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98 Simple Things Men Can Do to Add Spark to Their Marriage »

Couple on BeachMaybe your marriage is starting to lose it’s honeymoon sparkle. Or maybe you’ve been together for so long that the relationship is becoming stale. Here are 101 tips for improving your marriage and relighting that fire.

  1. Tell your wife she’s beautiful.
  2. Cook her favorite meal and serve it by candlelight.
  3. Go for a walk together.
  4. Hold her hand while taking that walk.
  5. Look through a family photo album together.
  6. Schedule a regular date night at least every other week.
  7. Tell your wife how she has changed your life for the better.
  8. Surprise your wife with a lunch together on her work day.
  9. Apologize for something you did wrong, and work to not let it happen again.
  10. Hug your wife from behind while she’s doing something like cooking or brushing her teeth.
  11. Pray together.
  12. Snuggle with her during a romantic movie.
  13. Do a household chore that she hate to do.
  14. Go for a bike ride together.
  15. Caress her face while telling her you love her.
  16. Write her a love letter and leave it where she will find it.
  17. Have flowers delivered to your wife at work.
  18. Next time she is in the shower, heat a towel for her in the dryer.
  19. Play a board game together.
  20. Buy her a small gift for no special reason except that you love her.
  21. Make her a compilation CD with her favorite music.
  22. Make her a bubble bath and wash her hair for her.
  23. Buy your wife’s favorite chocolates.
  24. Tell her your hopes and dreams.
  25. Forgive your wife for something she did wrong, and don’t even mention it.
  26. Plan a special date with dinner and dancing.
  27. Tell her yes when you want to say no.
  28. Take a day off of work and spend it with your wife.
  29. Do all her chores for the day. Don’t allow her to do any work.
  30. Listen to your wife without giving her advice.
  31. Smile more often.
  32. Say thank you when she does something for you.
  33. Next time you go out together, compliment her looks.
  34. Ask her about her hopes and dreams.
  35. Go on a picnic that you prepared.
  36. Wash dishes together.
  37. Watch the children while she goes out with friends.
  38. Try something different in the bedroom, or maybe in a different room.
  39. Give up something you do alone on the weekends to spend time with your family.
  40. Attend church together.
  41. Give your wife a foot rub.
  42. Always speak of her in a positive way to others.
  43. Drop by her work with her favorite Starbuck’s drink or other treat.
  44. Serve her breakfast in bed.
  45. Compliment her cooking.
  46. Take your wife shopping, and don’t complain.
  47. Go to a carnival together.
  48. Take a cooking class together.
  49. Clean and organize the laundry room, pantry, closet or some other cluttered area.
  50. Call her at an unusual time just to say you love her.
  51. Tell her what a wonderful mother she is, and give examples.
  52. Give her a card (the Hallmark type) of support before or after a particularly stressful day.
  53. Leave a note on the refrigerator, phone, or car windshield telling her how special she is.
  54. Leave Hershey Kisses all around the house just for her.
  55. Thank her for doing the laundry (or other important task around the home).
  56. Clean her car inside and out and make it smell nice.
  57. Ask how her day was, and listen.
  58. Make her a special sack lunch for work.
  59. Read jokes together.
  60. Give your wife a back rub, or better yet, a 30 minutes full-body massage.
  61. Ask her what makes her feel special, and do it.
  62. Prepare in indoor picnic next to a warm fire.
  63. Let her be in charge of the TV remote.
  64. Fix something around the house that you know bothers her.
  65. Let her sleep late on the weekend.
  66. Don’t tease her about her shortcomings.
  67. Exercise to keep yourself in shape.
  68. Take an interest in her hobbies.
  69. Write a love story about how you met your wife and give it to her.
  70. Go swimming together late at night.
  71. Put your hand on her leg when driving in the car.
  72. Give her a day at the spa while you take care of things at home.
  73. Start a jigsaw puzzle together.
  74. Read poetry to her at night.
  75. Whisper something romantic to your wife when out in a crowd.
  76. Make cookies together.
  77. Recreate your first date.
  78. Buy a kite and fly it together.
  79. Take a shower or bath together.
  80. Brush her hair.
  81. Make a list of memories you have together and share them with her.
  82. Take a weekend road trip together with no plans.
  83. Double date with some good friends.
  84. Go to a secluded park, lie on a blanket and watch the stars together.
  85. Flirt with her in public.
  86. Eat out at a fondue restaurant. Ask for a quiet, secluded table.
  87. Don’t try to teach her something without her permission.
  88. Turn off the TV and do something together.
  89. Ask her to share a fantasy and make it come true.
  90. Spend the first 15 minutes after work focused fully on your wife.
  91. Learn to say I’m sorry, thank you and I love you.
  92. Send her a romantic text message.
  93. Sit down together to pay the bills.
  94. Give her your full attention when talking.
  95. Look through your wife’s school yearbook together.
  96. Put on some music and slow dance in the living room.
  97. Compliment her in front of friends.
  98. Celebrate your wife’s achievements together.

