the task every day. If we ever try to impose timelines on these tasks, it only stresses us out and we compensate by completely sabotaging ourselves like eating an entire pack of cookies one fine night exhausted from a week of eating too little.

“If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.” – Yogi Berra

The Process-Driven Approach

The process-driven approach breaks down our big goals into minute goals and creates a habit to execute these minute goals regularly.

Putting such a habit into place is simple. Just follow these four steps:

  1. Break down your big vision into multiple long-term goals all of which have to work together to make your big vision come true. For example, for your big goal of feeling healthy and fit, you may break it down into eating healthier, exercising regularly and sleeping more.
  2. Pick one of the goals to focus on, ideally the one you think will have the biggest payoff.
  3. Break this goal down into a series of simple activities that you can do without much effort. For example, let’s say you picked eating healthier as your priority goal. One of the activities that might be sabotaging you is your regular McDonald’s dinner on the way back from work. A simple activity that can replace this is to stop driving by McDonald’s if it’s triggering your craving and take a different route back home instead.  This might take a little bit of willpower on the first day but as you get used to the new route over a couple of weeks, it’ll become an automatic habit.
  4. Once the first activity feels like a normal part of your day, stack on the second activity and so on. Similarly, once you’ve achieved the first goal, stack on the second, third and remaining goals to reach your long-term vision.

How to Succeed with the Process-Driven Approach

Though this seems simple in theory, there are two emotional and mindset changes needed to succeed with this method.

The first is to be patient – instead of focusing on the big shiny dream, measure progress against the habit that you’re trying to cultivate. Accept that seeing the big vision come true takes months and sometimes years. Our biggest Achilles heel is impatience and while this works well in academia and work, it backfires in building health and relationships because we end up taking short cuts that harm us long term.

The second is to build rewards into your process – Having rewards is the best way to motivate ourselves and makes our mini-habits easier to stick to. For example, if you don’t eat at McDonald’s then your reward could be having a spa massage at the end of the week.

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” – Thomas Jefferson

Find The Right Balance

At the end of the day, we need to master both goal-driven and process-driven approaches to succeed. Use the goal-driven approach for short-term goals or when you need a burst of energy to push you through a task. Use the process-driven approach for long-term lifestyle change journeys such as getting healthier, having more meaningful relationships or pursuing a career that resonates with your purpose in life. In this way, you too can soon be the person who seems to magically “have it all”.

What are you doing today to reach success later on? Let us know your tips in the comments below!

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Success Advice

You Don’t Have To Listen To Every Bit Of Career Feedback. Some People Just Don’t Get You And That’s Fine!

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I recently got rejected from what I thought was a fantastic career opportunity. I was told that I was “Not entrepreneurial enough.”

Those that know me well know that it’s probably one of the few things I’m good at. Many of my mentors who I told this story to laughed out loud.

These three words were career feedback and I was always led to believe that to ignore this feedback would be ignorant and stupid.

I pondered that thought for a few days and then had a revelation: “I don’t have to listen to every bit of feedback I get.”

 

Pissed off is a natural first reaction.

That’s how I felt after someone told me I was crap at the very thing I love and have dedicated most of my time to. Our brain wants to be angry and fight back. Our first reaction, though, is often not what we should pay attention to.

“Empty space and time to reflect is how we process career feedback for what it really is: an opinion”

Don’t let your first reaction dominate how you think about the feedback. Maturity that can come at any age will show you to question everything – even your reaction.

 

Some people just don’t get you.

You’re not their type, they don’t like you, you speak a different language or you may have different values. Not everyone is going to get you and what you stand for and that’s okay. In my case, I didn’t connect.

Buying into the circus that is me is not for everyone. If you don’t like vulnerability or breaking comfort zones, then you probably won’t like me.

If you’re not obsessed with big goals, doing the impossible and trying to improve just a little bit every day, then you probably won’t like me.

That’s okay and I forgive you. I don’t have all the answers and I’m far from perfect – like the rest of us.

Learn to accept that some people will never get you and what you’re about.

That realization is how we overcome career feedback that we may not agree with.

 

Sometimes it’s any excuse. The real answer is something different.

Feedback can be disguised by the truth. The truth is maybe there was someone else the whole time and I never had a chance at this career opportunity. Maybe it wasn’t me at all.

