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How To Write Game Changing Goals In Six Easy Steps

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Goal Setting Inspirational Travel Picture

In every self-help book, you will ever read there is almost guaranteed to be a section on goal setting. Most of us, including me, seem to get this simple task wrong so I am going to attempt to address goal setting in this article.

My personal view on goal setting is that it’s been thought about and talked about way too much in the last few decades. It has become over complicated and continues to be something that we just don’t follow through on – I am very guilty of this myself.

What has been successful for me is just to cut through all the noise and develop a way of goal setting that is easy to follow, and doesn’t require hours and hours of your time. The quicker you can complete a list of your goals, the more likely you are not to overthink them.

 

Why should you write goals???

This realisation has taken a long time to come to me so I want to keep this part very straightforward so that anyone can understand it. The reason you need to write goals is because goals will assist you in improving your present-moment reality.

Properly written goals will help to inspire, create hope and fill you with desire. Anything that can make you feel better and help you re-focus in the present moment is going to be highly useful for you on your own journey of success.

So, every time you write a goal you are actually inspiring yourself in the present moment as well as assisting yourself to take action right now instead of tomorrow!

Below are the six easy steps that I follow to write game-changing goals. Feel free to use some or all of them when you write your own.

 

1. Try to aim for less than ten

I have found that when you start attempting to write more than ten goals for a year, you begin to tell yourself that what you want is too hard. The key to writing goals is not to write every single goal down but to concentrate your effort on your major goals.

Don’t let small goals confuse you. Often when people think of their smaller goals they are actually referring to tasks that are required to be completed as part of an overarching major goal. Find another way to track these if you can.

Recently, when I completed my goal list, I ended up with seven major goals. These seven were refined down from the initial nine that I came up with. It’s important to cull a few if they are things that are not a priority or might happen beyond the next twelve months.

 

2. Link them to your vision

One of the goals I wrote down on my list was to join Toastmasters and learn public speaking. After I had reread the goal, I realised that public speaking is not part of my vision, and it’s an ugly phrase that the majority of us are scared of.

So, what I advise to fix these types of issues is to write the goal down and mention your vision in the description. For me, this meant rewriting the goal to say “complete three months of Toastmasters, so I can start to inspire people with my talks.”

By adding in the part about inspiring people, I am directly linking the goal to a section of my vision which is to inspire the world through my work. For your own goals, you absolutely must do this.

If you look at your goals each day, and they don’t inspire you or make you feel passionate, then you will never follow through on them. You wouldn’t want that now would you?

 

3. Set a deadline

Notice how this step mentions deadline and not timeframe? That’s because a deadline has to be met but a timeframe is negotiable.

As you write your goals down you should have a separate column that says deadline. Next to each goal you should write a date that this goal must be completed by. Once all your goals are written down go back and look at the dates. Make sure the date you have put for each goal is realistic and as accurate as you can.

Then, check to see when deadlines fall. Try to have at least one goal expiring every three months (obviously this will depend on the size of the goal). This creates the feeling of progress which all of us humans crave, and it will subconsciously keep you motivated.

If all of your goals expire on the same date or in the same month, then you should rewrite your deadlines again.

Tim Denning - Hopes And Dreams Quote
 

4. Write them down in the right state of mind

Writing your goals down when you are in an angry or frustrated state will usually result in an uninspiring list of goals. Before you set aside some time to write your goals down, watch an inspiring movie, read something inspiring or do some exercise with high energy music.

This easy step will allow you to get the most out of writing your goals down. Ideally, you want to feel like nothing can stop you and everything in your life is moving in the direction you want it too. We don’t feel like this all the time, but we can create this feeling if we want too.

Try this and see the difference it has on the way your goals are worded. The movie I recommend watching before a goal setting session is Remember The Titans and the book I would recommend is The Motivation Manifesto if you’re stuck for ideas.

 

5. Keep them in your wallet

When you have finished writing your goals down, you need to display them somewhere where you won’t forget them. It’s useless going through a goal setting exercise if you never look at them again.

As soon as you have written your goals down you should print them out on a small piece of paper and keep them in your wallet. If you want to go the extra mile (and a lot of you will), then print your goals out and stick them on your desk, bedside table, and anywhere else that you will see them constantly.

This simple task helps you remember what’s important and why you should ignore distractions as much as possible that don’t relate to these goals. I have found that goals create focus and for anyone like me who constantly gets distracted, it keeps you in control.

 

6. Create accountability with some key people

The moment I finished writing down my own goals I emailed them to some key people. The reason why I recommend you do the same is that by doing this, you create leverage. It means that there other people out there who you have told what you have committed too.

The other major benefit is not so obvious and let me give you an example. One of the goals I wrote down was to meet a certain Silicon Valley Venture Capitalist named Bill Tai. The reason I included him was that I wanted the people reading my goals to know what’s important to me.

When key people around you know what’s important to you, they also keep a lookout for ways they can help you to achieve your goals (especially if that key person is fundamental to one of your goals). So far, I haven’t had luck in meeting Bill Tai yet, but as long as I keep telling people that this is important to me, eventually this goal will be realised.

Now, I just used this very point and demonstrated it to you. How? By telling all of you that this is my goal on the off chance that maybe one of you knows Bill Tai. Maybe it will help me achieve the goal or maybe it won’t say but what it will do is increase the chances of me achieving this goal.

It’s time to create some leverage. Share your goals in the comments section below or with me directly on my Facebook and Twitter.

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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15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Praveen Regmi

    Jan 11, 2016 at 4:38 am

    I found the term goal setting too confusing previously. This gave a great insight. Definitely helpful for me. Thanks a lot Tim.

    • Tim Denning

      Jan 11, 2016 at 10:20 am

      Praveen I am glad the article was helpful for you. Thanks for reading!

