It’s time to set our goals and get started with Improve Yourself! 2010. I am a huge fan of goal-setting and believe it makes a profound difference in the level of success we achieve in our lives. Based on my own experience and lots of reading on the topic, I encourage you to follow the SMART Goals approach to setting your own specific goals for the challenge and in all areas of your life, including your marriage.
What is a SMART Goal?
Specific – What are you going to do? Why are you doing it? How will you accomplish it?
Measurable – Establish concrete measures of your progress. Your goal must be quantifiable.
Attainable – Challenge yourself, but be realistic.
Relevant – Be sure your goal fits into your overall lifestyle and greater desires.
Time-Bound – Every goal needs a completion date associated with it.
I will document my own goals for the 8-week Improve Yourself! challenge in the comments below. And I expect you to hold me and all of the other participants accountable for meeting these self-imposed expectations! By the way, for those of you focusing on fitness like me, there is a free SparkTeam on Spark People that was created just for the challenge (thanks Carrie!). Sign-up and you’ll have a convenient way to measure and track your progress.
It’s Time to Set Your Goals!
If you have not already signed-up for the (free) Improve Yourself! 2010 challenge, please do so before you do anything else.
Once you’ve signed up, it is time to post your own goals for the challenge in the comments to this post. Please state your overall area of focus (just ONE) and your SMART goals.
In order to be part of the challenge and be eligible for all of the awesome prizes being given away, everyone must sign-up on the announcement post AND state their goals in the comments on this post. The deadline to enter is Tuesday, January 5th at 11:59 p.m. Central time.
Once you’ve stated your goals, it’s time to start working toward meeting them! With the exception of this first week, I’ll be posting a weekly Improve Yourself! post every Sunday. Each week, you’ll have to report in with your progress by the following Tuesday (two days later).
This Week’s Awesome Prize(s) & How to Win Them
In order to get things started off with a bang and help attract more participants before the contest closes January 5th, we are giving away THREE books for Week 1! I’ll be selecting random comments (using random.org) from this post and giving away one book to each of three different lucky winners.
This week’s self-improvement book prizes include:
These are all fantastic resources that will give you tools to improve yourself. Click on each of these links to read more about them.
Every week, the weekly prize winner will be selected at random from the comments. For THIS WEEK ONLY, I am going to give you the opportunity to increase your chances of winning by spreading the word about the challenge. For each of the following actions you take, you’ll get an entry into this week’s prize drawing:
- State your goals for the contest in a comment below (required).
- Share the announcement post on Facebook using this link: Share on Facebook
- Send the following Tweet on Twitter (copy & paste): Have goals for 2010? Join me in the Improve Yourself Challenge & win some of $750 of PRIZES! http://su.pr/1Z10aB (@EngagedMarriage)
- Email your friends with a link to the announcement post (copy & paste): http://www.engagedmarriage.com/individual-fulfillment/announcing-improve-yourself-2010
- Put the “Improve Yourself! 2010” button on your site. You can grab the HTML in the sidebar to make it easy.
- Write a post on your blog and link back to the Improve Yourself announcement post.
- Become a “fan” on the Engaged Marriage Facebook page. If you are already a fan, just state that and it will count as an entry.
Whenever you share on Facebook, Tweet on Twitter, Email your friends, put the button on your site, write a blog post or become a Facebook fan, please reply to your goal comment and let me know. For example, if you did Facebook and Twitter you will have your goal comment followed by two additional comments (one saying “I shared on FB” and one saying “I Tweeted on Twitter”).
And please don’t forget that you MUST subscribe to Engaged Marriage via either RSS or Email to be eligible for prizes. Starting with this post, 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.
Thanks to This Week’s Sponsors!
The great prizes being given away for Week 1 are only possible through the generous support of our sponsors. Not only are they generous, but they each have awesome sites as well! Please take a few minutes to visit them and check out what they have to offer.
Make Mine Happen “Stop Dreaming and Start Doing” by putting the motivational and informational posts at this site to work in your life!
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.
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.” I love it.
If you’d like to become a sponsor of the challenge, it’s not too late. Please contact me about a sponsorship opportunity before we close the doors to both sponsors and participants on January 5th.
That’s it from me for Week 1 of the challenge! Get your goals stated below, spread the word, visit our sponsors and GET TO WORK! I’ll be right alongside you! 🙂
I can’t wait to read your goals. Look for the next Improve Yourself post for Week 2 on Sunday, January 10th. In the meantime, enjoy the regular, marriage-improving content here at Engaged Marriage.
Happy New Year!
Don’t miss the other Improve Yourself posts…here is a running list:
- Improve Yourself! 2010 Announcement. This is the place to start and sign-up by leaving a comment with your area of focus.
- The Prize List. This is where you’ll get the details about the awesome prizes and learn about our generous sponsors.
- Week 1: Set SMART Goals. Learn about smart goal-setting and leave your specific goals for the challenge in the comments.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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!
- Week 7: Communicate for Success Communication is a certain key to success in nearly all aspects of life.
- 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.