Sometimes feedback is given because the real reason is much harder to deliver. It’s not easy to say “Tim, thanks but we hired someone else and you were never in the running.”

Admitting you never even had a chance is something many of us would never want to say. Being brutally honest takes courage, and courage is not everyone’s kind of kebab with garlic sauce on top, sprinkles and chili flakes.

 

We all get rejected.

I nearly forgot this fact. Everyone gets rejected. In fact, right now, someone is being rejected.

Rejection is not limited to you and me; learning to deal with it will only help us, not hinder our ability to achieve success in any field.

“We’ve all got 99 problems and thinking you’re special will only create more pointless thoughts that won’t serve you or your goals”

 

You’re responsible.

The thing about career feedback is that you have to take responsibility. Maybe in my case, I didn’t deliver the message of how obsessed and skilled I am at entrepreneurship. Maybe I could have done a better job at explaining my entrepreneurial background and passion.

It’s highly likely that I am entrepreneurial enough for this career opportunity and that it’s not a lack of skill at play here but a lack of effective communication.

“Responsibility always trumps the blame game and it helps us grow more as a person”

 

There’s always one lesson.

Mine was to develop more skills in strategy.

Let’s stop for one second: I hate the word strategy. The other career feedback I got was to do more strategy yet that’s not a skill of mine and I have no desire to do lots of that in my career.

The key here is that there’s always a lesson from all feedback and it might not be the intended lesson that the giver left you with.

There’s either a great lesson in the feedback or a reminder in the feedback of what you stand for. Don’t let any feedback compromise your values and who you are.

 

You are good enough.

You just have to believe in yourself and eventually, the right opportunity will find you.

Don’t give up your hopes and dreams because of one rejection. Interrupt the story in your head that plays on repeat and focuses on anger towards another person.

Replace that story with thoughts of how you can do better and get to the next opportunity.

Through rejection and bad career feedback, you find your way to what you’ve always wanted. That’s the hack and it works.

I’m off to suck up the rejection and take my own advice. Much respect.

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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Success Advice

6 Important Lessons That Will Lead You to Success

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Failure is a part of life and it’s nothing to be ashamed of because the most highly successful people are the ones who have experienced failures the most in their life. The general public usually learns about people and their work when they become successful but only a handful of people know about the immense struggles that those people have gone through. Unfortunately, we do not have the stories of their failures to which we can relate our own setbacks and this is why we perceive failure to be a bad thing.

People are afraid of failure because, from a very young age, they are taught that making mistakes and being wrong is a bad thing so when a person suffers from a failure, it’s possible for that person to experience some form of depression. It is important for you to understand failure is a way for you to learn and move on from the experience. It is literally impossible to live life forever without failing at something, unless you live your life so carefully that you forget to live at all.

Here are 6 lessons that you should embrace that will change in your life:

1. Keep Your Expectations Low

When it comes to life, people often expect things like family, business, and marriage to be constant and consistent throughout the years. However, this is not the case because life is not that simple and there are always ups and downs which you need to confront.

Having low expectations is totally understandable and justifiable but having high expectations from relationships and businesses could prove to be harmful if those things don’t last forever. In addition to this, keeping your expectations low helps you accept whatever comes from the situation. High expectations tend to result in disappointment, pain, and loss, so it’s better for you to have low expectations, yet continue to work hard with what you are doing.

2. Acknowledge the Change

Most of the time, people think they may not experience change at all in their life because they are expecting things to last forever, but little do they know that change is always waiting to take place and can happen at any point in time. Acknowledging change means you’re fully aware of the situation and this will help when change occurs and you move from the stage of shock to acceptance.

“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” – Charles Darwin

3. Accept the Change

The acceptance of change can be difficult and you might resist it at first, but you need to understand the fact that accepting the change will help you make the necessary adjustments that you need in your life. Preventing and stopping the change from happening can prove to be disastrous for you because you are rejecting the fact that the situation has changed and are still living in the past.

Things turn out to be different from the way you expected them to be and this is completely  fine because you will be able to deal with the change more effectively by embracing the new situation.

4. Learn from Your Past

Once you accept the change and are ready to embrace it, it will start making sense and you will find lessons from which you can learn a lot. It is important to learn from your previous mistakes because learning and moving on eliminates the probability of you making those mistakes again in future.