So take the time to do just one of these today. Then print out this list as a reminder of things you can do to improve your marriage. And don’t forget to add your own ideas.

[PhotoCredit:SeanMcGrath]

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Sure You Can Teach an Ole’ Dog New Tricks! »

Kingsborough Community CollegeLearning is a lifelong endeavor. But many of us have forgotten the benefits of classroom learning.

I’ve finished graduate school almost twenty years ago. The last time I received a grade for a learning assignment Ronald Reagan was just leaving office. I’ve attended workshops and professional trainings since then, but long gone are the weekly classes and homework assignments. That is, until recently…

In January, I registered for a DreamWeaver web design course at the local community college. This wasn’t a job requirements or even a skill needed in my career. It was just something I wanted to learn. I’d learned some online through the excellent videos available at Lynda.com, but I felt that there was something of value in having an instructor to answer my questions.

We are now halfway through the semester long course and here’s some of the unexpected lessons I have learned (or relearned):

1. You can learn just as much from your classmates as you can from the teacher.

2. There are other ole’ dogs, just like me, looking to learn new tricks.

3. Spring break is still for the young and financially free.

4. Even when grades don’t matter, you still check the gradebook each week.

5. Everything is computerized, from registering for classes to viewing last week’s class presentation.

6. My son still doesn’t want to be seen with me on campus.

I’m really enjoying the classroom experience and will probably take another class later this year.  There is so much I still want to learn.  But the most important lesson is that education is not just for the young.  So take the time to learn a new skill or study an interesting subject.  Sign up for a class at your local community college.

[PhotoCredit:Nautical2k]

Goal Setting Power Tools Used By Millionaires (and Other Successful People) »

Power ToolsFor hundreds of years top money makers, successful business owners, and world leaders have used two power tools for achieving their goals that is available to everyone reading this post.  In fact, nearly everyone worldwide has used these tools, but not everyone knows how to use them to achieve their personal and professional goals.  Better yet, you already own these tools.
What are the power tools used by nearly every successful person?  The humble paper and pencil.  That’s right.  Two of the most powerful tools to helping you achieve your goals are a sheet of paper and something to write with.

And the secret to using these power tools is to write down your goals. What, too simple? Not worth it’s own post? Well, stop a moment. Do you have written goals? Written goals with measurable results? Most people do not.  But nearly every highly successful person understands that having written goals is critical to achieving those goals.

Read any book on personal success or scan any list on goal setting and 99.9% of the time you will find something about the importance of putting your goals in writing.  So why is writing out your goals so important?  Written goals provide several advantages to helping achieve success:

  1. The act of writing your goal helps you to better define exactly what you want to achieve.
  2. Writing out a goal makes that goal seem more real.  It is the first physical step we take toward making it happen.
  3. Written goals are easier to remember.  You can even post them in places to remind yourself throughout the day.
  4. Written goals are like a contract with ourselves.  We are more likely to achieve those things that we have agreed to, in writing.

Now, take time to write out two to four goals for yourself.  It doesn’t matter if those goals are something you can accomplish tomorrow.  As a matter of fact, that is even better if written goals are new to you.  Write out your goals and put them somewhere you will see them each day.  And while your at it, jot down a date for when you’d like to have accomplished each goal.

Sure, it’s okay to use a computer…the modern substitute for the original power tools.  Just write down those goals and begin the steps necessary to achieve success!