  2. Wes Graham

    Jan 7, 2016 at 6:24 pm

    Thank you for such a wise and alturistic coontribution. I was going to list the wonderful portions of your content, but it was too long. Everything you contribute is a blessing to me and obviously others as well. I am new to goal setting and have only generally had goals and met them with great success and not so great. I have read a couple of goal setting specific books and systems, but your six easy steps clearly are game changing. You clearly are an asset to your clients and those who are fortunate enough to have come across your free content.

    Thank you, Tim. You have blessed me considerably. I know now that I don’t have to read much more, or search for a system or tool to attain my goals in a game-changing way. I look forward to reading more and connecting with you on twitter and facebook and email.
    To your success,
    Wes Graham

    • Tim Denning

      Jan 9, 2016 at 1:37 am

      Wes thank you for your very generous comments I don;t think anyone has been that positive about my work so far. There loads of books on goals but I find they are over-complicated. I hope these steps will help you to reach the success you deserve. Thanks again for reading.

  3. Emna

    Jan 7, 2016 at 8:27 am

    Great post. Thank you.

    • Tim Denning

      Jan 9, 2016 at 1:38 am

      Cheers Emma.

  4. Addicted 2 The Grind

    Jan 6, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    Tim this is another great read

    • Tim Denning

      Jan 7, 2016 at 8:12 am

      Thanks guys!

  5. Peter

    Jan 6, 2016 at 4:07 am

    Thank you for another fine article.

    I stopped using the term “deadline” years ago. To me it’s a very negative and depressing term. I like to stay positive, and so I set “goal times” instead of “deadlines”.

    Best wishes

    • Tim Denning

      Jan 6, 2016 at 7:25 am

      Cheers Peter for the nice words. I agree about the word deadline although I still use it on some rare occasions 🙂

  6. Toño

    Jan 6, 2016 at 3:27 am

    This very article is incredibly right on time for me, once again. I think the law of attraction somehow works here, as one of the youtubers I watch love to say, ‘your vibe attract your tribe’!

    I have set, and eventually achieved goals just at edge of the year and was very delighted & satisfied. I did move into a new place and paid all my debts, and my job is constantly improving as well as my attitude towards it. Howevere for the last few days I felt empty inside, like something was missing. I realized it is so called ‘post-achivement’ syndrome when after you got what you wanted you feel depressed. So now I need new goals to pursue. Goals, that will drives me to better version of myself.

    But for the last year I thought about goals setting in a different way. More often I felt huge pressure instead of inspiration by writting them off and you said it quite precisely, it’s been talked and thought about way too much and more you think of that process, more overwhelmed you become. I smiled at your line here ‘.. and for anyone like me who constantly gets distracted ..’ as it’s the same with me. I still working on my ability to focus, but reading Tony Robbins ‘Awaken the Giant Within’ has helped me find a ground.

    Thus, back to setting your goals, I think it is necessary, it may be or feel like that, but I begin to like the idea to go with the flow, naturally. You will need attributes to do so, like discipline, courage, your morning/daily routine, passion, motivation and clear idea (I like your quote in the picture by the way!) or at least to follow passion (and if you don’t have one – keep looking). I think, once again, you need to find a balance here, because there moments in your life when you just have to let it all go and be yourself, live your life and enjoy the very present moment, because not a single one of us guaranteed to have tomorrow. What do you think of it, Tim?

    Oh, and your last point about benefits of accountability and telling key people (or just good people, or all people) is actually pretty awesome. I’ve never thought about it that way as I love to keep my dreams and goals to myself, but hey, you cannot control everything, right? I love the idea to allow the universe work for you by telling your goals which may help to attract the exact circumstances and help you on your journey. That is just wonderful! Yesterday I shared some of ideas with people around me and it felt good.

    Thank you so much once again Tim, I enjoyed this morning reading and get my mind stretched and ready for the new and awesome day, my appreciation for your work and passion!

    ps: one more thing, I wake up today still under impression of movie you suggested, ‘The Blind Side’. Watched it last night and was speechless for a while. It touched so many aspects withing me that I barely had all my attention to think about all of it. Such inspiriational movie that gave me something I cannot explain yet. I going yo follow your advise and watch those movies you talked about in this article, as I am quite passionate about it. I am very grateful!

    Have a great day and stay well!

    • Tim Denning

      Jan 6, 2016 at 7:25 am

      Toño great to hear from you as always. Congrats on getting your life back together. You have come so far since you initially started some of the articles I posted so congrats. In relation to goals, I am in the same space as you and needing to challenge myself. That’s why I am going to learn the art of public speaking so wish me luck!

      I think you are spot on about living in the moment and you are clearly doing that my friend. Glad you watched The Blind Side it’s one of my favourite movies. Everyone I have told to watch it has said the same thing as you.

      Keep doing what you’re doing and been inspired. You will get where you want to go I am sure of it.

      • Toño

        Jan 7, 2016 at 3:09 am

        Thank you, Tim, it is always a pleasure to read your replies. I am still far away from the dream life I desire and lots of work ahead. I am still having my high & lows every day and my life is like rollercoaster. But sometimes I think I just cannot be satisfied and always want more..

        The art of public speaking is a great carft and actually I would love to hear from you one day your message, your pasion and your ideas, so I wish you all the good luck to achieve it! Even though I think we create our own luck, some magic help from the Universe will be beneficial 🙂

        Thank you for all kind words and support, I appreciate it greatly and it means a lot as additional motivation for me!

  7. Naman Kumar

    Jan 5, 2016 at 10:10 am

    Great article.
    Thanks for explaining and sharing the way one can fix up his goals in a better way.

    • Tim Denning

      Jan 5, 2016 at 9:12 pm

      No problem Naman. Hopefully there are a few tools you can use when writing your own goals. Cheers

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Success Advice

Positivity & Self-Ownership: Your #1 Factor for Success

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Leaving a reliable 9-5 job and risking a steady, biweekly paycheck to live out a dream and pursue a totally different lifestyle can be terrifying. However, there is no reason to fear, aspiring entrepreneur!

All successful entrepreneurs understand a few simple principles that enable them to achieve their goals, including how positivity along with taking ownership and accountability for your attitude, actions, and outcomes play a major role in your success.

