I hope you were able to continue making strong progress toward your goals through the Improve Yourself! 2010 challenge this week. As always , I trust that these weekly posts will offer value to anyone looking to improve their life and their marriage, regardless of whether you are officially part of the contest.
If you are a participant, you must leave a comment below giving an update on your personal progress. Please do so by Tuesday, January 19th at 11:59 p.m. central time to be eligible for this week’s giveaway. If you are not signed up, feel free to leave a comment anyhow and give your thoughts on this week’s post or your own progress…you just won’t be winning any prizes.
If you have not read this week’s giveaway book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, you owe it to yourself to check it out. The seven habits Dr. Covey outlines are legitimately vital and practical.
My favorite principle from the book is Habit 3: Put First Things First, which is focused on personal time management. Basically, there are four areas, or quadrants, where we can classify every task in our lives: Urgent/Important, Not Urgent/Important, Urgent/Not Important, and Not Urgent/Not Important. The key to success is to maximize the time you spend in “Quadrant II: Not Urgent/Important” and this is where many of us struggle.
When we manage our time effectively enough to focus on issues that do not require immediate attention (not urgent) but are in fact important to our lives, we become strategic planners and we take actions that will benefit us in the long-term. If you are a regular reader of Engaged Marriage and/or you are actively participating in the Improve Yourself challenge, you are spending at least part of your time on Quadrant II activities. Nice work!
Expect in emergency situations, there is nothing necessarily urgent about your fitness level, your financial strength, your spiritual life or even your marriage. That’s why it’s so easy to get into a rut in all of these areas. When we lose focus and don’t manage our time effectively, the more urgent (even though less important) tasks begin to rule our days.
By setting goals and devoting your time to meeting them, you are setting yourself up for success and becoming effective in that area of your life. When you use your time wisely, you not only help yourself, but you are making progress in your marriage and family life as well.
I look forward to hearing about the progress you have made this week, and I certainly know that it takes wise time management and sacrifice to make it happen. Please leave a comment below letting us know what you did during Week 2 to better yourself.
This week’s giveaway is another great one. If you want to learn how to be more effective with your time and efforts in all areas of life, then I highly recommended that you read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.
Just enter your weekly update in the comments below, and you’ll be eligible to win your own (gently-used) copy of The Seven Habits. Click the link above to read more about this best-selling book.
And please don’t forget that you must subscribe to Engaged Marriage via either RSS or Email to be eligible for prizes. There is a secret code at the bottom of the post (just above “Related Posts”) that is only visible if you read this post via an RSS reader or in your email. If you are selected but aren’t subscribed (you don’t know the code when I email you), the prize will instead to go the next person drawn.
Congratulations to the lucky winner from our Week 2 drawing:
Unfortunately, we have had numerous people “disappear” since the original sign-up for this contest. Out of the original 64 participants, 51 commented in Week 1, and only 33 commented with their progress in Week 2. For those of you sticking with it and progressing toward your goals, your odds of winning each week and overall are improving with each drop-out!
Please note that missing one week doesn’t drop you from the contest, so if you simply forgot to leave a comment last week or just got off-track for a week, I encourage you to refocus on your goals and get back to work! Leave a comment here and let us know you are still working alongside us all.
And, yes, if you signed up originally and you are not around for Week 8, I will be posting your name and, if available, your website address at the end of the contest for being a slacker. You wanted accountability and I want to give you some! 🙂
The great prizes being given away throughout the challenge are only possible through the generous support of our sponsors. Please take a few minutes to visit this week’s sponsors and check out what they have to offer.
Personal Finance Notebook is a great site created by Patrenia Spears after her family paid off an incredible $93,000 in debt! Her posts are intended to empower her readers to achieve their financial goals. Her tag line says it all: “A website that offers ideas, education and the motivation needed to create a personal finance portfolio to be proud of.”
MomStart is a fantastic resource created by a mother of two who provides an incredible amount of reviews, giveaways and writings related to all of the new things going on in the world of parenting.
Budgets are Sexy is simply awesome. J. Money provides a site that is packed with really useful info about the world of personal finance, and he does it in his own (pimpin’) way. Entertaining and informative.
Make Mine Happen “Stop Dreaming and Start Doing” by putting the motivational and informational posts at this site to work in your life!
That’s it from me for Week 3 of the challenge! Look for the Week 4 post next Sunday. Get your progress stated below, visit our sponsors and go take some more progress toward your goals!
Don’t miss the other Improve Yourself posts…here is a running list:
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.