Monthly Archives: June 2013

Jun 28

It’s Your Time to Thrive – a contest!

By Dustin | Time Management

Win free access to Time to Thrive!As you may have heard, we just opened enrollment in an all-new version of Time to Thrive.

Time to Thrive will show you how to get control of your schedule and become more productive.

Now, there are lots of programs, book and seminars out there that will tell you about time management (I’ve been through many of them).

But Time to Thrive is much different – it’s made so that you see RESULTS in all areas of your busy life. After all, it’s not about getting more stuff done, but doing what matters.

When you join, we’ll first get you focused in on one big goal you’ve been dying to accomplish – this is very personal but other graduates have rekindled the romance in their marriage, started a side business to make more money, ran a half marathon, gotten their house organized and many, many other cool things.

Then, through the accomplishment of your goal, I will walk you step-by-step to show you exactly how to get more time and become super-productive.  And you’ll build healthy habits in the process to make sure it sticks.

The program can be completed at your own pace, but most graduates take around 30 days.  So, 30 days from now you could have control over your time and be well on your way to accomplishing a big goal you’ve been craving.

How would it feel to know you’re setting an awesome example for your family by getting rid of stress, getting in control and focusing on what matters most in your blessed life?

I want you to experience it.

How to Win FREE Access to Time to Thrive

Time to Thrive was originally only open to a select test group who helped to perfect the program and make it as simple to follow and impactful as possible.  But we’re now opening it up to the entire Engaged Marriage community.

As part of this relaunch, we’re giving a major discount on enrollment to those who join us before the end of the day on Monday, July 1st.

But I want to make it even easier for you to experience Time to Thrive, so I’m holding a little contest here to give away one free membership.  I’ll announce the winners on Sunday evening.

This is YOUR chance to win and join the next graduating class of family leaders who will enjoy an extra hour of quality time every day and feel energized to do more of what matters.

This will only take a couple of minutes…all you have to do is answer ONE question.

Go check out the details about Time to Thrive by clicking here.  Then, in the comments section of this blog post, tell me…

  • Why you think Time to Thrive can help you and your family and what outcome you want to see at the end of your 30 day experience

That’s it!  And remember, you can start the program whenever you want and progress as you please.

Entries with more specifics have a better chance of winning.

You must enter by Sunday 6/30 at 7:00 p.m. CST.  I’m going to go through every single one of your responses and award a winner late Sunday evening.

If you win, you’ll get:

  • The full Time to Thrive program where I’ll walk you through how to get control of your time, become super-productive and achieve any goal you’d like – so you enjoy at least an extra hour of quality time each day.
  • Exclusive access to the private Thrive Community. This is where you interact with me and other Time to Thrive students (and graduates!). So if you ever felt like you were “going it alone” as a busy Family Leader, now you can meet other like-minded people that “get you.”
  • Bonus #1 – The Thrive “Get Unstuck” Success Guide
  • Bonus #2 – The Thrive Productivity App & Family Leader Resource Guide
  • Lifetime access and updates

I will award one membership.  I’m really excited to read your entry and hear what you have to say about the impact of having more time to do more of what matters in your life…

Good Luck!

Jun 18

What Would You Do With an Extra Hour Each Day?

By Dustin | Time Management

Imagine for a moment that you could add an hour to your day – not another hour for work, cleaning or worrying…an extra hour of quality time to do what you really want.

What would you do with that extra hour?

  • Rekindle the romance in your marriage
  • Lose weight
  • Train for a race
  • Get out of debt
  • Start a side business
  • Write a book
  • Reignite your spiritual life
  • Go on play dates on with your kids

Think about something very specific you’d do with the gift of an extra hour.

Hold that thought.

Now, of course, the real question is how in the world could you ever get an extra hour of quality time every day.

I’d like to tell show you.

Click here for your FREE Time to Thrive training videos

How to Enjoy an Extra Hour of Quality Time Every Day

I’ve spent the last seven months working on a very special project to answer the #1 question I get from busy Family Leaders – All. The. Time.

“How can I get more time?”

And today I’m super excited to share a free video series with you that will show you exactly how to make it happen.  The project is called Time to Thrive and the entire thing was created to help Family Leaders (like you).

Go check out the 80-second intro video and see if it’s something that will benefit you.  Then just sign up for free access to this one-of-a-kind training.

As you’ll see in the first video, this isn’t some old-school time management mumbo-jumbo.  This is a unique, step-by-step approach to getting control of your schedule, being more productive and doing more of what matters in your life.

