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6 of the Best Ways to Fill Your Relationship with Happiness

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As we grow older it sometimes gets easier to focus on our significant other’s faults instead of their virtues. Pet peeves slowly become intolerable and your relationship becomes more routine and boring.

Where did all that happiness go?

It’s not that the happiness is gone, but rather that you have stopped nurturing the happiness. When was the last time you did something special for your significant other just to show them how much they are loved? Chances are, all of us could do special things for those we love more often.

But what am I supposed to do? I hear you asking. Look no further because I have compiled my list of the top six ways to fill your relationship with happiness by showing your love.

1. Plan a Special Night (without you!)

This might sound counterproductive but let me explain.

Does your husband love watching a certain sport? Does you wife have a favorite TV show? Chances are, there is something on TV that you hate as much as your significant other loves. Well, I’m here to tell you that there is a way to turn these experiences into loving gestures.

Order your significant other’s favorite delivery food (Pizza? Chinese? Mexican?) and schedule to have it delivered right before your husband or wife’s show starts. About 30 minutes before their show begins, say that you are going to bed, or another room, or whatever you normally do to avoid watching this show. Once you leave, send your significant other a text telling them that their favorite food is on the way, to enjoy their show, and that you love them.

Tah-dah! Suddenly, avoiding something you hate has been turned into a romantic gesture.

2. Clean

Do you get home from work before your significant other? Maybe you wake up earlier than them? Go to bed after them? Chances are, you are “alone” at home at one point or another throughout the week.

Turn this into a chance to show your love. What part of the house gets messy the fastest? The kitchen? The living room? Pick a room, and clean it before your significant other gets home. Not only will they notice, chances are they will also appreciate it and feel the need to reciprocate at some point.

3. Turn an Obligation into a Surprise

This one is my favorite idea by far. Think about something that you request from your significant other on a regular basis. Do you ask them to stop at the store on their way home? Grab you something from the other room? Cook dinner? Walk the dog? Now’s the fun part, you get to turn that mundane obligation into an exciting surprise.

Ask them to do the obligation and then surprise them with a fun activity. Ask them to grab some cheese from the grocery store and then surprise them in the cheese isle with plans to go on a hike and have a picnic. Or ask them to grab your glasses from the other room and then have tickets to the movies or a museum next to your glasses. Ask them to cook some pasta for dinner and then have a giftcard or reservations for their favorite restaurant waiting for them next to the pasta.

It is entirely up to you on how simple or extravagent these surprises are. The important part is that you are turning something they don’t enjoy doing into a fun experience for both of you.

4. Plan a Date

This might seem like a relatively simple concept, but when was the last time you actively planned a date on your own? I’m not talking about deciding that you need a night away from the kids and planning something together or deciding that neither of you want to cook and going out for dinner. I’m talking about taking at least 30 minutes on your own to choose something to do together and booking the neccessary tickets/activities. Plan to take a weekend getaway, go to the zoo, or even just make a dinner reservation.

It’s not the extravagance of the date that is important. It’s that you took the time to plan to do something together because you enjoy spending time with your significant other. It’s a great way to say I love you, which brings me to my next point…

5. Say “I Love You”

Have you ever heard of the “magic ratio” discovered by psycholigist John Gottman? He says that there is actually a ratio of positive to negative comments in a relationship that can pretty much guarantee a stable relationship. What is this ratio?

5:1.

For every negative comment you make to your significant other, you should make five positive comments. So think about it, what is your current ratio? How often are you saying “I love you”? How often do you tell your significant other that you appreciate them? Now, how often are you complaining? The longer we are in a relationship, the easier it is to take the positives for granted and become more frustrated with the negatives. This can cause our ratios to get completely out of whack.

So what am I suggesting you do? Figure out what your current ratio currently is, and then work towards that 5:1 ratio. Start with just a week and see the difference that it makes in your daily interactions when you try to stick to the ratio. Chances are, you will both become happier.

6. Reverse Your Bad Habits (if only for a day)

Pet peeves. We all have them. And we all have pet peeves about our significant other. Maybe they leave the toilet seat up, or they leave their clothes all over the bedroom floor. Chances are, by this point you are thinking about your biggest pet peeves about your significant other. Well, stop!

Think about your significant other’s pet peeves about you instead. You know what they are. Now, actively try to stop all of those habits. Start with just a day and see how long you can make it last. I’m not saying that you change forever, but make an effort and your significant other will notice.