5. Grow Stronger than Before

Accepting, embracing and learning from the change makes you stronger and better than you were in the past. The ability to learn from your past makes you a better person who is able to deal with the changes more easily and is able to move on without having any regrets in life. Moreover, this change will take away the fear of making new adjustments in life.

“Embrace uncertainty. Some of the most beautiful chapters in our lives won’t have a title until much later.” – Bob Goff

6. Acknowledge the Wisdom and Embrace it

The more you permit change to happen in your life, the better you grow as an individual. Embracing the wisdom will bring new found energy and strength into your life with inner peace and calmness. Embracing the change proactively and accepting it as a part of your life will result in you being calmer and stronger than ever. Change is not your enemy but the greatest teacher from whom you will learn most of your life lessons.

It is worth mentioning that during the process of accepting change, you need to be brutally honest with yourself because most people are in denial and fail to realize the real reason behind the change. It is insane to repeat the same mistakes again and again with the expectations of a different result. So, if you do not learn from your mistakes, you are doomed to fail again.

Failure can find you again, but if the situation is different from the previous one, then it’s just another experience. You need to stand up after you fall since you cannot stop problems from occurring in your life. What you can do is handle them in a more strategic way.

Problems are a part of your journey, however, the important thing is to keep your eyes on the final destination. Once you reach your final destination, you will realize that all those problems you faced were totally worth the success.

Failure is the one who falls and never stands back up. When you stand back up and keep on trying to achieve what you want, you’re not a failure but a winner in life. So, never lose hope and always look for the positive side, even in the toughest of situations because this is what successful people do.

How do you embrace change and keep pushing forward in life? Let us know in the comments below!

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5 Simple Ways to Supercharge Your Happiness

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With so many demands on our time, energy, wallet from work, family and friends, figuring out what makes you happy and going after it can be a challenge. If you don’t prioritize your happiness, nobody else will. These five simple hacks will help you supercharge your happiness so you can avoid burnout, overwhelm, and going to that second cousin twice removed’s barbeque just because you “should.”

1. Schedule plenty of YOU time into your week

Let’s face it, most of our lives revolve around other people. Work, friends, spouses and partners, family, etc., the majority of our day requires us to interact with other people and that can be really exhausting. It’s important to schedule at least an hour a day – and more if you can – of YOU time into your calendar to take care of yourself.

Doing things that you enjoy, whether that’s listening to a podcast, reading, or working out, and doing them alone allows you to reconnect to who you are and have something positive to look forward to every single day.

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” – Ludwig Jacobowski

2. Make “no” the most important word in your vocabulary

Making other people happy is something that we all want. It feels good to help someone out or make their lives easier. The problem is that we often sacrifice our own well-being when we say “yes” too much, especially for opportunities, work, or interactions that don’t personally fulfill us.

So whether it’s with friends, co-workers, or colleagues, learning to say no not only increases your productivity, but also your quality of life. When you set clear boundaries for the things that you don’t want and won’t accept, it leaves more room for the people and experiences that do make you happy. And remember: You don’t owe anyone an explanation if you say no to them.

3. Create a “shake the day off” routine

Even the happiest people go through stressful periods. One of the biggest issues that leads to serial unhappiness, burnout, and chronic stress is not having a release to clear out the stress that’s built up over the course of the day.

So once you’ve closed your laptop or walked through the door, it’s important to have a routine that you do that helps you get everything you’ve been bottling up off your chest. Whether that’s playing loud music and ranting for 10 minutes, spending 20 minutes with a partner where you both get to talk about the stresses of the day, or just putting on your favorite playlist and dancing it out, it’s crucial to give your mind and your body the opportunity to let go of stress on a consistent basis.

Having a place to channel negative emotion at the end of the day will help you move through the emotions, honor them, and not dwell on them incessantly. And if you had an absolutely amazing day, flip your routine on its head – spend 10 minutes celebrating.

4. Do a closet purge

Our closets hold a lot of memories – good and bad, and they tend to be where we hoard a lot of emotional baggage, both metaphorically and literally. Go through your closet and find your favorite outfits that you wear currently, whether it’s sweatpants and a t-shirt or a really well-tailored outfit, that’s your starting point.

Everything in your closet and drawers should make you feel that amazing. So get rid of any clothes that are too big or too small, any emotionally-charged pieces of clothing (for example, if you’ve still got your wedding outfit after a divorce, donate it), or anything that doesn’t represent who you are.