This is exactly what we’ve put into place in our family – and it’s made all the difference:

Click here for your FREE Time to Thrive training videos

I can’t wait to share this with you!

Jun 13

Build Your Emergency Fund: 5 Ways to Save on Bills

By Dustin | Finances & Careers

Build Your Emergency Fund - 5 Ways to Save on BillsHow much cash do you have in the bank?

Could you and your spouse survive a financial crisis?

Many couples recognize the importance of building a savings account but can’t put money aside because of their financial obligations.

There is no escaping personal obligations, as bills are a part of life. However, there are ways to lower how much you pay in household bills.

If you can reduce your expenses by as little as 10% a month, this frees up cash for increasing your nest egg.

Here are five ways to stop spending so much and increase your savings.

Re-Evaluate Your Housing

What percentage of your income do you currently spend on housing? Thirty-percent? Fifty-percent?

Housing is a big expense, however financial experts recommend keeping house payments at 30 percent of your income or less. Calculate your housing ratio by dividing your monthly house payment by your gross monthly income.

For example, if you gross $4,000 a month and you pay $1,200 in mortgage or rent, your monthly housing ratio is 30%.

How Much Do You Pay for T.V. Services?

Ordering the best cable package increases your T.V. and movie options, but it doesn’t benefit your pocket.

Lower your cable package – or get rid of the service altogether – and you can put money in savings each month. Not only will you save money, but you’ll waste less time.

This is perfect for spending quality time with your family or discovering a hobby.

Reduce Energy Use

Maybe your electricity bill is your next biggest expense. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce energy consumption and lower your monthly bills.

Getting cheaper rates on utilities from Direct Energy can save you money each month. Additionally, working with your family to use less electricity helps. For example, teach kids to turn off lights and electronics when they leave a room.

You might use LED lighting, or choose energy-efficient appliances for your home. These efforts combined with other energy savings techniques can noticeably decrease your bills.

Ask for a Lower Interest Rate

If you have a balance on your credit cards, and you’re paying more than 11% or 12% in interest, get on the phone and ask your credit card companies to lower your rate. This approach only works if you maintain a good payment history and credit history. Creditors aren’t obligated to lower your rate.

But if you can get your rates reduce, your creditors will charge less interest, thus making it possible for you to pay down balances faster.

Be Smart with Groceries

Reduce your grocery bill by half and put the extra cash in your savings account. Plan meals that require the same ingredients, thus reducing how much you have to purchase.

Secondly, clip coupons and shop on double coupon days to maximize your savings.

Maybe you haven’t had much success with saving in the past – but this can change. Modify your spending, look for ways to cut back, and you can build the cushion necessary to weather financial storms.

Jun 06

How Many Hats Can We Wear?

By Dustin | Communication

Wearing Many HatsNote from Dustin: This guest post has a little different flavor – while it’s not about marriage specifically, I think the distinction between “multi-taskers” and “focused” people is a key one that many of us deal with in our relationships. 

Personally, I think that multi-tasking is a lie…but we’ll discuss that in a future post. 🙂

Having a single identity can leave you feeling pretty restricted.

No one wants to be confined to a strait jacket, surrounded by the same white walls every day. Do you feel like you are constantly bouncing between those walls, wishing for a way out?

Metaphorically speaking, I often wonder how many hats I could put on my head before I lost control.

I’m what some would commonly refer to as a “Type A” personality, and doing multiple things well is just a part of my personality. Of course, it makes me wonder how much I can take on before it all comes tumbling down around me.

I don’t believe this is gender specific. I do, however, think that my mate manages one task much better than I can.

I’m constantly focused on multiple tasks, and although I get them done, it would certainly be nice to focus on one thing at a time. I don’t feel it’s gender specific, because my brother is just like me. He is always multitasking whereas his wife is excellent at sorting out just one task at a time with laser-like focus.

Just this morning, I had a conversation with a couple of co-workers – one of them male and the other female. We were discussing the differences between the brain of a woman and that of a man. It was a common consensus that women are constantly thinking of multiple things while a man can focus on just a single one.

I’m not sure that I believe this to be the answer on a global scale, meaning that all men and women differ and our minds are just as different as our personalities, our fashion style, or the way we deal with one another.

I like to wear many hats; you may not. It’s that simple. What’s not so simple is the way it affects my personal life.

I spent the weekend full of farewells. A going away party for a now former co-worker, a see ya later/congratulations party for my little sister (who is moving to chase her dream career), and a graduation party for a college friend who is now moving home.

While at my sister’s party, I watched as she grilled my new mate, I believe in an attempt to see if we were a good fit. One of the many questions asked was “Tell me one thing that makes you stand out above the rest.”