With all of these new ideas, I know you can actively bring happiness into your relationship. Because, after all, who doesn’t want to be happier? Your relationship is important and worth the time it will take to strengthen it. Even if your relationship is already stable and relatively happy – these six tips can bring even more happiness into your relationship.

Do you have any other examples of special things you do for your significant other to bring more happiness into your relationship? Tell me your favorites in the comments below!

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5 Inspirational People Who Prove Midlife Is Just the Beginning

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I don’t know about you, but most Saturday mornings I need a little inspiration to get me going. After all, if you’re not careful, it is easy for the weekends to get away from you. So, today I am going to help inspire you to make the most out of not only your weekends but your life!

Here are 5 inspirational people who decided that they had yet to do what they were here to do in midlife and beyond (plus a bonus)!

1. Winifred Pristellwinifred

Winifred currently holds the World, National, and State records for single lift bench press for her age group and weight class. At the age of 47 she was dangerously obese and decided to make a change. By the age of 68 she had set world records for bench press (lifting 176.2 lbs) and deadlift (lifting 270 lbs). She is now a proud great-grandmother of 3 and healthier than she’s ever been.

2. Pierre Jean “Buster” Martinbuster.png

Buster claimed to be the United Kingdom’s oldest employee. He worked for Pimlico Plumbers in London and even refused to take a day off on his 100th birthday! According to Buster, he was born in 1906 and continued working until he died at the age of 104 in 2011. If that isn’t a dedicated employee, I don’t know what is!

3. Fauja Singh

Fauja is the first 100-year-old to finish a marathon. He also Faujaaccomplished eight world running records for being the oldest man to accomplish each record in ONE DAY. He is currently 105 years old and living in the UK. He ran between the ages of 89 and 101. Why so late in his life? A tragedy led him back to it. He witnessed the death of his fifth son in 1994 and decided to return to his passion for running. He began training and started running international marathons at the age of 89. At the age of 93 he completed the London Marathon 58 minutes faster than the previous world record. Eight full marathons after the age of 89? Pretty impressive if you ask me.

4. Dorthy Custedorthyr

Dorthy was a stand-up comedian starting in 1916. She thought she would never become famous until she got the chance to perform on the Tonight Show at the age of 100 in 2011! After that, she decided that she was never too old to achieve what she wanted to do. She performed on the Tonight Show again in 2012, for her 101st birthday she ziplined the Snake River Canyon, and for her 102nd birthday she base jumped off the Perrine Bridge into the Snake River Canyon and became the oldest base jumper in the world.

5. Werner Bergerwerner

Werner is the oldest person to climb the highest mountain on each of the seven continents. He climbed his first mountain on the list in 2002 at the age of 64 and completed the last mountain on the list in 2013 at the age of 76. How many people do you know who have climbed Mount Everest? Not to mention at the age of 69!

To learn more about Werner, see his Facebook Live interview with The Back Forty Co-Founder, Darrell Gurney, by clicking here!

BONUS: Tao Porchon-Lynchtao

Meet Tao. She is the world’s oldest yoga teacher at the age of 98! She is pretty amazing. So amazing, in fact, that I wrote an entire blog post about her a few months ago. Click here to find out what makes Tao so special!

Hopefully, that is enough inspiration for you today. After all, as we say in The Back Forty, “You have yet to do what you came here to do!” So, what is it that your second half of life has in store for you?

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Sources: GuinnessWorldRecords.com, Wikipedia – Dorthy Custer, Wikipedia – Fauja SinghWikipedia – Buster Martin, HeraldNet.com, and WinifredPristell.com

Are You Ready to Look Fabulous Forever?

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Today I want to share with you a company I found called Look Fabulous Forever. This company is all about “celebrating the beauty in older faces”. Their philosophy is that age is not a barrier to looking fabulous and, to prove that, they create makeup that is formulated specifically for mature faces.

Not only do they create makeup specifically for women in midlife and beyond, they also create wonderful makeup tutorials to help women who can no longer wear makeup in the way they used to. Check out the video below for an idea of what types of tutorials they create:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIChnFDSAOY&w=854&h=480]

Are you interested in learning more about Look Fabulous Forever’s makeup line? Explore their line and if you find anything you like you can get 20% off your first offer by clicking here and using the discount code FRIEND20!

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The Importance of the Unplanned Lessons of Life

Today I bring you a quote from The Back Forty INFUSE Program. Take a moment to read the quote and, as always, I’ll meet you on the other side.