Your style is an opportunity to make a statement about who you are and the clothes you wear should boost your mood. Even if you’re a minimalist, you should be proud of the quality of your pieces and how they fit.

“Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.” – Dale Carnegie

5. Get up close and personal with your bank account every day

Money doesn’t buy happiness, but it does give you options. So many people have a fear of money and they avoid it like the plague. Checking their bank balance is their least favorite to do, they hate paying bills, and they avoid opening mail or screen phone calls to make sure it’s not the bank.

Facing the reality of your money situation, whether it needs fixing or it’s great, will only help you improve it. You can also seek the advice of a financial planner at your bank to help you with this and create a plan to shift your situation. You might have more options available than you know.

Getting clear about the gap between your spending and your income can help push you to start looking for that job or new opportunity that you’ve been procrastinating on. Tracking your finances on a daily or weekly basis can help you come up with creative solutions to make more money and provide yourself with more options for financial freedom.

Maybe you’re paying for cable, Netflix, and Hulu, but it’d be more cost effective to just get Netflix and HBO Go because that’s all you ever watch anyways. You’ll never know where more options are hiding until you get up close and personal with the reality of your financial situation.

Comment below with the happiness-boosting tip that you’ll be implementing today!

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2 Secret Roads to Success – Why Some People Have It All and How You Can Too

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road to success

Have you wondered how some people seem to have it all – the 6-figure pay check, a healthy and fit body and amazing relationships? On the other hand, others are successful in one aspect of our lives (perhaps we are happy with our careers) but there’s always something that’s missing – that strong body, that perfect someone or living a meaningful life. (more…)

Sai Aparajitha Khanna helps ambitious women quit emotional binge eating and build habits to live a successful life at home and at work. A psychology nerd and big-time foodie, Sai blogs at My Spoonful Of Soul. Get her three limited-time gifts for Addicted2Success readers to quit mindless emotional eating today.

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12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Evan

    Dec 24, 2015 at 9:07 am

    Hey Tim!

    Great article, studying someone who’s got in-depth experience from supplementing his income with blogging and gathering the most valuable lessons from it.

    This post has been super helpful for me since I’m writing for the benefit of other people too and growing an audience of success-chasers. There are great tips for lifting other people up and supporting their movements while you build your own!

    Thanks!

    – Evan

    • Tim Denning

      Dec 30, 2015 at 2:22 am

      Thanks Evan. I also learnt a lot of Joshua and his tips were really clear and simple for any blogger to follow. I hope you use them to grow the reach you are looking for on your own site. Cheers

  2. Doug

    Nov 1, 2015 at 4:47 am

    Great article Tim! A theme I picked up on throughout was that of patience and persistence… necessary things to hear for a new blogger such as myself. Thanks for the good read!

    • Tim Denning

      Nov 2, 2015 at 10:27 pm

      Thanks so much Doug. When talking to Joshua I also got the same theme which is that you just need patience. If your writing is good then even if you’re niche is done to death it doesn’t matter because you can provide a fresh take on what already exists. Best of luck with your blogging Doug.

  3. Ifeanyichukwu Miracle

    Oct 31, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    Thanks so much. Am inspired by this article to start off. Please Joshua i will need more help, more on step by step involved. To blog has been my hunger and dreams. I’m very excited to meet this post this night. God bless you.

    • Tim Denning

      Nov 2, 2015 at 10:25 pm

      Thanks for your comment. My advice and Joshua’s advice is just go for it and write about your passion. Let us know how you go.

  4. Esther Mellar

    Oct 31, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    Hi Tim,

    Thank you for advising me to read this article, it is very helpful. I also heard saying that writing a blog today without readers is like talking in an empty room, therefore it is advised to have some followers already before staring a blog. What are your thoughts about this?

    Cheers,

    Esther

    • Tim Denning

      Oct 31, 2015 at 8:08 pm

      Hi Esther, I personally don’t think you need any followers to start a blog. Organically through Google and WordPress you will pickup a few by tagging topics in your post. Once you have even one person reading your posts, all it takes is for you to write amazing content and that one person will share it with everybody else. The focus should never be how many followers you have, it always should be about the quality of the content. I would also argue that everybody has an audience already. People like yourself have at least 100 friends on Facebook and Twitter right? So you have followers already. You have to be prepared to do what Joshua did and write because you love it not because you are trying to get followers. If the content is good, the followers will come. Tim

  5. Stephen Osoko

    Oct 30, 2015 at 8:49 pm

    This was a truly helpful article for me.

