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How To Crush Your Goals To Pieces And Avoid Being A Fool

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At the start of the year, I wrote an article about writing game-changing goals and used the steps mentioned in the article to plan for this year. We are almost halfway through the year, and the results of my goals are astounding. I set some pretty big goals and have crushed nearly all of them.

This is the first year that I have had this much progress in such a short amount of time, and I really feel compelled to share with you how I did it, and how to not be like the fools who are making excuses about their goals!

The steps to writing effective goals are one thing, but actually being able to execute on them is something entirely different.

My greatest human need is the need for growth, and so goals play an even more critical role in my life compared to the average person. If you’re a success junkie like me, then I suggest reading the tips in this article carefully if you want to compound your results and make the remainder of this year productive.

The four steps I followed to crush my goals are:

Step 1 – Get used to fear and attract it

Like most people, it’s easy to avoid doing anything that is uncomfortable or requires effort. It’s easier to reward ourselves with food, alcohol, coffee or other stimulants than it is to sit down and do the hard yards.

If you were only to get one thing from this article then let it be this; all you need to do to crush your goals is to chase after the things that you fear and that are required to make your goals happen. As soon as something comes up that makes you uncomfortable or fearful, say yes to it, take action, and think about it later (OR JUST DELAY THINKING ABOUT IT AT ALL).

I am someone that hasn’t traditionally liked flying. One of my goals this year was to fly to Asia from Australia, which is a long way. The way I crushed this goal was just to book the flights, forget about it, and just show up at the airport without ever intending on going.

I figured that if I just showed up, got myself into the situation, and had faith, somehow it would all work out. People surrounded me with fear about vaccinations, poor food quality, air pollution, kidnapping, theft and a whole host of things.

I thought to myself if I just sit here and think about the 1001 things that could happen then I am never going to achieve any goal. So, I just did what felt right and stopped believing all the fools that were trying to scare me away from my goal.

The result, the trip was amazing, I crushed my goal, and now I can’t wait to go back to Asia in three weeks. As it turns out, I’m not actually afraid of flying and the best way to describe my time on the plane is that it was like a giant couch, with hours of personal development to do in the form of hundreds of podcasts.

From now on, flying equals a relaxing time to catch up on podcasts from Lewis Howes, Tim Ferriss, Joel Brown, Tony Robbins and a whole lot of others. THAT’S HOW YOU CRUSH YOUR GOALS, MY FRIENDS!!!

Step 2 – Link massive pain to procrastinating away from your goals

We should change the catchphrase of ads that say “high blood pressure is a silent killer” to “procrastination is a silent killer.” Procrastination kills more dreams every year than anything else. It causes the feelings of frustration, anger, bitterness and a whole raft of other negative side effects.

To avoid doing what most fools do, I decided that I was going to link massive pain to any form of procrastination. This meant that if I had two tasks to do then, I would only ever select the one linked to a goal, on my goal list, even if the other task was urgent.

It’s this type of determination and discipline that you need to mimic my results with your own goals. Whenever you allow things like housework to overtake your passion (also known as goals) you are guaranteeing yourself that you will feel unfulfilled.

From now on, think of pain when you think of a task that is not on your goal list. The more you do this, the more likely you are to beat the fools who are not doing this and are sitting around wasting their lives away.

Step 3 – Keep your goals where you will trip over them

Someone once told me that the way to never forget something important is to place the item or piece of paper with the written words, somewhere where you will trip over it. Using this great piece of advice, I have placed my goals in my wallet and right next to my computer where I write all of my Addicted2Success articles.

This step is so dumb, so simple, and so easy to understand; yet almost no one uses this fundamental life hack. When your goals are somewhere where you can’t avoid them, they constantly start to appear in your mind.

By having your goals where you can trip over them, you avoid becoming one of those people who allows twelve months to go by with no progress towards a goal occurring. If you are really terrible at remembering your goals, you can take it a step further than I did and put your goals on your car steering wheel or sticky tape them to the door.

An even better idea is to stick your goals up where everyone can see them so that other people start reminding you about them. Try the family fridge or on your work desk in front of all your colleagues.

Just don’t ever forget your goals and don’t allow yourself to be distracted away from them!

Step 4 – Gamify your results

The reason why games like Candy Crush are so addictive is because anything that involves gamification is something that all of our busy minds crave. When we play a game, the progress that we make by working through the levels is hugely gratifying.

I personally don’t have time for computer games, so the way I get my fix is through my goals. To crush my goals all I did was turn them into levels of a game. Again, the art of showing up is how I begin almost every goal (level).