My love interest clearly wasn’t prepared to answer this question. “I am unique” was all that could come out. This answer was not good enough for my very opinionated little sister, who was looking for an answer that was a little narrower, less vague.

That got me thinking. Why is it one thing that people always want to know?

Since I wear so many hats, it makes it difficult to sum myself up in one word, or even 10. And it’s very likely that the words I would use to define myself would contradict one another.

That’s the thing about us “Type A” personalities, we are absolutely undefinable because we have an overwhelming desire to do all things well. Of course, this is a task that simply isn’t possible, but that doesn’t keep us from trying..

A nurturing mother in one instant can turn to a fierce competitor the next. This happens not just in mindset, but also activities.

One moment I may be looking at what’s available at Personal Creations – in search of the best gift money can buy for my best friend’s unborn child – then within a matter of seconds I am plotting out an attempt to conquer the business world by climbing the career ladder faster than my friends all while wondering if we could save money on our car insurance by switching to Geico. Darn gecko!

While most people might bounce around between these thoughts, people like me manage to have them all at once.

I guess this brings me to the conclusion that we all have many different things that define us.

Some can put on a single hat and wear it until it has served its purpose, then hang it on a rack and hold onto it until the next time it’s needed. Me, on the other hand, I’ll pile hat on top of hat until my head begins to get heavy and the hats begin to sway. It’s at this point that I will choose one to put away, and continue to try and balance the rest.

That’s just what people like me do, for better or worse.

This is a guest post from writer Christine Michaels.

Jun 01

7 Ways to Rekindle the Romance when You’re Married with Kids

By Dustin | Romance

7 Ways to Rekindle the Romance when You're Married with KidsRaising a family can take its toll on couples, sometimes resulting in prolonged lapses in intimacy and romance.

If you feel like the romance has gone out like a flame, don’t feel too bad about it – you’re not alone.

Most couples experience phases of reduced romance and intimacy, especially after children are born.

Because intimacy is so important in relationships, it’s good to try and find ways to combat the fatigue and reconnect with your partner.  Here are some tips to help you make it happen.

1. Make time for your relationship.

Between crying babies and demands from the office, it may not seem possible to make time for your relationship. If you want it to work, you have to try.

Even if it’s only for an hour, that time with your partner is important.

2. Appreciate your partner.

You and your partner work hard to keep money in the bank, raise the kids, and keep the house clean. These jobs may not be split entirely equally, so it’s important for both partners to appreciate the things the other does.

So, remember to say, “thank you.” You’ll be surprised by just how much depth a simple act of gratitude can add to a relationship.

3. Flirt often.

Relationship expert, Sherrie Campbell, Ph.D., recommends flirting to keep a marriage fun. “Send your partner sweet and sexy text messages they would not be expecting…newness is sexy, and flirting is a great way to make things feel new and fresh again.”

Here’s an idea for wives looking to spice up their marriage: Why not place a piece of feminine lingerie on the bed? He’ll walk into your bedroom, see it lying there, and know you’re planning something steamy for later.

4. Communicate.

If you haven’t discussed your intimacy issues with your partner, you should. Communication is a huge part of intimacy.

How are you supposed to feel close enough to kiss someone if you can’t even talk to them? Make time to talk about important interpersonal issues! Share with your partner and your bond will grow.

5. Do things because you want to, not because you have to.

Holidays are important to families, especially the romantic ones. Of course, you should get your wife some flowers on Valentine’s Day, but she’s going to feel extra special when she gets a surprise bouquet on some random Tuesday.

Instead of waiting for a holiday to dictate when you should appreciate your partner, appreciate them on random occasions to show you’re thinking about them all the time.

6. Spend time together.

It’s important to spend time together. Lots of couples have date nights, even if it means just renting a movie after the kids are asleep.

More than just dates, you should go out and do things together. Go shopping together. Eat out together. Be together.

During the holidays, make sure that you’re shopping for your children together. This will strengthen your bond as parents and remind you that you’re doing the right thing by keeping the love alive. You can even bargain shop together.

Wives shouldn’t be reluctant to let their hubbies in on the Black Friday fun! Invite him over to the computer to take a look at the Black Friday specials you’re perusing.

7. Get help if you need it.

If you feel like you’ve exasperated yourself trying to fix your flawed relationship, you may need a third perspective. There’s no shame in seeking professional help.

A marriage counselor can assess the situation and make professional judgments to help with the issues you’re having.

How about you – what do you do to keep the romance alive in your busy marriage?  Share in the comments!