Individual Fulfillment – Engaged Marriage

Category Archives for "Individual Fulfillment"

7 Goals to Set Today to Make 2012 the Best Year of Your Life

By Dustin | Individual Fulfillment

Improve Your LifeIf I had to point to one action (besides prayer) that’s been responsible for most of the success I’ve enjoyed in life, it would have to be Goal Setting.

From paying off $54,500 in debt to riding 100 miles on my bike to writing my first book, the path to every major accomplishment has been paved with stepping stones in the form of specific goals.

By setting goals, I stay motivated, focused and accountable in a way that just isn’t possible without a plan.

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” – Zig Ziglar

Don’t Wait Until January 1st – Plan for Success Now

If you still need to clarify your goals for next year – now’s the time.

Don’t wait until January 1st.  Decide now what 2012 will bring for you by writing down the success you want in seven key areas of your life.

I “borrowed” these from one of my success mentors, Dan Miller, and I want to share them with you:

  • Physical – health, appearance, exercise
  • Spiritual – church involvement, personal commitment, theological understanding
  • Financial – income, investments, debts
  • Personal Development – knowledge, education, self-improvement
  • Family – relationships, development of children, your lifestyle
  • Social – friends, community involvement
  • Career – ambitions, fulfillment, dreams

How to Make It Easy

If this seems like too big of an undertaking (there is a lot to think about here), I have some great news.  Dan Miller is sharing a free workbook that will lead you through all seven areas pretty painlessly.  You can grab a copy right here (just right click and select “save-as”).

Also, if you struggle with making your goals stick and following through on them, you will LOVE my favorite little strategy for success.  It involves simply carrying a piece of paper with you, and it takes about 3 minutes each day, but the results are powerful.

Go check out The Easiest Way to Improve Your Fitness (and Your Marriage) to get the details and get started with this cool strategy.

Thank You!

As we enter the holidays, I want you to know that I am SO grateful for you as a reader.  Engaged Marriage has been around for over two years now, and it’s only through your support.

If you haven’t shared this site with your friends, I’d love it if you would take a moment to click the “Like” button above to spread the word on Facebook.  And be sure to leave a comment below sharing how goal setting has (or will) change your life!

(photo source)

Introducing the Fit Marriage Test Group Members

By Dustin | Individual Fulfillment

Fitness and MarriageWow.

When Tony and I decided to put the word out about Fit Marriage and solicit interest in being part of a Test Group to try out our first couple-friendly program, we were enthusiastic.  We hoped to receive applications from 10 individuals/couples.

Instead, we received 58 excellent applications!

We were truly blown away by the response, and we are so encouraged to push forward with our new project to help each and every person out there who wants to make fitness an integral part of their marriage and family life.  Thank you for your votes of confidence in us and our program.

Meet the Fit Marriage Test Group

Unfortunately, we could not include all 58 applicants in the Test Group.  Our intention is to work alongside the Test Group members and interact with you on a regular basis.  That just wouldn’t be possible (in a high-quality way) with such a large number of participants.  So, we had to select those that would be joining us at this time.

We originally planned on (hoped for) 10 participants.  However, we just couldn’t narrow it down that far, so we settled on a total of 16 members.  Most of these folks represent a couple, so more than 30 individuals will be joining us on this initial 12-week journey to improved fitness.

We will be contacting all of the applicants via email today to inform them of their status.  However, several people forgot to include an email address and others may miss the message, so I wanted to post here to spread the word to everyone.

Here are the Test Group members and their age.  As you can see, we have a diverse group of enthusiastic participants!

Kent, 46

Shawna, 40

Marina, 28

Carol, 34

Eric, 27

Andy, 31

Eric, 38

Amy, 27

Tiffany, 32

Andrew, 24

John, 37

Peter, 39

Melissa, 26

Jamie, 26

Nina, 26

Pablo, 55

Thank You!

Thank you once again to all of you who have shown your support for Fit Marriage via your applications, your sign-ups to the newsletter, your comments and your sharing in social media.

We are excited to share our new website in the next few weeks as well as launch our podcast where we’ll be discussing a wide range of issues related to fitness, nutrition and happy marriages.  We have several experts already lined up to join us for interviews, and we’ll be looking for energetic couples to feature as well.

If you missed it on the announcement post, please take a second to enter your email address below to join the Fit Marriage newsletter.  From this point forward, I won’t be mentioning FM too much here at Engaged Marriage, and this newsletter is the best way for you to find out about the progress of the project and also receive valuable content once we launch the site and podcast.

Please sign-up now and tell your friends! 🙂

If you can’t see the form on your RSS reader or email, please click here and visit the original post.