Public speaking – a major goal of mine – is hard but when you show up and are prepared to have a go no matter what the result is, you quickly start to pass through the levels of the game. Fools make progress in computer games without realising that the progress they have made does nothing to help them in the real world.

If you don’t have a goal that you think you can turn into a game, then I am going to give you one. Every night, read one chapter of a book. Do this every day and watch your reading skills, vocabulary and even your grammar, improve out of sight.

Since I started playing the game of reading, my knowledge of things that I care about (personal development, leadership, social media, inspiring others) has gone through the roof. Reading every day has even helped me write better blog posts and given me more ideas to use at work.

***Final Thought***

I use the word fool in this article a lot not to sound like a smart ass but to move you into action. No one that comes on Addicted2Success is a fool although you can act like one if you don’t take your goals more seriously.

Goals should really be called “the things that require effort” because a goal is almost always hard. A goal such as: starting a business, losing weight, travelling the world, is very damn hard. It takes effort that a lot of us are not prepared to put in, but we are quick to complain when we don’t get what we want.

Coming on here for motivation is not going to help you crush your goals! The only way to crush your goals is to use these four steps and start taking action towards the things that you have deemed non-negotiable. YOU CAN DO THIS JUST GO GET STARTED RIGHT NOW!

“Does your life matter to you and do you want to have achieved something in your time on Earth? I am hoping the answer is yes. If it’s not, then you are on the wrong website, and I suggest going to Instagram and looking at people who have the life you dream of”

What’s your number one goal in life and why do you want to achieve it? Share your answer in the comments section below or on my website timdenning.net  or my Facebook Page. 

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared millions of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around personal development and entrepreneurship.You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Toño

    Apr 15, 2016 at 11:55 am

    Oh yes I remember that article, which was actually quite uplifting for me the time I’ve read it. As starting reading your progress on your goals I thought to myself whether I did something from the list and yep, like you did book your flight to Asia (which is an amazing thing by the way, would love to visit it myself, including Australia), I got myself to the gym. Sure it is not that big, but for some reason it was a scary thing for me (new people, new type of activity, the shame of my skinny body, etc) and such a long-time activity on my to-do list. Right now it is one of the reason I wake up at 5.20 am in the morning at least three time a week as I lke to visit it early and hit the iron before my job or even if I have a day off it’s beautiful energy to begin your day with. So I really love that staep 1 advice – get used to fear and attract it. It makes you feel better person at the edn of the day if you ain’t going to think about your decision forever. Awesome!

    Oh, and by the way, you mention Lewis Howes, as I literally listened to his show School of Greatness yesterday! 🙂

    Step 2 I see as a reference to Tony Robbins book and his NLP practice, as to link massive pain to things which won’t lead you to anything good and productive. I use this tactic myself, even though I am far from perfect here and still need to elminate my laziness at times.

    I love Step 3, it is indeed so silly and simple, yet not so many use to have a habbit like this. I actually ordered a floor lamp which you can use as a desk to write your goals, ideas, etc with a chalk. Fun and unusual way to make sure you will stumble upon them here and there.

    Step number 4, I agree with you on the Game of Reading. It’s an amazing game I use to practice. I like to read books on self-development mostly, recently got back to Tony Robbins. I use to watch youtube videos on this subject as well, but books always been my top priority.

    Your last phrase to look at people’s Instagram gave me really good laugh, thank you for this one 🙂

    Again that was amazing article and a pleasure to read you Tim. I haven’t been active for a while as I am taking my little vacation now, but I will get back to being more active soon.

    Thank you so much, take care and have a good day!

    • Tim Denning

      Apr 17, 2016 at 6:06 am

      Thanks Toño for your in-depth analysis as always. You keep me to a high standard and always share your personal stories that inspire me. Lewis Howes is someone I only discovered about 6 months ago but he has really changed the game for me.

      Keep well my friend.

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Success Advice

Why You Should Prefer Emails to Phone Calls if You Want to Be More Productive

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productivity tips
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“Email” and “productivity” rarely go together in a sentence. Emails have been declared as one of our largest time wasters. A McKinsey report stated that people spend around 2.6 hours each day responding to emails. That’s 13 hours a week, 52 hours a month and over 60 days a year! Imagine what you could’ve achieved in 60 days!

Emails also negatively affect our cognitive resources. When we think of responding to them while doing other important tasks, it takes up to 23 minutes and 15 seconds after being disrupted to return to full attention to a current task. Imagine how much our cognition and productivity gets fractured when we get distracted over and over again.