The Power of Positivity

Never underestimate the power of positivity. Thinking positive thoughts, embodying a positive and healthy lifestyle, and reciting positive affirmations everyday enable you to tap into a higher level of your subconscious.

This is in line with the law of attraction, which says we attract into our lives what we manifest and put our energy into. You attract the energy that you put out into the universe, so the more positivity you put out, the more positivity comes back.

Here are some examples of positive affirmations that are meant to promote success:

  • I have the power to create change.
  • I refuse to give up because I will succeed.
  • I deserve the best and I accept everything that has happened up until now.
  • I am unstoppable and I will achieve all of my goals.

Replace your “I can’t”s with “I can.” Replace your “I won’t”s with “I will.” Speak positive things into existence, and watch your life turn around and have those positive thoughts come about. When you make the effort to make a positive change, the universe will conspire to help you succeed.

What Does It Mean to Be Accountable?

Accountability means to take responsibility and accept ownership for your actions and decisions. This means that you are responsible for the fate of your business. Do you feel that things aren’t taking off as quickly as you originally hoped? Work harder. Not selling thousands of products? Sell harder. Don’t have enough clients? Conduct more cold outreach. Keep your word.

Set goals and intentions and follow through with them. Be responsible and hold accountability for your actions. When you accept responsibility for your actions, you’ll feel rewarded when things work out, and you’ll close more deals, sell more products, and your dreams will come true.

“The price of greatness is responsibility.” –  Winston Churchill

What It Means to Take Control of Your Life & Business

In order to take control of your life and the fate of your business, you must understand your purpose in life and be willing to fulfill that purpose. It’s not enough to only desire a certain lifestyle.

You must stay true to what you really want to do in life. This means that you are mentally prepared to take on everything you need to in order to succeed. You follow strict self-set rules and guidelines that will help to keep you on track toward those dreams and goals. You don’t give up.

You keep going when things get tough, and you never see failure as an obstacle. You aren’t discouraged. You accept minor bumps in the road on the way to your destination, because you know you will ultimately reach your goal, and you won’t stop until you get there.

Here are three factors that personally helped me succeed:

1. Becoming more organized

Prior to organizing my tasks and goals, I was just flying by the seat of my pants and wondering why I wasn’t progressing at all. That’s because I didn’t have a set direction.

Becoming more organized helped me to prioritize what needed to get done in order to grow my business to the place where it’s at today.

2. Starting my off my day with positive affirmations

Positive affirmations are more powerful than you may believe. I started each day reading and reciting a quote that was positive and inspiring in nature, which exponentially increased my motivation and mentally prepared me to take on each day.

“Make each day your masterpiece.” – John Wooden

3. I developed long-term goals and stuck to them

Instead of working every day toward the unknown, I decided to set long-term goals. The kicker in helping me stick to these goals was creating smaller milestones that kept me on track and focused which gradually led me up to the ultimate goal.

Although I recognized that the ultimate achievement (of growing my business) was still at hand, my behavior was reinforced by a consistent sense of accomplishment upon completing these smaller goals.

If you are willing to stay focused, motivated, commit the time, effort, and energy toward reaching your goals, and you truly believe that you can and WILL achieve them, then there is nothing that will stop you in your path toward success.

As William Earnest Henley’s famous poem “Invictus” states, “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.” You are the master of your fate and the captain of your soul. Once you wholeheartedly believe this, then you will harness your true power, unlock your full potential, and begin to live out your truth and reach the level of success you’ve always dreamed of.

What is success to you? Let us know in the comments below!

Image credit courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Success Advice

The 3 P’s of Irresistible Leadership: Passion, Persistence, and Panache

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If any of you reading this have ever studied the theoretical underpinnings of leadership, you will have come across several theories such as the great man theory and charismatic leadership theory. Over the decades, leadership has evolved more from an art of telling people what to do to that of subtle influence, suggestion, and rendering by example.

In my new e-book “High-Octane Leadership: Pole Position Performance,” I mentioned that the goal of the manager is to create followers, but the goal of a leader is to create new leaders! This is a relatively new concept in leadership! There are many new and emerging micro theories of leadership that can be expounded upon and useful to individuals looking to assimilate a leadership style.

Here are the 3 P’s of irresistible leadership:

1. Passion

No great achievements, no illustrious undertakings, and no works of genius have ever occurred without the infusion of passion. Passion creates connections where none existed before.

Passion heightens the desire in the individuals who have opted to follow, and it has moved individuals forward toward a common vision. Leaders such as Steve Jobs, have to demonstrate a sense of passion in everything. Although his passion could be somewhat subdued, there is no doubt that when it came to any Apple products, he was the number one salesperson, champion, and evangelist.

“When you’re surrounded by people who share a passionate commitment around a common purpose, anything is possible.” – Howard Schultz

2. Persistence

For years when I was in direct sales, I had an 8.5 x 11 sheet with a cartoon on it hanging over my desk. It was a crane (that’s the bird, not the machine) who had a frog in his rather ample bill. However, the frog’s arms came out of the side of the crane’s mouth and were clutching the crane by the throat so that he (the crane) couldn’t swallow the frog. Underneath this caption where the words, “never, ever give up!

Leaders persist! They understand that there is always a way to solve the problem. Following this understanding, there must be subsequent action that follows, and this can lead to enthusiasm and optimism!

3. Panache

Leaders are self-confident people. They have systematically developed confidence over the years. In situations where they don’t feel confident, they make themselves feel confident. Confidence is learned. It’s a mental model and a cognitive mindset of how we approach problems.

Leaders understand and know that they will solve the problem before them; it’s not a matter of guessing, it’s a matter of knowing.

“Positivity, confidence, and persistence are key in life, so never give up on yourself.” – Khalid

If you buy the notion of passion, persistence, and panache as attributes of irresistible leadership, the question before us now turns on how do we develop those skills?