(photo source)

Want a Fit Marriage? Here’s Your Chance!

By Dustin | Individual Fulfillment

Fit MarriageI am very excited today to announce the beginnings of a new project that has the potential to change many lives and impact many marriages in a positive way.

There will be many more details to follow about the overall project, known as Fit Marriage, but I want to give you a sneak peek today and then announce a special opportunity that you have to be part of this mission from the start!

What’s Fit Marriage?

Fit. Together. For Life.

Fit Marriage is a new business, website, podcast, product line and brand that I’m developing alongside Tony DiLorenzo of ONE Extraordinary Marriage.  While we’re both very passionate about both marriage enhancement and fitness, we each offer unique gifts that we are excited to bring together in a way that should offer a great deal of help to other busy couples and help them achieve improved  physical fitness and overall wellness.

Tony is a super-fit guy and a successful extreme endurance athlete (particularly in cycling, at least lately) who has a wealth of knowledge and encouragement to share.  On the other hand, my physical exploits have been much more average as I’ve struggled to find a fitness program and approach that fits my crazy life and keeps me motivated to reach my goals.

I’ve always had a passion for fitness, and I’ve spent much of my life learning about exercise and nutrition and trying out different approaches with varying degrees of success.  Tony flat out knows his stuff, and he’s lived a fit lifestyle his entire adult life.  As we started to combine “notes” and opinions about fitness (in the context of some marriage discussions), we realized that we had something incredibly valuable to share with the busy married couples of the world.

And so, Fit Marriage was born.

The First “FM” Program is Ready…We Think

Since won’t be live for a few more weeks, you may be wondering why we’re sharing this news today before our site is complete and prior to releasing the first episode of our podcast.  The simple answer is that the power is in the program!

Tony and I have spent the past several months working hard to develop the initial, core fitness program that we want to build Fit Marriage around.  Our primary goals were a program that got killer results while fitting within the demands of a super-busy marriage and family life.

Well, we’ve done it!  Here are the highlights of this yet-unnamed fitness program:

  • EVERY workout is 30 minutes or less!
  • EVERY workout can be done at home without the need to drive to, tolerate or pay for a gym!
  • It provides 12 full weeks of workouts that are broken into three distinct phases to keep things interesting and effective.
  • It combines a great variety of Core, Strength, Power Yoga and Cardio workouts.
  • It includes a total of TEN full workouts (25-30 mins) plus two bonus 8-minute “No Excuses” workouts.
  • The workouts are video-based so they’re easy to learn and follow along.
  • It provides simple nutritional guidelines that you can actually follow in your daily life.
  • And perhaps most importantly, this program was designed to be fun and effective for both Men and Women, and it is an awesome way for a busy couple to workout TOGETHER!

We are both in the middle of the program now and seeing awesome results.  Needless to say, we are excited.  However, there’s one thing that’s been missing so far…

We Need YOUR Input!

The main purpose of today’s post is to invite YOU to try out our new fitness program…for free!

While we think this program is great, the real test comes when other real-life, busy married folks use it and enjoy improved physical fitness, mental wellness and happy marriages.  And we hope you’ll join us to be one of the first to experience it for yourself.

How You’ll Benefit by Joining the Test Group

  • First chance to try out the new program and become part of the FM community
  • FREE access to the full program in its draft form (that’s 12 weeks of great workouts)
  • FREE copy of the final product (likely a premium multi-DVD system) – ONLY if you complete the full program!
  • Exclusive opportunity to interact with Tony and I directly as you move through the program
  • Frequent interaction with us to keep you motivated and moving forward
  • Satisfaction of knowing you helped develop a system that’s sure to have a positive impact on the lives and marriages of many

How We Benefit by Hosting You

  • Receive honest feedback from good people to help improve the program before it gets finalized
  • Get the chance to interact with others while they experience the program
  • Gain success stories to use in conjunction with launching the final version of the product later this year
  • Help others get fit and have better marriages, which is what it’s all about!

Ready to Join Us? Here are the Details

If you are ready to make a positive change in your personal fitness, and possibly grow closer to your spouse in the process, we encourage you to apply to become part of our Test Group!

Please note that we are going to be selective about who we invite to participate. In other words, we invite you to apply below, but please understand that not everyone will make it into the group.

We want to have the time and energy to really interact with each member of our Test Group team on a regular basis.  And we only want people who will remain committed to the program, finish and share their honest feedback and results.