Constant emailing also drains us mentally. And at the end of a day, we realize that we’ve achieved nothing worth mentioning. With a phone call, you can sort issues and solve problems quickly, right? In theory, you’re right. But we live in a practical world where many variables come into play.

Below are three variables that make phone calls adversely affect our productivity, and why emails are a better alternative:

1. Wasting Time

Most “five-minute conversations” can quickly turn into 35-minute calls because people ramble about irrelevant aspects. This derailment, several times a day, severely limits the limited time and energy you have for important tasks.

Emails, on the other hand, force writers to streamline their thoughts and stick to the point. Emails can save you plenty of time and energy because you avoid lengthy phone calls. The constant strife to keep your own emails short and crisp also makes you a clearer thinker, which rewards you in other aspects of your life.

“It’s better to waste money, than it is to waste time. You can always get more money.” – Hal Sparks

2. Inaccurate Responses

An unexpected phone call can catch me caught off guard on a topic. I might respond emotionally or give an answer that doesn’t do justice to what I want to share. In a world dominated by panic buttons and fire-fighting, these don’t just stress me out but the caller as well.

Emails give me flexibility to prepare a coherent response and share it when I’m satisfied. If I feel a surge of emotion, I can sleep over the thought and share a better (more rational) response the next day. Many page-long email responses to emails that upset me have turned into a simple “thank you for your email” the next day.

3. Constant Back-and-Forth

Phone calls often are ineffective to solve business problems. Accounting for multiple people, their views, their timelines… One phone call can quickly turn into three.

Emails are quicker and more effective than even conference calls. They let you communicate with multiple people at the same time. You can share information, assign tasks and give status updates while being as specific as possible.

You must be wondering, “What about back-and-forth emails then? Why do we waste precious time on them?” Yes, email has earned a bad rap. But it’s not because of the medium; it’s because we handle it ineffectively.

A Better Approach to Emailing

For most people, constantly refreshing the inbox is part of the daily to-do list. It keeps them busy and gives them a kick of dopamine – the feel-good chemical.

Ironically, this quest to remain busy makes people compromise on taking action that can move them forward. Using emails prudently, rewards you with plenty of energy and mind space to focus on tasks that truly matter.

Here are three steps that benefited me without succumbing to the side effects of email:

1. Checking Them Less

I check emails just 3 times a day – at 9:30 AM, 12:00 PM, and 4:30 PM. If you don’t have the luxury to do the same, you can start by checking your emails for ten minutes at the end of each hour. Most senders expect a response in a little over an hour. So they won’t mind a slightly delayed response. This gives you 45 undisturbed minutes each hour to work on your core tasks.

2. Responding Quickly

People delay responding to emails at least 37% of the time, which turns finding emails and responding to them into additional tasks that cost time and lead to attention residue. Most emails take under two minutes to respond. When you can respond to an email, do so instead of putting it off. This won’t just put your mind at peace, it’ll also reduce the number of “did-you-see-this” follow-up emails in your inbox.

“I do love email. Wherever possible I try to communicate asynchronously. I’m really good at email.” – Elon Musk

3. The If-Then Technique

The If-Then technique helps you address multiple scenarios at once. For instance, an email that says, “Can we meet at 3:00 PM?” becomes, “Can we meet at 3:00 PM? If not, please advise three other times that work for you.”

This technique is also effective when you want to suggest ideas or provide instructions on alternative steps. For example, “Here’s Plan A. If it doesn’t work, connect with [name] and ask for [specific information]. If you don’t get what you need, inform me.”

I’ll admit. This sounds like more work in the current moment, but it drastically cuts down the number of trail mails, confused correspondences, and fire-fighting instances that occur due to miscommunication.

The If-Then formula is the single most effective technique I’ve learned from The 4-Hour Workweek. All of this doesn’t mean that you abandon phone calls, In fact, it’s better to use the phone for sensitive topics or if an email conversation gets dragged. But remain mindful to not let phone calls waste your time.

If you want to pursue a meaningful life, place a premium on your time. Do things that create time for you to pursue meaningful actions and avoid doing what pulls you away from them. In the knowledge economy, this is the key to success.

Do you prefer email or talking on the phone? Share your thoughts below!