Here are a few behaviors that leaders use on a consistent basis to develop new skills:

  • Awareness – Great leaders and irresistible leaders always have their antennae up. They are always looking for ways to improve. They understand that self-improvement is a never-ending process to be embraced, even if the execution of the new behavior is difficult!
  • Repetition – Irresistible leaders practice their new skills. They will practice them in front of their subordinates, their family, and in front of themselves while staring at their face in a bathroom mirror! They understand the way to install a new habit of behavior is like with any habit, repeating it over and over again.
  • Feedback – Irresistible leaders are not afraid to ask how they are doing. And, they are not afraid to hear the answer. They understand that the best answer is that they are doing well but the next best answer is that they are not doing well, instead of not being told about their potential flaw. They understand that input in terms of behavioral awareness is one of the singular most important things one can attribute to leadership performance and style.

Try this: take an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper and draw three columns. Atop each column write passion, persistence, and panache. On the left-hand side in the margin of the page, write awareness and 1/3 of the page down, write repetition, and then at the bottom one third the word feedback.

Writing solidifies thought, and it is that solid thought that motivates us into action. You will find yourself becoming more aware of opportunities to develop in each of the 3 P’s of irresistible leadership. Document them! Then jot down ideas down about how you can repeat those new behaviors. Finally solicit feedback and document what you’ve heard.

In the span of several weeks you will have developed new and exciting leadership attributes. Continue this new and exciting habit for other leadership development opportunities.

Which one of the 3 P’s do you need to work on most and why? Let us know in the comments below!

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Success Advice

It’s The 50 Things You Do Beforehand That Lead To Your Ultimate Success.

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Oh great, another tricky, dicky headline from that knob jock blogger Tim.”

That’s what you’re thinking, I know.

Well, I love sharing the truth and a lot of the time it doesn’t look pretty. There’s a vision we all have to do something incredible even if we don’t admit that publicly. Incredible, by the way, could just mean raising a family of beautiful children.

The thing is that not having the answers to what that end goal looks like is the best part. Let me explain.

Right now what you see is my blogging career. Before today there were 50 other things that look totally unrelated on the surface.

Here’s how I got to now:

  • Started out swimming as a child then quit
  • Played the flute and then quit
  • Joined a choir, then my voice broke, then I quit
  • Began playing drums then quit
  • Became a DJ then quit
  • Started producing other peoples music then quit
  • Became a successful entrepreneur then quit
  • Trained to be a fitness freak and then quit
  • Became a finance professional then quit
  • Mastered the world of tech and then partially quit
  • Wrote 400+ articles for a blog called Addicted2Success and didn’t quit
  • Published more than 500+ articles on Medium and didn’t quit
  • Published content on LinkedIn every day for a year and didn’t quit

Here’s my point: those last three dot points are what you see now but what you can’t see is everything that came before I started blogging.


Everything you do plays a part in the end result.

While singing in a choir might seem totally unrelated to blogging it’s not. Just like djing and swimming are not unrelated either.

Swimming taught me to overcome my fear of deep water.

Being in a choir taught me what it was like to be on stage in front of people.

Djing taught me artistry and creativity.

The 50 things I did prior that you didn’t see allowed me to do what you see me doing now in the form of blogging.

No matter what you start and stop in life, it will play a part in the 1–2 things that you end up being successful at and hopefully become known for.

Don’t discredit anything that transpires in your life. Every day is contributing something valuable to your future success even if it doesn’t look like it”


Not having the answers is what makes it fun.

If I could tell you right now how you’d get to your ultimate success, it would take away all the fun.

Never in a million years did I expect to become a blogger but here we are.

Getting here has been a load of fun and I still have no idea where this will all lead. Maybe, like Tim Ferriss, blogging could lead me to podcasting. I’ll never know if blogging is my ultimate version of success and that’s the best part.

All of us (including me) are just taking steps forward and learning as we go.

Quit trying to have all the answers because it’s not going to make any difference in the long run.

You can’t predict success all you can do is work your way towards it and earn it for yourself.


Don’t underestimate the ‘art of doing’

I’m obsessed with the doing because it’s the only thing I can control.

I’m reminded daily about the ‘art of doing’ by people who reach out and want to also be known for blogging.

Many of these wannabe bloggers write something but never publish it because it’s not perfect.

Then they finally get the courage to hit publish and the world doesn’t stop and notice their Harry Potter, chart-topping piece of writing. It’s an anti-climax for them which makes them spiral further down the black hole of disappointment.

What these wannabe bloggers underestimate (without sounding too cocky) is that if they repeated the habit of publishing something every day for a year that’d be able to see where blogging could lead.

Hitting publish once is not enough and the first time you do it, it will probably suck.

The only trick for the record that I’ve ever used to accelerate my success in blogging is hitting publish as often as I can and being disconnected from the result. JonWestenberg taught me this.

Even if you fail at something like blogging it will lead you to the next thing and the next thing and so on. Eventually, you’ll find what it is that lights you up and helps you to achieve your own version of success.

Nobody (including me) can predict what that one thing will be. My advice is the opposite of many people out there. Change around your hobbies/passions as much as you like.

Learn something from one field and then move on. While you experiment and switch paths, you’ll eventually find what you’re looking for. I hope you can see that to be true through the story I’ve just shared.

<<<>>>

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

Are You Really a Leader? 3 Questions That Will Help You Find the Answer

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Being a leader is a lot of responsibility. People look to you to make decisions, direct them, provide support, and get results. A true leader is an amazing presence: a humble yet confident person who inspires those around them.

Unfortunately, a lot of people think they’re leaders, but really aren’t. In fact, according to talent scientist Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, 80% of people believe they are better-than-average leaders, which is objectively impossible. I see people claiming to be leaders all the time, but they’re all talk and no substance.

What is Leadership?

A lot of the people I talk to seem to think that you become a leader just by having a job managing people. That’s simply not true. Leadership is a balancing act that would make a master juggler impressed.