Requirements to Be Considered for the Test Group

  • You agree to participate at your own risk.  You should always check with your doctor before starting any exercise program, and we take no responsibility or liability for your health.
  • Be ready to start on 8/16 and workout according to the plan for 12 weeks (please, quitters need not apply)
  • Be able and willing to exercise five days per week for 30 minutes or less each day
  • Preferably, currently be a beginner or intermediate fitness level
  • Bring a positive attitude and an awesome work ethic
  • Offer open and honest feedback throughout the program
  • Interact via email with Tony and I to share your progress and questions
  • Take a Fitness Test before, during and after the program to document your improved fitness
  • Take photographs of yourself in a bathing suit before, during and after the program to document your improved appearance
  • Be willing to share your testimonials, Fitness Test data and photographs on Fit Marriage and as part of promotional materials for the final product
  • If you enjoy the program, tell your friends and family!

If you are up to the challenge, just click the link below and fill out the requested information.  Please note that the information you share here is confidential and will only be visible to Tony and I.  Please be honest with your answers. 🙂


QUICK UPDATE: Wow, the response to our Test Group offer has been outstanding, and we are going to have some tough decisions to make when choosing who will take part.  Go ahead and sign up using the link above to make our choices even tougher.

Also, if you have any interest in Fit Marriage, I’d highly encourage you to enter your email address below so we can keep you up-to-date on this awesome new project.  Thanks everyone! 🙂

Please note that we still stop accepting applications at 11:59 pm CST on Monday, August 9th.  We will select and notify the successful Test Group members on August 11th.  All materials will be provided so you can do your initial Fitness Test and get started on August 16th!

Also, please take a moment to share a link to this post with all of your friends and social networks (Twitter Re-Tweet and Facebook Share buttons are provided below).  This is a chance for you to possibly help them improve their own fitness and married life!

Want to Know More About Fit Marriage?

Whether you want to join the Test Group or not, we’re anxious to have you join us as part of the Fit Marriage community.  Please enter your email address below, and you’ll be among the first to know when Fit Marriage launches and when other awesome opportunities come up to join us in improving your fitness and your marriage!

If you can’t see the form on your RSS reader or email, please click here and visit the original post.

Thanks to everyone for your continued support!  If you have questions or suggestions for the Fit Marriage team, please share them in the comments below.

P.S. – Don’t forget to enter your email address above, apply to be part of the Test Group and share this opportunity with your friends!  We’re excited to have your support!

(photo source)

What Role Does Fitness Play in Your Marriage?

By Dustin | Individual Fulfillment

When I wrote a recent post about my (re)discovery that fitness is important to my marriage, I never realized the pivotal role that it would play in my life. I’ll be sharing much more on that front over the next few weeks, but today I’d like to share a bit more about my thoughts on the relationship between physical wellness and a happy married life.

More importantly, I really want to create a dialogue with and between the awesome members of our community in the comments to this post. If you are reading this via an RSS Reader, please do me a favor and come over to the site so you can engage in this conversation.

I want to ask a few questions and then give you my thoughts on each. In the comments, please share your perspective on this super-important topic.

Do You Think Fitness is Important to Your Marriage?

Obviously, my answer here is Yes! based on my last post and posts from the early days of the site where I made the case for Getting Fit and Having a Healthy Marriage.

Recently, I’ve become even more enthusiastic, and I think that’s because my mindset has changed.  Instead of viewing exercise as a self-centered activity to simply look good or feel good about myself, I’ve really started looking at it as a service to Bethany and my children.  Not only is my self-confidence improved, but so are my moods, health, enthusiasm and energy.

I am a better husband and father when I am fit (or working towards a state of better fitness).

Do You Exercise Regularly? If Not, Would You Like To?

For the last few months, I can certainly say that my workouts have been consistent.  My history with exercise has been one of up-and-downs and starts-and-stops.  My weight has fluctuated 40 pounds several times since college along with my overall wellness.

I honestly think I’ve gotten beyond that with the help of a realistic and effective training program as well as some great accountability partners.  I am a regular exerciser now.

Do You Ever Exercise With Your Spouse? Would You Like To?

Sort of.  Lately, this hasn’t been much of an option for us as Bethany is currently 9 1/2 months pregnant.  However, I’d definitely like to exercise with her as much as possible after the new baby gets here and everything settles down.

Some of my best memories of our dating years (and pre-kid years) include tennis matches, shooting baskets and taking long walks and bike rides.  We’ve allowed life to get in the way of this form of physical connectedness, and I do miss it.

The program I’m following now would definitely allow us to workout together at home as long as we could find a time when the kids are asleep (or they could join us).  This could be an issue with a newborn!  If we can’t exercise together, then we’ll be sure to allow each other a little time to workout individually, and hopefully we’ll be able to do so together from time-t0-time.