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Success Advice

4 Questions You Need to Answer Before You Reach the Level of Success You So Desperately Crave

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how to be happy and successful
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It’s normal that every person in the world wants to reach success and happiness. Yet, everyone defines both of these things differently. For some, success is making a whole bunch of money while for others this can be to become a good parent. Happiness is defined differently as well. Some people need to own a jet, boat and 3 cars to be truly happy, while others are happy just to be able to wake up in the morning.

It doesn’t matter how you define success and happiness, the truth is, you want to achieve them both. But, to be able to reach success and happiness, you need to answer 4 questions for yourself.

Here are the 4 questions you need to answer before you can achieve success and happiness:

1. Where Are You?

No, not geographically. It doesn’t matter where you live. What matters is where are you in life. Where are you in your way to success and happiness. Let’s say you are lost in the woods. You know exactly where you want to go, but you don’t know where you are. Even a map doesn’t help you with that.

The same is true in life. You may have a goal, but until you truly define where you are in the moment, you can’t move toward this goal. So, step 1 on your way to success and happiness is to define where you are right now.

“Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better.” – Jim Rohn

2. Where Do You Want to Go?

When you define where you are in life, then you can think of where you want to be.

There’s this saying:  When you don´t know your final destination, you´ll end up somewhere you didn’t want to be. Until you don’t know clearly where you want to be in life and who you want to become, your life doesn’t have a true purpose.

Without purpose, there´s no motivation. Without motivation, there´s no energy. And without energy, you´re not living, you´re just existing. I am sure you know someone who looks like a walking corpse everytime you see them. Do you think this person lives a successful and happy life? Most likely not.

So, step 2 on your way to success and happiness is to clearly define your goal. What do you want to accomplish and who do you want to become?

3. Why Do You Want It?

Okay, you know the basics. You know where you are and where you want to be. But, as Rocky Balboa said, “The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows.” And as you already know, life usually doesn’t go according to your plan. There will be hard times and to overcome those and not give up, you need to know WHY you do what you do.

You need to know WHY you want to accomplish your goals. When you answer this for yourself, you don’t struggle so much to motivate yourself. You will be motivated every minute of every day.

So, as a step 3, sit down and think of WHY you want to accomplish your goals. What’s the big purpose?

“We can change our lives. We can do, have, and be exactly what we wish.” – Tony Robbins

4. How Are You Going to Get There?

And finally, how are you going to get there? What’s your plan? You may know where you are, where you want to be and why you want to do it, but until you truly understand how you are going to get there, there won’t be much success and happiness in your life.

For example, you want to become a bodybuilder. You want to do it because you want to have big muscles and you want to look fit. But, you have no idea how to work out, how to build muscle and how to lose fat. Do you think, you´re going to be happy? No. As Tony Robbins says, “true happiness comes from progress.”

To make progress, you need to have a specific plan; how to get from point A (where you are) to point B (where you want to be). So, as a step 4, sit down and make a specific plan for how you’re going to get what you want in life.

In order to reach success and happiness, there are 4 questions you need to answer for yourself. Without answering them, you´re not going to  get ahead in life, you´re just bouncing around. Success and happiness never come from just bouncing around in life.

Good news is, that these questions are really simple. It won’t take much time to answer them. Just be aware of where you are and where you want to be. Don´t forget to understand why you are pursuing your dream and finally, how are you going to get what you want.

Answer these 4 simple questions today and you won’t struggle with finding success and happiness in life anymore.

Which one of the above 4 questions resonated most with you and why? Share your thoughts and ideas below!

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Success Advice

The Empathetic Heart: How The CHO of VaynerMedia Is Changing The Way We Work

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Claude Silver CHO of Vaynermedia
Image Credit: VaynerMedia

A month after I had joined LinkedIn back in July of 2018, I sent Claude Silver a connection request and began following her content. One day she made a post saying “Ask and you shall receive, what can I do to help you today?”. I commented on that post asking for a 5 minute interview and to my surprise she agreed by asking me to send her a message (I was given a full hour). This was the first example of pure kindness I witnessed from Claude.

The first message you see on Claude’s website is: People need people. People need people that listen and then do something. That message spoke to me on an emotional level, and I believe it will speak to you too. I wanted to know how she created such an amazing culture, what being a “culture carrier” meant, and how the employees at VaynerMedia have been changed by her work there.

A culture carrier in Claude’s own words is “someone who is aligned with our values, I can’t teach someone to be kind they have to already be kind. The process of developing a culture carrier takes about 6 months. It’s about bringing people together and having strong core values of kindness and empathy.”