True leadership involves making sure that there is a happy balance between employees’ needs and the company’s needs. If only the employees’ needs are prioritized, the company won’t be profitable. Likewise, if only the company’s needs are considered, employees will leave.

True leaders have the self-awareness and strategic skills to understand this delicate balance and understand their role in creating those key compromises.

“The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.” – Ken Blanchard

Can You Be a True Leader?

Although there are a number of different leadership styles and theories out there, leadership boils down to a few essentials. Leaders need the emotional intelligence to navigate difficult and uncomfortable situations while being able to inspire others to take action. There’s a big difference between saying you’re a leader and acting like one.

If you want to increase your self-awareness and find out if you’re a leader others can rely on, start by asking yourself these three questions:

1. Do you want to be a leader?

It may seem unfair, but in my experience, the people who make the best leaders don’t necessarily want to be. You only want what you don’t have, and same rings true here. If you want to be a leader then you probably aren’t focusing on the right aspects of leadership.

True leaders are natural trail-blazers, but they don’t set out to lead anyone. People just happen to take note of their talents and confidence and look to the person for advice and guidance.

2. Do you have an original vision, or are you just power-hungry?

Why do you want to be a leader? Is it so you have the final say, or do you have actual goals you want to accomplish with a team? True leaders don’t feel threatened by others—they’re too busy getting stuff done. Leaders typically don’t need to test or confirm their power.

If you think good leaders give directions and just want others to listen, you’ve got it wrong. The best leaders often don’t need to speak a whole lot—they listen and observe, they think deeply, and when they do speak, it’s meaningful.

A true leader acts and others follow those actions because they trust and respect the leader. It isn’t about a power battle or an ego trip. Leaders have a true vision.  

3. Are you willing to do the dirty work?

You don’t get to be a leader if all you do is sit around, give orders, and let other people do the dirty work. Real leaders are humble, and no work is “beneath” them.

They want to know what’s going on at the ground level, and they want to help their people when they’re struggling. If you’re not willing to talk to a customer or back your employee up in a bad situation, you don’t get to call yourself a leader.

“Leadership is a choice, not a position.” – Stephen Covey

Becoming a Self-Aware Leader

How did you do? Maybe you’re not cut out to be a leader. Maybe you are. Maybe you need to work on a few things first.

Real talk: being a good leader isn’t easy. However, becoming a true leader benefits everyone around you and can be extremely fulfilling. If you’re more determined than ever to become the best, most self-aware leader you can be, that’s great news: we need more leaders out there.

What are the characteristics of a great leader in your opinion? Share with us below!

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Success Advice

Positivity & Self-Ownership: Your #1 Factor for Success

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Leaving a reliable 9-5 job and risking a steady, biweekly paycheck to live out a dream and pursue a totally different lifestyle can be terrifying. However, there is no reason to fear, aspiring entrepreneur! (more…)

Cory Young is the founder of BCC Interactive, a Philadelphia digital marketing agency with expertise in expanding businesses through search engine marketing. Cory has 10+ years experience crafting successful customized digital marketing strategies for Fortune 500 companies and small businesses alike.

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15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Praveen Regmi

    Jan 11, 2016 at 4:38 am

    I found the term goal setting too confusing previously. This gave a great insight. Definitely helpful for me. Thanks a lot Tim.

    • Tim Denning

      Jan 11, 2016 at 10:20 am

      Praveen I am glad the article was helpful for you. Thanks for reading!

  2. Wes Graham

    Jan 7, 2016 at 6:24 pm

    Thank you for such a wise and alturistic coontribution. I was going to list the wonderful portions of your content, but it was too long. Everything you contribute is a blessing to me and obviously others as well. I am new to goal setting and have only generally had goals and met them with great success and not so great. I have read a couple of goal setting specific books and systems, but your six easy steps clearly are game changing. You clearly are an asset to your clients and those who are fortunate enough to have come across your free content.

    Thank you, Tim. You have blessed me considerably. I know now that I don’t have to read much more, or search for a system or tool to attain my goals in a game-changing way. I look forward to reading more and connecting with you on twitter and facebook and email.
    To your success,
    Wes Graham

    • Tim Denning

      Jan 9, 2016 at 1:37 am

      Wes thank you for your very generous comments I don;t think anyone has been that positive about my work so far. There loads of books on goals but I find they are over-complicated. I hope these steps will help you to reach the success you deserve. Thanks again for reading.

  3. Emna

    Jan 7, 2016 at 8:27 am

    Great post. Thank you.

    • Tim Denning

      Jan 9, 2016 at 1:38 am

      Cheers Emma.

  4. Addicted 2 The Grind

    Jan 6, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    Tim this is another great read

    • Tim Denning

      Jan 7, 2016 at 8:12 am

      Thanks guys!

  5. Peter

    Jan 6, 2016 at 4:07 am

    Thank you for another fine article.

    I stopped using the term “deadline” years ago. To me it’s a very negative and depressing term. I like to stay positive, and so I set “goal times” instead of “deadlines”.

    Best wishes

    • Tim Denning

      Jan 6, 2016 at 7:25 am

      Cheers Peter for the nice words. I agree about the word deadline although I still use it on some rare occasions 🙂

  6. Toño

    Jan 6, 2016 at 3:27 am

    This very article is incredibly right on time for me, once again. I think the law of attraction somehow works here, as one of the youtubers I watch love to say, ‘your vibe attract your tribe’!

    I have set, and eventually achieved goals just at edge of the year and was very delighted & satisfied. I did move into a new place and paid all my debts, and my job is constantly improving as well as my attitude towards it. Howevere for the last few days I felt empty inside, like something was missing. I realized it is so called ‘post-achivement’ syndrome when after you got what you wanted you feel depressed. So now I need new goals to pursue. Goals, that will drives me to better version of myself.

    But for the last year I thought about goals setting in a different way. More often I felt huge pressure instead of inspiration by writting them off and you said it quite precisely, it’s been talked and thought about way too much and more you think of that process, more overwhelmed you become. I smiled at your line here ‘.. and for anyone like me who constantly gets distracted ..’ as it’s the same with me. I still working on my ability to focus, but reading Tony Robbins ‘Awaken the Giant Within’ has helped me find a ground.