What Are the Biggest Obstacles Keeping You from Getting in Shape?

This one’s easy: TIME!

One of the main reasons my previous fitness programs have stalled is that they weren’t sustainable for the long haul.  For example, P90X requires an hour to an hour-and-a-half workouts six days per week.  This sounds doable and does get results, but how long would your lifestyle allow you to maintain this before you get derailed or simply rundown?

Also, it is just so easy to get sidetracked during the course of a busy day and miss a workout.  When this happens, one day turns into two, then three and then I say “might as well restart at lunchtime on Monday.”  Except Monday brings a lunch meeting and the whole plan goes down the tubes.  Hey Gym, see in you six months when New Year’s Day rolls around!

My current program allows me to workout at home and it takes less than 30 minutes a day, five days per week (and two of those days let me get outside when the weather permits, which is awesome).  So, in the time it used to take me to drive to the gym and back, I can knock out a great workout in the morning before work.

This works great for me because all of the distractions of the day can’t get in the way!

Let’s Talk!

I am really interested to hear what you have to say about the role of exercise and fitness in your marriage.  I thought about doing a survey on this topic, but I’d much rather have an open dialogue and get your honest perspective.

If you’re going to comment on one post this year, I’d really like it if you chose this one.  Thanks!

Dedicated to Fitness, Motivated by Marriage

By Dustin | Individual Fulfillment

Marriage and FitnessIt hurts so much to type exist right now.

You see, I started anew this week on a quest for improved fitness.  You may have heard of the P90X home training system or seen one of their super-persuasive infomercials.  Trust me, it’s the real deal if you have the right sadistic serious attitude to take on some varied, but quite intense, workouts.

I know it’s the real deal not from my three days of agony training thus far, but because I actually bought and used this system over a year ago when Engaged Marriage was but a twinkle in my eye.  I used it for about 10 weeks to build my base fitness level before training to ride my first Century (100 miles) bike ride on my 30th birthday last July.

I was truly in the best shape of my life.  Alas, as I approach my 31st birthday and the birth of our third child this July, I sit here in probably the worst shape of my life.  Completely damn annoying Funny how that happens.

Get Fit and Have a Healthy Marriage

As I look back at the last year, I can see how I basically got burned out after the big culminating event with the Century and just never returned to my active habits.  I actually turned my attention to a new hobby obsession at that point…and you’re reading it right now!

That’s right, I started Engaged Marriage at the end of August 2009 right after we returned from a vacation.  And unless you were one of the 10 people who were hanging out here in those early days, I doubt you’ve ever read a series I wrote called Get Fit and Have a Healthy Marriage.

Even though my writing’s changed a bit since then, and the formatting of the posts is a bit strange, I actually enjoyed reading the series again recently and ended up motivating myself to get my fat pleasantly plump butt back in gear!  Here are the links if you’d like to check them out:

  1. Get Fit and Have a Healthy Marriage: The Realization
  2. Get Fit and Have a Healthy Marriage: The Reasons
  3. Get Fit and Have a Healthy Marriage: Where Do I Find the Time?

Motivated by Marriage and Family

Have you ever been motivated by the stark realization that you aren’t practicing what you preach?

Well, that was my initial spark when I thought back to all I was doing in preparation for my 30th birthday, looked at the Facebook pictures of my exhaustion joy at the end of my Century ride, and then rediscovered those posts where I was telling the world why they should remain fit.

However, I’ve since realized that my motivation runs deeper.  Here a few of the thoughts that have weighed (literally and figuratively) on me lately and pushed me back to a healthier lifestyle:

  • My wife is so strong and tough at 8 months of pregnancy…I should be more like her.
  • We have a new baby on the way…I need to get ready physically for all that entails.
  • I have a very crazy active 5 year old boy who needs an equally active Daddy…and a sweet 3 year old girl who needs her Daddy to be patient and “present” even after he’s done playing outside with the crazy boy.
  • My Dad is in very poor health with lots of heart problems and damage from years of abuse…I need to take care of my own heart.
  • A good family friend is battling the last stages of ovarian cancer…I can’t take my health for granted.
  • God has been way too good to me and blessed me with all that I could ever ask for…and it’s only right that I honor the awesome gift of a healthy and able body by keeping it that way.
  • I preach taking a proactive approach to marriage and life every day…and I need to apply to this to all areas of my own life.

So I have a lot to think about each morning at 6 a.m. as I head downstairs to kick my own ass.  And even more to pray in thanksgiving about when I lay down next to my beautiful wife each evening.

And it makes me smile with every painful step as my body reminds me that I’ve been complacent for too long…

So, what are some of your best sources of motivation?

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