Gary Vaynerchuk, co-founder of VaynerMedia, is often referred to as a combination of hustle and heart. With the hiring of Claude and the work she has accomplished within the company, it speaks to the level of empathy that can be felt throughout the entire operation.

Although business can be a challenging, tough, and often cut-throat terrain, by putting employees first and providing honest feedback the company has grown to include offices in New York, Chattanooga, Los Angeles and London, and continues to dominate the market.

Below we’ll see 3 different ways the CHO of VaynerMedia is changing the way people work:

1. By being unafraid to share her own story

Claude has been an influential part of breaking the stigma surrounding vulnerability in the business arena. Not only does she openly share her own story, but she sits down with employees to better understand their vulnerabilities and how to use characteristics that previously would have been considered weaknesses as strengths.

When asked what her biggest adventure to date was she replied “Having Shalom (her daughter). I have had an amazing life, I moved, worked hard, landed an amazing job and fell in love but it didn’t come without its challenges.”

Claude is openly gay and is living proof your sexual orientation doesn’t matter. Nothing matters but your character, your track record, and if you leave people a little better off than before you met them. From Claude, business leaders, employees and entrepreneurs can learn to be more open both on social media and in person, allowing them to build more meaningful relationships and connect on a deeper level. A deeper connection can mean more leverage but it also means a more lasting impact on the world.

“Everyone has something they can share. I’m not famous. I don’t have anything that would be newsworthy, but I have stories.” – Tafta Johnson Watson

2. Committing to a strong value system

VaynerMedia has some serious values for such a large company and those values are expected to be upheld by every employee and visitor. Values like kindness, empathy, honesty, hustle and the art of not complaining.

With Claude holding the title of Chief Heart Officer, she is the guiding light for others. When recruiting, she says she “takes the time to evaluate an individual’s talents but most importantly their own heart”.  

Gary Vaynerchuk is quoted as saying:”To me, there’s no debate that kindness is a strength. And it breaks my heart to know that so many people believe it’s a weakness. So many people are afraid that other people will take advantage of their kindness or make them feel “used.” But the truth is, those who take advantage of your kindness are weak on the inside. Feel bad for them, don’t let them make you feel bad about yourself“.

Both Claude and Gary teach aspiring entrepreneurs that it is okay to live with an open heart and that having the strength to commit to and live with a strong value system, will be a powerful tool during the hustle journey. It also allows you to go to bed at night actually liking the person that you are, nothing will kill a business faster than going to bed at night and hating yourself.

3. Listening with action

As mentioned above Claude’s slogan is: People need people. People need people that listen and then do something.  As a woman who wears many hats, she is also an Outward Bound Instructor, taking individuals on amazing adventures in the outdoors.

Taking action on any given day can mean a number of different things but it speaks to her own character and driving force that she is able to not only guide people through the world of office politics but also through the serene and sometimes challenging wilderness.

Claude cultivates an environment of trust by first offering individuals her own trust. It is a huge and vulnerable action that leads to a relationship of love – heart – and productivity. Listening as an action is something that has the power to change an entire organization from an unproductive, toxic environment to one that promotes creativity, passion, inclusion and positivity.

“Relationships are leverage. If you give value to someone else first, you have leverage.” – Gary Vaynerchuk

To get the truest sense of how Claude was changing the way people work, I asked her co-workers to tell me what working alongside Claude has done for them. Here is one of the answers I received:

“During my time working alongside Claude, I’ve really come to appreciate her example of being a good listener. As a society, we tend to praise the power of speaking. But Claude demonstrates on a daily basis that the most important thing everybody wants is to be heard.” – Steve Babcock, Chief Creative Officer VaynerMedia.

I tried looking for images of Claude on her website and I think it speaks to how focused she is on holding space for others, because I couldn’t find a single full sized image of her to use. I googled. Writing this piece has opened me up to evaluate my own values and the way I connect with people in my daily life.

From this article, it is my own hope that entrepreneurs come to the understanding that although tenacity and true grit are really important, the whole of what Claude represents is something to strive towards. The “soft” skills you develop are humongous strengths and to truly impact an entire organization.

What’s the last random act of kindness you did for someone? Share with us below!

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Success Advice

The 7 Secrets of High Achievers Revealed

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We all have goals in life, but very few of us ever learn to consciously set, work on and see our goals through. In our naturalness bias, we marvel at those who have set and reached their goals thinking they have some esoteric abilities that we don’t. We overlook that the final product is the result of a series of mistake-ridden, unrecorded pains. What if we could learn from the process, the habits and rituals of the high achievers? (more…)

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