“Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one.” – Brad Paisley
Whether 2013 has been your best year yet or a struggle, it’s that wonderful time of year when we turn the page and celebrate a fresh New Year.
To help celebrate and thank you for your support, we’ve got a great giveaway near the end of this post.
But before we get there, I want to share some highlights from 2013 for your enjoyment and also let you know about some exciting changes you can expect as we leap in 2014.
On a personal level, it was a bit of a mixed bag for us in the Riechmann household. We lost my Dad earlier in the year after a long struggle with his health, which is very difficult yet a blessing in its own way after sharing so much suffering with him in recent years.
Despite that loss, I can only look back on 2013 with a smile and give thanks to God for another year of good health and happiness for our family. Our kids grew a year older, our marriage matured (in a good way!) and we enjoyed meeting many personal goals along the way.
I hope you are able to take a little time to reflect on the past year and count your blessings. I’m sure there are many.
On the Engaged Marriage front, I’d also have to say that 2013 was a mixed bag. On the positive front, we welcomed some amazing new writers to our team mid-year. And in the last few months, we introduced our How To Workshops, which proved to be a real hit.
Despite our successes, I look back at the last year with a bit of regret. I wrote pretty infrequently, I feel like the site lost some of its luster and, if I’m being honest, a bit of its soul.
I miss the tight-connected community we’ve had here in the past (we’ve been going for over 4 years now!), and our blog/business/brand needs to get back to our central mission.
More on that in a moment. 🙂
The Best Posts of 2013 (and a Few Classics)
Based on the popularity among our readers, here’s a brief rundown of the Top 10 new posts of 2013:
- 15 Ways To Surprise Your Spouse And Keep the Spark Alive
- 3 Sex Lies (Some) Christian Wives Believe
- 5 Awesome (and Worthless) Ways to Improve Communication in Your Marriage
- Wives: Do You Know Why Your Orgasm Matters?
- Do NOT Ask This Question in Your Marriage…
- A Romantic Reference Guide: 36 Easy Ideas to Romance Your Spouse Today
- Till Death Do Us Part: 3 Unusual Life Lessons Learned at My Dad’s Bedside
- The Sex Tragedy the Church Could Fix
- Saying “Yes” to Sex? Is that Your Exception or Your Rule?
- 5 Reasons You Need a Debt-Free Marriage
Here are a few classics that attracted the most attention overall this year:
- 74 Simple Things You Can Do to Brighten Your Spouse’s Day
- Should Married Couples Have Joint or Separate Bank Accounts?
- The Best Kept Secret About Mind-Blowing Sex
And here are the new programs that we introduced in 2013 to help you in new ways:
- Time to Thrive – time management & goal achievement for busy family leaders
- How to Have More Sex & Better Intimacy in Your Marriage workshop
- How to Communicate Your Way to a Better Marriage workshop
Phew, what a year it was for creation and expansion of our content!
Exciting New Changes are Coming in 2014
Like I mentioned above, for all the success we’ve shared with you this year, I know we can be doing much more for you.
To make it happen, we have some things in store in 2014 that I think you’ll love.
- My wife Bethany is officially joining the team!
This is my favorite news in a long time. While she’s been my unofficial confidant and helper forever, Bethany will be taking the reigns as our Editor here on the blog and our community manager on our Facebook page. She is awesome, and I know the site will benefit big-time from her new contributions!
- The site will be refocusing on our core mission.
Engaged Marriage is here to serve busy couples and provide you with the practical, marriage-boosting resources you need to enjoy all the glory God wants to provide in your relationship. We firmly believe that strong marriages make strong families and a better world, and we’re here to help you live a married life you love, no matter how hectic life gets.
You’ll see this refocus happen in a few areas. For one, I’ll be writing much more consistently and (to make room and narrow the focus of our topic areas) we’ve cut back on the number of other team members from 8 to 4.
We’ll also be offering our How To Workshops on a monthly basis to provide you the targeted, actionable help you need in a super-useful and proven format.
- We’re coming together as a community again and having more FUN.
We’re also putting a renewed emphasis on making Engaged Marriage a community that you’re excited to be part of again.
Aside from new awesome content here on the blog, we’ll be focused on meeting you where you are with lots of interaction on our renewed Facebook page and our growing Pinterest page. And our email newsletter will feature more fun stuff and highlight great things going on within the EM community.
Plus, we plan to do many more giveaways, starting with today’s post. Giveaways are fun, helpful and serve to encourage you to spread the word and invite others to join us here. That’s a total win-win.
To make sure you don’t miss out on the giveaways or any of the new resources we’re making for you this year, make sure you’re signed up for our email insider club. It’s free and you’ll get a bunch of free gifts just for joining.
What Are Your Goals for 2014?
We have some ambitious goals for the New Year that I’ll share in another post in a few days.
I find “stretch” goals to be most effective, and we’ve got some EM goals that will require your help (like doubling the reach of this site by sharing it with your friends) and some personal ones that I enjoy sharing since I need our community’s support (like running my first full marathon in April- yikes).
I haven’t shared it much here on EM, but I created a pretty awesome (if I do say so myself) step-by-step program that will help you set your goals and achieve them. It was made with you in mind, so it will also show you how to find the time to accomplish your ambitions and keep your motivation high when the New Year’s rush runs out.
It’s called Time to Thrive, and to encourage you to get going on your goals, I’ve got a special 50% discount just for our community this week. Just click here and enter the coupon code “EM50” to get half off (expires 1/7).
Share Your Top Goal & Win Great Stuff
To encourage you to put your goals down in writing and to help you feel the love from the EM community, I have a giveaway for you. It’s really simple to enter.
In the comments below, just share your #1 goal for 2014 and (if applicable) what we can do here at Engaged Marriage to help you achieve it.
Is there a post that you’d love to read? A particular How To Workshop topic/guest that you’d benefit from? A book or resource we should give away to help? Something we can do as a community?
Just share your thoughts..and it’s totally okay if you don’t think we can help directly. 🙂
Here’s what you’ll be eligible to win:
- A copy of Time to Thrive
- A copy of the How to Have More Sex & Better Intimacy in Your Marriage workshop
- A copy of the How to Communicate Your Way to a Better Marriage workshop
- A $50 gift card to Amazon
If you win Time to Thrive or a workshop that you own already, we’ll send you a full refund – so feel free to get started today if any of those programs interest you.
I will select one comment at random to win one of each prize. Entries close at Noon CST on Saturday 1/4/14.
To encourage you to cheer on your fellow readers, any comments you leave in reply to others will also count! So if you see someone who shares a similar goal as you or who is seeking to achieve something you’ve done yourself, by all means reply to their comment with your helpful thoughts.
To help us jump-start our goal of doubling the size of our community, it would mean the world to me if you’d share this post with your friends on Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter. I’m not requiring it, but you can feel good for helping us while helping your friends, too – plus you can reply to their comment and get a bonus entry!
Thank you so much for being part of this community. We look forward to sharing so much more with you in 2014 and beyond.
Cheers from our family to yours!
Dustin & Bethany