    Thus, back to setting your goals, I think it is necessary, it may be or feel like that, but I begin to like the idea to go with the flow, naturally. You will need attributes to do so, like discipline, courage, your morning/daily routine, passion, motivation and clear idea (I like your quote in the picture by the way!) or at least to follow passion (and if you don’t have one – keep looking). I think, once again, you need to find a balance here, because there moments in your life when you just have to let it all go and be yourself, live your life and enjoy the very present moment, because not a single one of us guaranteed to have tomorrow. What do you think of it, Tim?

    Oh, and your last point about benefits of accountability and telling key people (or just good people, or all people) is actually pretty awesome. I’ve never thought about it that way as I love to keep my dreams and goals to myself, but hey, you cannot control everything, right? I love the idea to allow the universe work for you by telling your goals which may help to attract the exact circumstances and help you on your journey. That is just wonderful! Yesterday I shared some of ideas with people around me and it felt good.

    Thank you so much once again Tim, I enjoyed this morning reading and get my mind stretched and ready for the new and awesome day, my appreciation for your work and passion!

    ps: one more thing, I wake up today still under impression of movie you suggested, ‘The Blind Side’. Watched it last night and was speechless for a while. It touched so many aspects withing me that I barely had all my attention to think about all of it. Such inspiriational movie that gave me something I cannot explain yet. I going yo follow your advise and watch those movies you talked about in this article, as I am quite passionate about it. I am very grateful!

    Have a great day and stay well!

    • Tim Denning

      Jan 6, 2016 at 7:25 am

      Toño great to hear from you as always. Congrats on getting your life back together. You have come so far since you initially started some of the articles I posted so congrats. In relation to goals, I am in the same space as you and needing to challenge myself. That’s why I am going to learn the art of public speaking so wish me luck!

      I think you are spot on about living in the moment and you are clearly doing that my friend. Glad you watched The Blind Side it’s one of my favourite movies. Everyone I have told to watch it has said the same thing as you.

      Keep doing what you’re doing and been inspired. You will get where you want to go I am sure of it.

      • Toño

        Jan 7, 2016 at 3:09 am

        Thank you, Tim, it is always a pleasure to read your replies. I am still far away from the dream life I desire and lots of work ahead. I am still having my high & lows every day and my life is like rollercoaster. But sometimes I think I just cannot be satisfied and always want more..

        The art of public speaking is a great carft and actually I would love to hear from you one day your message, your pasion and your ideas, so I wish you all the good luck to achieve it! Even though I think we create our own luck, some magic help from the Universe will be beneficial 🙂

        Thank you for all kind words and support, I appreciate it greatly and it means a lot as additional motivation for me!

  7. Naman Kumar

    Jan 5, 2016 at 10:10 am

    Great article.
    Thanks for explaining and sharing the way one can fix up his goals in a better way.

    • Tim Denning

      Jan 5, 2016 at 9:12 pm

      No problem Naman. Hopefully there are a few tools you can use when writing your own goals. Cheers

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Success Advice

Positivity & Self-Ownership: Your #1 Factor for Success

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Leaving a reliable 9-5 job and risking a steady, biweekly paycheck to live out a dream and pursue a totally different lifestyle can be terrifying. However, there is no reason to fear, aspiring entrepreneur!

All successful entrepreneurs understand a few simple principles that enable them to achieve their goals, including how positivity along with taking ownership and accountability for your attitude, actions, and outcomes play a major role in your success.

The Power of Positivity

Never underestimate the power of positivity. Thinking positive thoughts, embodying a positive and healthy lifestyle, and reciting positive affirmations everyday enable you to tap into a higher level of your subconscious.

This is in line with the law of attraction, which says we attract into our lives what we manifest and put our energy into. You attract the energy that you put out into the universe, so the more positivity you put out, the more positivity comes back.

Here are some examples of positive affirmations that are meant to promote success:

  • I have the power to create change.
  • I refuse to give up because I will succeed.
  • I deserve the best and I accept everything that has happened up until now.
  • I am unstoppable and I will achieve all of my goals.

Replace your “I can’t”s with “I can.” Replace your “I won’t”s with “I will.” Speak positive things into existence, and watch your life turn around and have those positive thoughts come about. When you make the effort to make a positive change, the universe will conspire to help you succeed.

What Does It Mean to Be Accountable?

Accountability means to take responsibility and accept ownership for your actions and decisions. This means that you are responsible for the fate of your business. Do you feel that things aren’t taking off as quickly as you originally hoped? Work harder. Not selling thousands of products? Sell harder. Don’t have enough clients? Conduct more cold outreach. Keep your word.

Set goals and intentions and follow through with them. Be responsible and hold accountability for your actions. When you accept responsibility for your actions, you’ll feel rewarded when things work out, and you’ll close more deals, sell more products, and your dreams will come true.

“The price of greatness is responsibility.” –  Winston Churchill

What It Means to Take Control of Your Life & Business

In order to take control of your life and the fate of your business, you must understand your purpose in life and be willing to fulfill that purpose. It’s not enough to only desire a certain lifestyle.

You must stay true to what you really want to do in life. This means that you are mentally prepared to take on everything you need to in order to succeed. You follow strict self-set rules and guidelines that will help to keep you on track toward those dreams and goals. You don’t give up.

You keep going when things get tough, and you never see failure as an obstacle. You aren’t discouraged. You accept minor bumps in the road on the way to your destination, because you know you will ultimately reach your goal, and you won’t stop until you get there.

Here are three factors that personally helped me succeed:

1. Becoming more organized

Prior to organizing my tasks and goals, I was just flying by the seat of my pants and wondering why I wasn’t progressing at all. That’s because I didn’t have a set direction.

Becoming more organized helped me to prioritize what needed to get done in order to grow my business to the place where it’s at today.