    I also have a personal development blog and am very passionate about it.

    • Tim Denning

      Oct 31, 2015 at 8:31 am

      Thanks Stephen for reading. Best of luck with your blog and I hope we can give you some inspiration.

  6. Brad DeVore

    Oct 30, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    Great article Tim! A solid checklist to determine why a blog isn’t thriving. This post also delivered all the sources to cut research time in half for publishing a book. Thanks for the value! -Brad

    • Tim Denning

      Oct 30, 2015 at 9:27 pm

      Thanks Brad and glad you liked the article. Joshua is very switched on and gave me so many tips that I hadn’t thought of before.

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Success Advice

2 Secret Roads to Success – Why Some People Have It All and How You Can Too

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Have you wondered how some people seem to have it all – the 6-figure pay check, a healthy and fit body and amazing relationships? On the other hand, others are successful in one aspect of our lives (perhaps we are happy with our careers) but there’s always something that’s missing – that strong body, that perfect someone or living a meaningful life.

I’ve personally experienced having a successful career but failed at having a healthy and strong body. When I finally succeeded at getting and staying healthy, I realized that there are two completely different approaches, both of which need to be mastered to find success in life – the goal-driven approach and the process-driven approach.

The Goal-Driven Approach

A goal-driven approach is one in which our goals themselves, are sufficient to motivate us to act until we achieve them. This works well for:

  1. Short-term goals lasting a few days or a few weeks, where we can see the end in sight and push ourselves to get there.
  2. Goals that are usually within or just outside our comfort zone.
  3. Goals that have some certainty of success at the end. For example, working overnight and acing the client presentation the next morning makes us feel proud of our achievement and gets us recognition from our boss.

This approach inherently rewards speed, agility and short bursts of intense work. We end up relying on quick wins or successes which make the task worth it and help us feel motivated to achieve our goals.

Most of us are very adept at using this approach because we’ve grown up in environments, traditional education and companies, which operate this way. Schools and universities set exams and corporate jobs require us to complete tasks upon which we get good grades or promotions.

When the Goal-Driven Approach Doesn’t Work

What a goal-driven approach doesn’t teach us though is how to approach long-term goals like staying healthy, having meaningful relationships or building our careers around our purpose in life.

  1. These goals are usually so big and so long-term that we don’t fully understand all the steps to reach them.
  2. They don’t have any immediate reward associated with them so our motivation to chase them decreases after the initial burst of inspiration. For example, it’s impossible to lose weight and keep it off by just eating healthy for a week.
  3. Because they are so long-term, any future action of ours can completely wipe out the gains made in the beginning of the process which is even more de-motivating. For example, a week of eating healthy can be wiped out by one night of bingeing.
  4. There is also no artificial sense of urgency like deadlines -so we need to find the motivation internally to engage in the task every day. If we ever try to impose timelines on these tasks, it only stresses us out and we compensate by completely sabotaging ourselves like eating an entire pack of cookies one fine night exhausted from a week of eating too little.

“If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.” – Yogi Berra

The Process-Driven Approach

The process-driven approach breaks down our big goals into minute goals and creates a habit to execute these minute goals regularly.

Putting such a habit into place is simple. Just follow these four steps:

  1. Break down your big vision into multiple long-term goals all of which have to work together to make your big vision come true. For example, for your big goal of feeling healthy and fit, you may break it down into eating healthier, exercising regularly and sleeping more.
  2. Pick one of the goals to focus on, ideally the one you think will have the biggest payoff.
  3. Break this goal down into a series of simple activities that you can do without much effort. For example, let’s say you picked eating healthier as your priority goal. One of the activities that might be sabotaging you is your regular McDonald’s dinner on the way back from work. A simple activity that can replace this is to stop driving by McDonald’s if it’s triggering your craving and take a different route back home instead.  This might take a little bit of willpower on the first day but as you get used to the new route over a couple of weeks, it’ll become an automatic habit.
  4. Once the first activity feels like a normal part of your day, stack on the second activity and so on. Similarly, once you’ve achieved the first goal, stack on the second, third and remaining goals to reach your long-term vision.

