Announcing “Improve Yourself! 2010”

By Dustin | Individual Fulfillment

Improve Yourself! 2010: Your Goals, Your Actions, Your Results

Improve Yourself!

  • Would you like to start the new year with a purpose and accomplish some concrete goals quickly?

  • Would you like to jump-start your success in 2010 and do more than pay lip-service to your New Year’s Resolutions?

  • Are your ready to make a real commitment to yourself and your family and be held accountable for your progress?

  • Are you ready for some fun and great prizes?

I am excited to announce a little friendly competition that I’ll be holding here at Engaged Marriage as we welcome 2010.  As I looked at some of the goals I want to will accomplish in the new year, I was reminded of how easy it is to resolve to improve ourselves on New Year’s Eve and then slowly (or quickly) abandon our plans a couple weeks later.  I knew what I needed was some accountability and some encouragement from others who hold themselves to a high standard.

Why Here?

And then it hit me.  We have built an incredibly supportive and inspired community here at Engaged Marriage, and I know that many of you face the same “buzzkills” as I do when it comes to sticking with a plan for personal improvement.

We are all insanely busy with a lot of pressing demands for our time and energy.  We know we need to take care of ourselves, but we inevitably put our needs last as we focus on taking care of our family, helping others and advancing our career.  Those things are obviously important, but the truth is that we can accomplish more in all areas of life when we improve ourselves…and we have to quit using those outside influences as our crutch or excuse.

If you’ve been around this site very long, you know that I believe strongly in a holistic approach to marriage.  There is a reason I write about topics like individual fulfillmentspirituality, and finances & careersA healthy life feeds a healthy marriage, and vice-versa.

OK, so now you know where this little idea came from, and I’m sure you can see why this is so relevant to achieving the extraordinary in marriage.  So, what exactly are we talking about here?

What is “Improve Yourself! 2010”?

  1. You will choose one area of your life to improve over the first 8 weeks of 2010 (January 3rd through February 27th).  This is completely open based on your desires, but some suggestions would include the areas of fitness, personal finances, spirituality, communication with your spouse, parenting, career, education, romance, etc.
  2. You will set your own goals for what you intend to accomplish over the course of eight weeks.  Goal-setting is incredibly important, so I will publish a post soon to help you establish specific and effective goals.
  3. Each week, I will publish a post that focuses on self-improvement and motivation, and I’ll report on my own personal progress toward my goals.  You must comment on each weekly post to report your progress and remain accountable.
  4. At the end of eights weeks, I will choose the top three finishers based on who I feel made the most meaningful progress in self-improvement.  At this time, I will also “call out” all those who did NOT finish all eight weeks (to add a little more accountability)!
  5. The final three contestants will summarize their progress in a short write-up, and you (their fellow competitors) will vote to choose the best overall success story.

Why Should You Participate?

  1. It will be fun!
  2. You’ll have the opportunity to both give and receive motivation/accountability from high-quality, proactive people who are striving to reach their own goals.
  3. You will improve yourself and, in turn, improve your marriage and family life.
  4. It builds our community here at Engaged Marriage and makes you an active part of it.
  5. PRIZES!  Please see the Prize Announcement post for the awesome details!

If you, your website, your company or someone you know would like to support this contest by providing prizes, I would be both thrilled and extremely thankful.  And I would be more than happy to promote (appropriate and useful) products in return for your generosity.  Please contact me if you can help!

UPDATE: We have our first sponsorship via the generous Carrie from Make Mine Happen.  Please send Carrie a tweet @thegirlburgan and tell her how great she is!

ANOTHER UPDATE: We have another great sponsor for one week of the competition!  Thank you to Kristin from My Hands are Clean, Are Yours? Please share your appreciation with her on Twitter @mydoodlebop !