2. Starting my off my day with positive affirmations

Positive affirmations are more powerful than you may believe. I started each day reading and reciting a quote that was positive and inspiring in nature, which exponentially increased my motivation and mentally prepared me to take on each day.

“Make each day your masterpiece.” – John Wooden

3. I developed long-term goals and stuck to them

Instead of working every day toward the unknown, I decided to set long-term goals. The kicker in helping me stick to these goals was creating smaller milestones that kept me on track and focused which gradually led me up to the ultimate goal.

Although I recognized that the ultimate achievement (of growing my business) was still at hand, my behavior was reinforced by a consistent sense of accomplishment upon completing these smaller goals.

If you are willing to stay focused, motivated, commit the time, effort, and energy toward reaching your goals, and you truly believe that you can and WILL achieve them, then there is nothing that will stop you in your path toward success.

As William Earnest Henley’s famous poem “Invictus” states, “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.” You are the master of your fate and the captain of your soul. Once you wholeheartedly believe this, then you will harness your true power, unlock your full potential, and begin to live out your truth and reach the level of success you’ve always dreamed of.

What is success to you? Let us know in the comments below!

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Success Advice

The 3 P’s of Irresistible Leadership: Passion, Persistence, and Panache

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If any of you reading this have ever studied the theoretical underpinnings of leadership, you will have come across several theories such as the great man theory and charismatic leadership theory. Over the decades, leadership has evolved more from an art of telling people what to do to that of subtle influence, suggestion, and rendering by example.

In my new e-book “High-Octane Leadership: Pole Position Performance,” I mentioned that the goal of the manager is to create followers, but the goal of a leader is to create new leaders! This is a relatively new concept in leadership! There are many new and emerging micro theories of leadership that can be expounded upon and useful to individuals looking to assimilate a leadership style.

Here are the 3 P’s of irresistible leadership:

1. Passion

No great achievements, no illustrious undertakings, and no works of genius have ever occurred without the infusion of passion. Passion creates connections where none existed before.

Passion heightens the desire in the individuals who have opted to follow, and it has moved individuals forward toward a common vision. Leaders such as Steve Jobs, have to demonstrate a sense of passion in everything. Although his passion could be somewhat subdued, there is no doubt that when it came to any Apple products, he was the number one salesperson, champion, and evangelist.

“When you’re surrounded by people who share a passionate commitment around a common purpose, anything is possible.” – Howard Schultz

2. Persistence

For years when I was in direct sales, I had an 8.5 x 11 sheet with a cartoon on it hanging over my desk. It was a crane (that’s the bird, not the machine) who had a frog in his rather ample bill. However, the frog’s arms came out of the side of the crane’s mouth and were clutching the crane by the throat so that he (the crane) couldn’t swallow the frog. Underneath this caption where the words, “never, ever give up!

Leaders persist! They understand that there is always a way to solve the problem. Following this understanding, there must be subsequent action that follows, and this can lead to enthusiasm and optimism!

3. Panache

Leaders are self-confident people. They have systematically developed confidence over the years. In situations where they don’t feel confident, they make themselves feel confident. Confidence is learned. It’s a mental model and a cognitive mindset of how we approach problems.

Leaders understand and know that they will solve the problem before them; it’s not a matter of guessing, it’s a matter of knowing.

“Positivity, confidence, and persistence are key in life, so never give up on yourself.” – Khalid

If you buy the notion of passion, persistence, and panache as attributes of irresistible leadership, the question before us now turns on how do we develop those skills?

Here are a few behaviors that leaders use on a consistent basis to develop new skills:

  • Awareness – Great leaders and irresistible leaders always have their antennae up. They are always looking for ways to improve. They understand that self-improvement is a never-ending process to be embraced, even if the execution of the new behavior is difficult!
  • Repetition – Irresistible leaders practice their new skills. They will practice them in front of their subordinates, their family, and in front of themselves while staring at their face in a bathroom mirror! They understand the way to install a new habit of behavior is like with any habit, repeating it over and over again.
  • Feedback – Irresistible leaders are not afraid to ask how they are doing. And, they are not afraid to hear the answer. They understand that the best answer is that they are doing well but the next best answer is that they are not doing well, instead of not being told about their potential flaw. They understand that input in terms of behavioral awareness is one of the singular most important things one can attribute to leadership performance and style.

Try this: take an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper and draw three columns. Atop each column write passion, persistence, and panache. On the left-hand side in the margin of the page, write awareness and 1/3 of the page down, write repetition, and then at the bottom one third the word feedback.

Writing solidifies thought, and it is that solid thought that motivates us into action. You will find yourself becoming more aware of opportunities to develop in each of the 3 P’s of irresistible leadership. Document them! Then jot down ideas down about how you can repeat those new behaviors. Finally solicit feedback and document what you’ve heard.

In the span of several weeks you will have developed new and exciting leadership attributes. Continue this new and exciting habit for other leadership development opportunities.

Which one of the 3 P’s do you need to work on most and why? Let us know in the comments below!

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Success Advice

It’s The 50 Things You Do Beforehand That Lead To Your Ultimate Success.

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Oh great, another tricky, dicky headline from that knob jock blogger Tim.”

That’s what you’re thinking, I know.

Well, I love sharing the truth and a lot of the time it doesn’t look pretty. There’s a vision we all have to do something incredible even if we don’t admit that publicly. Incredible, by the way, could just mean raising a family of beautiful children.

The thing is that not having the answers to what that end goal looks like is the best part. Let me explain.

Right now what you see is my blogging career. Before today there were 50 other things that look totally unrelated on the surface.

Here’s how I got to now:

  • Started out swimming as a child then quit
  • Played the flute and then quit
  • Joined a choir, then my voice broke, then I quit
  • Began playing drums then quit
  • Became a DJ then quit
  • Started producing other peoples music then quit
  • Became a successful entrepreneur then quit
  • Trained to be a fitness freak and then quit
  • Became a finance professional then quit
  • Mastered the world of tech and then partially quit
  • Wrote 400+ articles for a blog called Addicted2Success and didn’t quit
  • Published more than 500+ articles on Medium and didn’t quit
  • Published content on LinkedIn every day for a year and didn’t quit

Here’s my point: those last three dot points are what you see now but what you can’t see is everything that came before I started blogging.