How to Succeed with the Process-Driven Approach

Though this seems simple in theory, there are two emotional and mindset changes needed to succeed with this method.

The first is to be patient – instead of focusing on the big shiny dream, measure progress against the habit that you’re trying to cultivate. Accept that seeing the big vision come true takes months and sometimes years. Our biggest Achilles heel is impatience and while this works well in academia and work, it backfires in building health and relationships because we end up taking short cuts that harm us long term.

The second is to build rewards into your process – Having rewards is the best way to motivate ourselves and makes our mini-habits easier to stick to. For example, if you don’t eat at McDonald’s then your reward could be having a spa massage at the end of the week.

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” – Thomas Jefferson

Find The Right Balance

At the end of the day, we need to master both goal-driven and process-driven approaches to succeed. Use the goal-driven approach for short-term goals or when you need a burst of energy to push you through a task. Use the process-driven approach for long-term lifestyle change journeys such as getting healthier, having more meaningful relationships or pursuing a career that resonates with your purpose in life. In this way, you too can soon be the person who seems to magically “have it all”.

What are you doing today to reach success later on? Let us know your tips in the comments below!

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You Don’t Have To Listen To Every Bit Of Career Feedback. Some People Just Don’t Get You And That’s Fine!

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I recently got rejected from what I thought was a fantastic career opportunity. I was told that I was “Not entrepreneurial enough.”

Those that know me well know that it’s probably one of the few things I’m good at. Many of my mentors who I told this story to laughed out loud.

These three words were career feedback and I was always led to believe that to ignore this feedback would be ignorant and stupid.

I pondered that thought for a few days and then had a revelation: “I don’t have to listen to every bit of feedback I get.”

 

Pissed off is a natural first reaction.

That’s how I felt after someone told me I was crap at the very thing I love and have dedicated most of my time to. Our brain wants to be angry and fight back. Our first reaction, though, is often not what we should pay attention to.

“Empty space and time to reflect is how we process career feedback for what it really is: an opinion”

Don’t let your first reaction dominate how you think about the feedback. Maturity that can come at any age will show you to question everything – even your reaction.

 

Some people just don’t get you.

You’re not their type, they don’t like you, you speak a different language or you may have different values. Not everyone is going to get you and what you stand for and that’s okay. In my case, I didn’t connect.

Buying into the circus that is me is not for everyone. If you don’t like vulnerability or breaking comfort zones, then you probably won’t like me.

If you’re not obsessed with big goals, doing the impossible and trying to improve just a little bit every day, then you probably won’t like me.

That’s okay and I forgive you. I don’t have all the answers and I’m far from perfect – like the rest of us.

Learn to accept that some people will never get you and what you’re about.

That realization is how we overcome career feedback that we may not agree with.

 

Sometimes it’s any excuse. The real answer is something different.

Feedback can be disguised by the truth. The truth is maybe there was someone else the whole time and I never had a chance at this career opportunity. Maybe it wasn’t me at all.

Sometimes feedback is given because the real reason is much harder to deliver. It’s not easy to say “Tim, thanks but we hired someone else and you were never in the running.”

Admitting you never even had a chance is something many of us would never want to say. Being brutally honest takes courage, and courage is not everyone’s kind of kebab with garlic sauce on top, sprinkles and chili flakes.

 

We all get rejected.

I nearly forgot this fact. Everyone gets rejected. In fact, right now, someone is being rejected.

Rejection is not limited to you and me; learning to deal with it will only help us, not hinder our ability to achieve success in any field.

“We’ve all got 99 problems and thinking you’re special will only create more pointless thoughts that won’t serve you or your goals”

 

You’re responsible.

The thing about career feedback is that you have to take responsibility. Maybe in my case, I didn’t deliver the message of how obsessed and skilled I am at entrepreneurship. Maybe I could have done a better job at explaining my entrepreneurial background and passion.

It’s highly likely that I am entrepreneurial enough for this career opportunity and that it’s not a lack of skill at play here but a lack of effective communication.

“Responsibility always trumps the blame game and it helps us grow more as a person”

 

There’s always one lesson.

Mine was to develop more skills in strategy.

Let’s stop for one second: I hate the word strategy. The other career feedback I got was to do more strategy yet that’s not a skill of mine and I have no desire to do lots of that in my career.