AND MORE:  I am pleased to announce that Brad from Enemy of Debt and Patrenia from Personal Finance Notebook have joined as partial sponsors of the challenge as well!  Please let them know we greatly appreciate their support by showing them some love at @enemyofdebt and @patreniaspears

EVEN MORE: Incredibly, we have two more major sponsors to add to the ranks.  Please give props to J. Money from Budgets are Sexy and Louise from MomStart.  And tell them they rule on Twitter at @budgetsaresexy and @momstart

WOW!  Michelle from has also donated a gift certificate for free attendance to one of her awesome workshops.  This is a $420 value!  Thank her on Twitter at @DrMichellexo

If you would like LOTS of attention and link-love throughout this challenge, please contact me about a sponsorship opportunity!

What Do You Need to Do?

  1. Join in the fun by leaving a comment to this post before January 5th at 11:59 p.m. Central time.  Your comment should simply say that you are committed to participate, and it should state what area of life you will be focusing on for Improve Yourself! 2010.
  2. Comment on the Week 1 goal setting post, and include your specific goals for the 8-week contest (also by January 5th).
  3. Comment on each week’s post with a quick report on your progress.
  4. Subscribe to Engaged Marriage via either RSS or Email.  By subscribing, you’ll ensure that you don’t miss any posts and the accountability that they bring.  You can participate even if you choose not to subscribe, though I’m not sure why you wouldn’t want free updates sent to you to read at your convenience.  However, as an incentive to fully participate, I will limit the prize giveaways to those that are subscribed.
  5. Become a “fan” on the Engaged Marriage Facebook page.  The “discussion” area of this page will serve as our private forums for the contest.  Within the discussion area, we’ll be able to share information, gives tips and motivation, and socialize with others striving to meet their goals.

I think that covers it!  I am really looking forward to meeting my own goals for the New Year alongside an awesome community of high-quality friends.  Please leave your comment below stating the area of life you plan to focus on.

*And please don’t forget to state your specific goals in the Week 1 post!*

Finally, please tell your family and friends about “Improve Yourself! 2010”!  Tweet this post to your followers on Twitter and share it on your Facebook page (using the “Sharing is Sexy” buttons below).  The more folks we can get to participate, the better this contest will be for all of us.  And the more people we can get to join us as part of the Engaged Marriage community, the better we can advance our collective mission of achieving the extraordinary in marriage…and in life!

Don’t miss the other Improve Yourself posts…here is a running list:

  1. Improve Yourself! 2010 Announcement.  This is the place to start and sign-up by leaving a comment with your area of focus.
  2. The Prize List.  This is where you’ll get the details about the awesome prizes and learn about our generous sponsors.
  3. Week 1: Set SMART Goals.  Learn about smart goal-setting and leave your specific goals for the challenge in the comments.
  4. Week 2: Baby Step Your Way to Success.  Learn how you can achieve any goal by breaking it down into small, easier-to-handle tasks.
  5. Week 3: Prioritize Your Time for Progress. Learn the importance of focusing on important, but not urgent, tasks to improve your life and achieve long-term effectiveness.
  6. Week 4: YOU are Responsible for Your Progress. Quit making excuses, take ownership for your results and do the work necessary to make your goals a reality.
  7. Week 5: Don’t Be Perfect, Be Remarkable! You do not need to be perfect, you simply need to be remarkable in what you do. Don’t you think you can be remarkable in the way your handle your finances?  In your approach to fitness?  In your marriage?
  8. Week 6: Stick With It! I applaud you for sticking with your commitment to yourself and your fellow challenge participants. You are now in the minority as we close in on the finish line. Don’t Quit!
  9. Week 7: Communicate for Success Communication is a certain key to success in nearly all aspects of life.
  10. Week 8: Don’t Accept Mediocrity! Always get better even if it’s only in small increments.  Life is just too short to do otherwise.

About the Author

Dustin Riechmann created Engaged Marriage to help other married couples live a life they love (especially) when they feel too busy to make it happen. He has many passions, including sharing ways to enjoy an awesome marriage in 15 minutes a day, but his heart belongs with his wife Bethany and their three young kids.

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