Everything you do plays a part in the end result.

While singing in a choir might seem totally unrelated to blogging it’s not. Just like djing and swimming are not unrelated either.

Swimming taught me to overcome my fear of deep water.

Being in a choir taught me what it was like to be on stage in front of people.

Djing taught me artistry and creativity.

The 50 things I did prior that you didn’t see allowed me to do what you see me doing now in the form of blogging.

No matter what you start and stop in life, it will play a part in the 1–2 things that you end up being successful at and hopefully become known for.

Don’t discredit anything that transpires in your life. Every day is contributing something valuable to your future success even if it doesn’t look like it”


Not having the answers is what makes it fun.

If I could tell you right now how you’d get to your ultimate success, it would take away all the fun.

Never in a million years did I expect to become a blogger but here we are.

Getting here has been a load of fun and I still have no idea where this will all lead. Maybe, like Tim Ferriss, blogging could lead me to podcasting. I’ll never know if blogging is my ultimate version of success and that’s the best part.

All of us (including me) are just taking steps forward and learning as we go.

Quit trying to have all the answers because it’s not going to make any difference in the long run.

You can’t predict success all you can do is work your way towards it and earn it for yourself.


Don’t underestimate the ‘art of doing’

I’m obsessed with the doing because it’s the only thing I can control.

I’m reminded daily about the ‘art of doing’ by people who reach out and want to also be known for blogging.

Many of these wannabe bloggers write something but never publish it because it’s not perfect.

Then they finally get the courage to hit publish and the world doesn’t stop and notice their Harry Potter, chart-topping piece of writing. It’s an anti-climax for them which makes them spiral further down the black hole of disappointment.

What these wannabe bloggers underestimate (without sounding too cocky) is that if they repeated the habit of publishing something every day for a year that’d be able to see where blogging could lead.

Hitting publish once is not enough and the first time you do it, it will probably suck.

The only trick for the record that I’ve ever used to accelerate my success in blogging is hitting publish as often as I can and being disconnected from the result. JonWestenberg taught me this.

Even if you fail at something like blogging it will lead you to the next thing and the next thing and so on. Eventually, you’ll find what it is that lights you up and helps you to achieve your own version of success.

Nobody (including me) can predict what that one thing will be. My advice is the opposite of many people out there. Change around your hobbies/passions as much as you like.

Learn something from one field and then move on. While you experiment and switch paths, you’ll eventually find what you’re looking for. I hope you can see that to be true through the story I’ve just shared.

<<<>>>

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

Are You Really a Leader? 3 Questions That Will Help You Find the Answer

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Being a leader is a lot of responsibility. People look to you to make decisions, direct them, provide support, and get results. A true leader is an amazing presence: a humble yet confident person who inspires those around them.

Unfortunately, a lot of people think they’re leaders, but really aren’t. In fact, according to talent scientist Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, 80% of people believe they are better-than-average leaders, which is objectively impossible. I see people claiming to be leaders all the time, but they’re all talk and no substance.

What is Leadership?

A lot of the people I talk to seem to think that you become a leader just by having a job managing people. That’s simply not true. Leadership is a balancing act that would make a master juggler impressed.

True leadership involves making sure that there is a happy balance between employees’ needs and the company’s needs. If only the employees’ needs are prioritized, the company won’t be profitable. Likewise, if only the company’s needs are considered, employees will leave.

True leaders have the self-awareness and strategic skills to understand this delicate balance and understand their role in creating those key compromises.

“The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.” – Ken Blanchard

Can You Be a True Leader?

Although there are a number of different leadership styles and theories out there, leadership boils down to a few essentials. Leaders need the emotional intelligence to navigate difficult and uncomfortable situations while being able to inspire others to take action. There’s a big difference between saying you’re a leader and acting like one.

If you want to increase your self-awareness and find out if you’re a leader others can rely on, start by asking yourself these three questions:

1. Do you want to be a leader?

It may seem unfair, but in my experience, the people who make the best leaders don’t necessarily want to be. You only want what you don’t have, and same rings true here. If you want to be a leader then you probably aren’t focusing on the right aspects of leadership.

True leaders are natural trail-blazers, but they don’t set out to lead anyone. People just happen to take note of their talents and confidence and look to the person for advice and guidance.

2. Do you have an original vision, or are you just power-hungry?

Why do you want to be a leader? Is it so you have the final say, or do you have actual goals you want to accomplish with a team? True leaders don’t feel threatened by others—they’re too busy getting stuff done. Leaders typically don’t need to test or confirm their power.

If you think good leaders give directions and just want others to listen, you’ve got it wrong. The best leaders often don’t need to speak a whole lot—they listen and observe, they think deeply, and when they do speak, it’s meaningful.

A true leader acts and others follow those actions because they trust and respect the leader. It isn’t about a power battle or an ego trip. Leaders have a true vision.  

3. Are you willing to do the dirty work?

You don’t get to be a leader if all you do is sit around, give orders, and let other people do the dirty work. Real leaders are humble, and no work is “beneath” them.

They want to know what’s going on at the ground level, and they want to help their people when they’re struggling. If you’re not willing to talk to a customer or back your employee up in a bad situation, you don’t get to call yourself a leader.

“Leadership is a choice, not a position.” – Stephen Covey

Becoming a Self-Aware Leader

How did you do? Maybe you’re not cut out to be a leader. Maybe you are. Maybe you need to work on a few things first.

Real talk: being a good leader isn’t easy. However, becoming a true leader benefits everyone around you and can be extremely fulfilling. If you’re more determined than ever to become the best, most self-aware leader you can be, that’s great news: we need more leaders out there.

What are the characteristics of a great leader in your opinion? Share with us below!

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