The key here is that there’s always a lesson from all feedback and it might not be the intended lesson that the giver left you with.

There’s either a great lesson in the feedback or a reminder in the feedback of what you stand for. Don’t let any feedback compromise your values and who you are.

 

You are good enough.

You just have to believe in yourself and eventually, the right opportunity will find you.

Don’t give up your hopes and dreams because of one rejection. Interrupt the story in your head that plays on repeat and focuses on anger towards another person.

Replace that story with thoughts of how you can do better and get to the next opportunity.

Through rejection and bad career feedback, you find your way to what you’ve always wanted. That’s the hack and it works.

I’m off to suck up the rejection and take my own advice. Much respect.

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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6 Important Lessons That Will Lead You to Success

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Failure is a part of life and it’s nothing to be ashamed of because the most highly successful people are the ones who have experienced failures the most in their life. The general public usually learns about people and their work when they become successful but only a handful of people know about the immense struggles that those people have gone through. Unfortunately, we do not have the stories of their failures to which we can relate our own setbacks and this is why we perceive failure to be a bad thing.

People are afraid of failure because, from a very young age, they are taught that making mistakes and being wrong is a bad thing so when a person suffers from a failure, it’s possible for that person to experience some form of depression. It is important for you to understand failure is a way for you to learn and move on from the experience. It is literally impossible to live life forever without failing at something, unless you live your life so carefully that you forget to live at all.

Here are 6 lessons that you should embrace that will change in your life:

1. Keep Your Expectations Low

When it comes to life, people often expect things like family, business, and marriage to be constant and consistent throughout the years. However, this is not the case because life is not that simple and there are always ups and downs which you need to confront.

Having low expectations is totally understandable and justifiable but having high expectations from relationships and businesses could prove to be harmful if those things don’t last forever. In addition to this, keeping your expectations low helps you accept whatever comes from the situation. High expectations tend to result in disappointment, pain, and loss, so it’s better for you to have low expectations, yet continue to work hard with what you are doing.

2. Acknowledge the Change

Most of the time, people think they may not experience change at all in their life because they are expecting things to last forever, but little do they know that change is always waiting to take place and can happen at any point in time. Acknowledging change means you’re fully aware of the situation and this will help when change occurs and you move from the stage of shock to acceptance.

“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” – Charles Darwin

3. Accept the Change

The acceptance of change can be difficult and you might resist it at first, but you need to understand the fact that accepting the change will help you make the necessary adjustments that you need in your life. Preventing and stopping the change from happening can prove to be disastrous for you because you are rejecting the fact that the situation has changed and are still living in the past.

Things turn out to be different from the way you expected them to be and this is completely  fine because you will be able to deal with the change more effectively by embracing the new situation.

4. Learn from Your Past

Once you accept the change and are ready to embrace it, it will start making sense and you will find lessons from which you can learn a lot. It is important to learn from your previous mistakes because learning and moving on eliminates the probability of you making those mistakes again in future.

5. Grow Stronger than Before

Accepting, embracing and learning from the change makes you stronger and better than you were in the past. The ability to learn from your past makes you a better person who is able to deal with the changes more easily and is able to move on without having any regrets in life. Moreover, this change will take away the fear of making new adjustments in life.

“Embrace uncertainty. Some of the most beautiful chapters in our lives won’t have a title until much later.” – Bob Goff

6. Acknowledge the Wisdom and Embrace it

The more you permit change to happen in your life, the better you grow as an individual. Embracing the wisdom will bring new found energy and strength into your life with inner peace and calmness. Embracing the change proactively and accepting it as a part of your life will result in you being calmer and stronger than ever. Change is not your enemy but the greatest teacher from whom you will learn most of your life lessons.

It is worth mentioning that during the process of accepting change, you need to be brutally honest with yourself because most people are in denial and fail to realize the real reason behind the change. It is insane to repeat the same mistakes again and again with the expectations of a different result. So, if you do not learn from your mistakes, you are doomed to fail again.

Failure can find you again, but if the situation is different from the previous one, then it’s just another experience. You need to stand up after you fall since you cannot stop problems from occurring in your life. What you can do is handle them in a more strategic way.

Problems are a part of your journey, however, the important thing is to keep your eyes on the final destination. Once you reach your final destination, you will realize that all those problems you faced were totally worth the success.