[PhotoCredit:ElsieEsq]

Seven Actions is Looking for Writers »

Recruiting New BloggersIf you love both writing and helping others achieve their goals, then you may be interested in helping out at Seven Actions. I’ve been running this blog (and three others) for nearly three months and the load is becoming a challenge. But the response to the blog has been excellent, and I don’t want to abandon Seven Actions. So I’m asking for your help.

I’m looking for two or three writers to share the load at Seven Actions. This is a blog about personal development, achieving your goals and being successful in all parts of your life. If writing about this interests you, then consider becoming a writer at Seven Actions. Here’s a list of what I am looking for:

  1. A clear, friendly writing style that can turn seemingly complicated tasks into simple advice.
  2. Able to write one post a week.
  3. Interested in writing more than just making money. (This is important since this blog does not make a lot of money.)

In case you are wondering, I’m not particularly looking for experienced bloggers or self-help experts. If you can research great ideas and write about them, then this may be a great way to start blogging. All writers will be able to promote their own websites/blogs through bylines and an author’s page. We could possibly work out other advertising agreements.

Want to just be a guest author? Let me know. I’m definitely open to considering any posts of interest to Seven Actions readers.

So, if you are interested, or even curious, drop me a note on my contact page. I would love to tell you more about the changes ahead, and how I would like to continue improving this blog.

Recommended Reading: 5 Posts on Personal Development »

Each week I take about an hour to read other blogs on self improvement. There are some great blogs and websites on the topic, but this list of 5 articles are the best I found this week. Feel free to email me with your own recommendations of interesting articles for future “Recommended Readings”.

Reasons to Abandon Television – I know it’s not for everyone, but Travis Wright at CultivateGreatness.com makes a good argument for why you should dump the television for more fulfilling activities.

Stop Worrying: 7 Effective Strategies for Dealing with Anxiety – At PickTheBrain.com, Tejvan Pettinger offers excellent advise for avoiding unnecessary and unhealthy worrying.

35 Sneaky Ways to Improve Your Finances – You’re probably doing some of these already. And several of the tips you know about, but just haven’t taking action. But I bet you’ll find a few that you’ve not really considered. This is a guest post by Alex Shalman on RirianProject.com.

Reconnect with Your Teenagers – Shelley Stile uses personal life examples to help you renew your relationship with your teenage children.

Can You Say ‘No’ When You Need To? – Jeff Cohen knows that one of the most important skills anyone can learn is how to say ‘no’. Take a few minutes to learn the skills you need to avoid taking on more than you should.

The Two Most Important Facts You Will Ever Learn »

Man thinkingTo understand where you are in life, how you got here, and where you’re going, you need to understand two very important facts. No matter what is happening in your life, whether all is going well or the demons of hell have taken residence in your home, you made it happen.

1. No one is more responsible for the current state of my life than me. The economy is not to blame. My boss didn’t create this situation. It wasn’t just good luck or bad luck. I don’t owe my neighbor the credit. I can’t blame George Bush. Regardless of how good or bad life is, I am the primary reason the way things are.

2. If things are going to change, it’s dependent on the action I take. If life takes a turn for the worse, it’s the result of something I did (or didn’t do). Likewise, if my life is to improve, it’s going to require action on my part. I am the captain of my ship.

I know, some of you want to ask a question like, “What if I’ve been in a terrible car crash and now I can’t walk.” What do you want me to say? Life sucks. You got a raw deal. There’s nothing you can do? Okay, life sucks and you got a raw deal, BUT there is so much that you can do!

Sure, you can spend the rest of your life blaming the driver of that car, or the boss that fired you, or the wife that left you. If you choose to give them that much power, it’s your choice. But no matter what…you HAVE a choice! You can choose to blame…or you can choose to live.

I choose not to give that much power to anyone in my life. My life is my design. My actions determine my successes AND my failures. Too often we want to find someone to blame for not getting the job or losing the business deal. We believe that prejudice, ignorance or some other factor, outside of our control, is responsible for where we are. We give control to others. But to blame others is to believe that what we do means nothing.

Start living your life by these two facts, and watch the difference it makes. Look at your situation and examine what you did to get there. Did you work hard? Were you purposeful in the actions you took? Did you put first things first? And most importantly, where are you headed and what actions will get you there?
[PhotoCredit:FábioPinheiro]

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