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The first part of this quote that I want to make sure you understand is the reference to “the front 40”. It is a pretty common misconception that the “front 40” correlates to the first 40 years of something and the “back 40” correlates to the last 40 years of something. As it turns out, that is not the case. The front and back 40 are just metaphors for the first and second half of something, whether it be life or career (if you want to learn more about exactly what “back forty” means click here).

Okay. Now that we have the confusing part sorted out, we can move on to the meaning of the quote. The thing I like about this quote is that it is a reminder of how far each and every one of us has come. Think about everything you have learned in your various jobs and careers up until this point. Chances are that if you actually take some time to think about it, you have learned so much more than you usually even think to acknowledge.

What are the skills, knowledge, education, and training that you have learned along your journey? I bet that the first things you started thinking of are your formal education and training, or maybe different skills you have honed like writing skills or negotiations. But I want you to look even further beyond those “planned” skills. What have you learned that you were not planning to learn, what have your hardships taught you? Your mistakes?

If you take the time to actually catalog every single skill you have acquired – chances are you are even more skilled than you were aware of. And that is what I want you to take with you throughout the rest of the day.

You are unique and skilled in ways that not everyone is aware of and when you add up all of your skills, you are a rare individual whose unique skills are unmatched by anyone else.

Now go show the world what you are made of!

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Finding Your Unique Style and More for Midlife

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Today I found a new YouTube vlogger that I have absolutely fallen in love with.

Meet Melissa55.

Melissa is a 60-something wife, mother, and grandmother living in Tennesse. She has been posting on her Youtube channel each week for roughly 3 years with topics surrounding midlife beauty. While I was trying to find out more about Melissa, I stumbled across a quote of hers that I absolutely love:

“I feel like if we stick together in this aging journey, we can lift up each other and grow older gracefully and beautifully.”

– Melissa55

She creates tons of wonderful content surrounding the conversation of aging and how to feel beautiful while doing it. However, my favorite video series of hers is The Aging Woman and in this video series, she covers everything from fashion and exercise to friendships and marriage. Today I am going to share a few of my favorite (initial) videos of hers that I am loving and maybe you will love them too!

The Aging Woman: Finding Your Style

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvH9QSjPSPs]

This is the perfect example of what Melissa is all about. She uses her own experiences from finding her way through midlife to help other women abandon the stigmas surrounding aging and beauty and really embrace themselves. So, if you’ve watched the video, what’s your style and how has it changed as you have moved through midlife?

Craving more Melissa? Here are some of my other instant favorites:

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Are You Sharing You Unique Inner Light With the World?

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Today I am bringing you a little inspiration from our Back Forty archives. Take a moment to read the quote and I’ll meet you on the other side.

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This is an interesting viewpoint. Everyone has heard the phrase “let your light shine” but we don’t usually take the time to consider it much.

For me, the phrase reminds me of my childhood when I would sing “This Little Light of Mine”. The way I always interpreted it, the song was about being yourself and not being afraid of what other people think. But what if it means so much more?

What if your “own light” isn’t just being yourself. What if it is what makes you unique? These two phrases might seem very similar, but when we put it in the context of letting your light shine, it shifts the meaning in a pretty profound way.

You can “be yourself” every day, but that doesn’t mean that you are sharing what makes you unique with the world.

So that brings us back to the quote:

“For me to let my ‘own light shine,’ first and foremost it is important that I know what that light is.”

“It is important that I know what that light is.” I feel like that is the most important part of this whole quote. We have to know what makes us unique. Now tell me, when was the last time you actually thought about what makes you unique? About what your personal “light” is? Do you know?

Today my goal for you is two-fold. First, spend 5 minutes thinking about what makes you unique and how you can share that uniqueness with the world around you. Then, do it!

You are unique. You do have your own personal inner light. And you need to share it with the world. Why? Because, if everyone took the time to share their own inner light with the world, think about how much better we could make this world we live in.

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Poll: What is Your Favorite Thing to Read About?

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At The Back Forty, we have been blogging for roughly eight months and during that time have posted over 130 different articles across more than nine different topics. We do our best to come up with lots of unique content to share with you!

Today, I would love to get some feedback about your favorite things to read about! Do you enjoy reading about funny midlife stories? Do you like to be inspired? Are you looking to learn more about different aspects of midlife?

Just pick a topic below and see how your favorite topic compares to the favorite topics of some of our other readers!