Failure is the one who falls and never stands back up. When you stand back up and keep on trying to achieve what you want, you’re not a failure but a winner in life. So, never lose hope and always look for the positive side, even in the toughest of situations because this is what successful people do.

How do you embrace change and keep pushing forward in life? Let us know in the comments below!

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5 Simple Ways to Supercharge Your Happiness

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With so many demands on our time, energy, wallet from work, family and friends, figuring out what makes you happy and going after it can be a challenge. If you don’t prioritize your happiness, nobody else will. These five simple hacks will help you supercharge your happiness so you can avoid burnout, overwhelm, and going to that second cousin twice removed’s barbeque just because you “should.”

1. Schedule plenty of YOU time into your week

Let’s face it, most of our lives revolve around other people. Work, friends, spouses and partners, family, etc., the majority of our day requires us to interact with other people and that can be really exhausting. It’s important to schedule at least an hour a day – and more if you can – of YOU time into your calendar to take care of yourself.

Doing things that you enjoy, whether that’s listening to a podcast, reading, or working out, and doing them alone allows you to reconnect to who you are and have something positive to look forward to every single day.

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” – Ludwig Jacobowski

2. Make “no” the most important word in your vocabulary

Making other people happy is something that we all want. It feels good to help someone out or make their lives easier. The problem is that we often sacrifice our own well-being when we say “yes” too much, especially for opportunities, work, or interactions that don’t personally fulfill us.

So whether it’s with friends, co-workers, or colleagues, learning to say no not only increases your productivity, but also your quality of life. When you set clear boundaries for the things that you don’t want and won’t accept, it leaves more room for the people and experiences that do make you happy. And remember: You don’t owe anyone an explanation if you say no to them.

3. Create a “shake the day off” routine

Even the happiest people go through stressful periods. One of the biggest issues that leads to serial unhappiness, burnout, and chronic stress is not having a release to clear out the stress that’s built up over the course of the day.

So once you’ve closed your laptop or walked through the door, it’s important to have a routine that you do that helps you get everything you’ve been bottling up off your chest. Whether that’s playing loud music and ranting for 10 minutes, spending 20 minutes with a partner where you both get to talk about the stresses of the day, or just putting on your favorite playlist and dancing it out, it’s crucial to give your mind and your body the opportunity to let go of stress on a consistent basis.

Having a place to channel negative emotion at the end of the day will help you move through the emotions, honor them, and not dwell on them incessantly. And if you had an absolutely amazing day, flip your routine on its head – spend 10 minutes celebrating.

4. Do a closet purge

Our closets hold a lot of memories – good and bad, and they tend to be where we hoard a lot of emotional baggage, both metaphorically and literally. Go through your closet and find your favorite outfits that you wear currently, whether it’s sweatpants and a t-shirt or a really well-tailored outfit, that’s your starting point.

Everything in your closet and drawers should make you feel that amazing. So get rid of any clothes that are too big or too small, any emotionally-charged pieces of clothing (for example, if you’ve still got your wedding outfit after a divorce, donate it), or anything that doesn’t represent who you are.

Your style is an opportunity to make a statement about who you are and the clothes you wear should boost your mood. Even if you’re a minimalist, you should be proud of the quality of your pieces and how they fit.

“Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.” – Dale Carnegie

5. Get up close and personal with your bank account every day

Money doesn’t buy happiness, but it does give you options. So many people have a fear of money and they avoid it like the plague. Checking their bank balance is their least favorite to do, they hate paying bills, and they avoid opening mail or screen phone calls to make sure it’s not the bank.

Facing the reality of your money situation, whether it needs fixing or it’s great, will only help you improve it. You can also seek the advice of a financial planner at your bank to help you with this and create a plan to shift your situation. You might have more options available than you know.

Getting clear about the gap between your spending and your income can help push you to start looking for that job or new opportunity that you’ve been procrastinating on. Tracking your finances on a daily or weekly basis can help you come up with creative solutions to make more money and provide yourself with more options for financial freedom.

Maybe you’re paying for cable, Netflix, and Hulu, but it’d be more cost effective to just get Netflix and HBO Go because that’s all you ever watch anyways. You’ll never know where more options are hiding until you get up close and personal with the reality of your financial situation.

Comment below with the happiness-boosting tip that you’ll be implementing today!

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