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Do You Know How to Shop for Your Wife? A Midlife Perspective

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Today, while searching through midlife videos on YouTube, I found a new channel that intrigued me. The channel is called RedGreenTV and “Red Green” is the star. “Red” is played by Steve Smith. He was the handyman from The Red Green Show which was a Canadian TV comedy that aired from 1991 to 2006. Even though the comedy has been off the air for over 10 years, Steve still posts videos to his YouTube channel regularly and performs live a few times a year.

If you’re looking for a laugh, take a minute to watch Red as he shares his midlife “wisdom” with the world. His video about shopping for your wife is below:
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4K42n5HW5JI]

So remember, even if you’ve been “buying her gifts for 25 or 30 years and you think you’re getting pretty good at it, well you’re not.”

Let me know what you think. Regardless of if you are a husband or wife, do you think your gifts have gotten better or worse over the years?

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5 Easy Ways You Can Make More Money In Midlife

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We recently created a survey to figure out what our community members’ biggest fears are. Now, our survey isn’t complete yet (you can still put in your own two cents by clicking here), but our initial feedback is overwhelming.

What is the most popular fear?

Finances.

Of all of the fears brought up by people responding to our survey, money-related fears made up a shocking 45% of all of the fears!

Because of this, I have chosen to devote this blog post to helping you at least minimize your fears. And, even if money isn’t your biggest fear, a little extra income is never a bad thing, right?

So, without further ado, here are five easy ways you can make more money in midlife – today!

Online Surveys

One of the most common ways to make some extra money online these days is to take part in online surveys. Not only do you get paid for your time, but you also get to give your opinion on different things like politics, new products, movies, TV advertisements, and the list goes on and on.

Some people will claim that you can make thousand of dollars per month by answering online surveys, and that might be true, if you are spending all your time doing surveys. That being said, expect to make anywhere between $30 and $300 extra each month if you fill out at least one survey a day. So, which online surveys should you sign up for. Here are some of the best options out there:

  • Swagbucks – This website is the most popular survey website. It’s very easy to sign up and you can earn an average of $0.20 to $1.00 per survey and surveys can last seconds or 20 minutes. You can also earn Swagbucks for watching videos, shopping online, and playing games (each Swagbuck equals about one cent).
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    I signed up for Swagbucks today and you can see that I’ve earned about a dollar in the first five minutes of playing with the website.

  • MySurvey – This website is another popular option. You can make as much as $0.50 to $1.25 per survey you answer.
  • Pinecone Research – This website specifically focuses on the research side of surveys. You earn $3.00 per survey and surveys last an average of 30 minutes each.

Website Testing

Another option is website testing from home. You visit a website, complete a series of tests, and then get paid $10. The downside (if you aren’t very outspoken) is that you have to speak all of your thoughts out loud. If this doesn’t deter you – it’s an easy way to make some extra cash. Check out UserTesting.com for more details.

Get Paid to Shop

This is my favorite suggestion. After all, who doesn’t love shopping? And who doesn’t love getting good deals when they shop? There are a few different options, but I can tell you that I have personally tried and approved both of the options I’m about to give you.

  • Honey – If you enjoy shopping online then this web extension is perfect for you. All
    you do is install Honey on your web browser and suddenly you get pop-ups whenever you are about to purchase an item. These are the best type of pop-ups. Honey will check every coupon code on the internet for you to get you the biggest discount possible. Before I started using honey I would spend at least 10 minutes searching for coupon codes before purchasing things online (when I remembered). Now I don’t have to spend the time and I always get the deal!
  • Paribus – Here is a reason to opt into getting your receipts digitally. Not only do you save paper, but now you can also get money for it! If you shop at Amazon.com, Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Best Buy, Staples, Target, Nordstrom, Old Navy, or 22 of their other participating stores (see them all here), then you can be saving money. Paribus keeps track of your purchases through your email receipts. When a price goes down, they will submit the paperwork necessary for those “money-back guarantees” and give you the money. They do take 25% of your discount as a fee, but if you don’t normally scour your receipts for discrepancies months after the purchase, then you are still getting way more money than you would have without Paribus.

Sell Old Things

If you are anything like me, then you have a pile of things waiting to be sold at a garage sale or taken to be donated. These days there is no reason to wait. You can get rid of your items now, you don’t have to leave your house, and you can make money doing it. Here are some of the best ways to get money for your old stuff you wanted to get rid of anyway:

  • eBay – If you want to upload some pictures onto a traditional website, eBay is the way to go. eBay is the perfect way to sell old toys, collectibles, and electronics.
  • Facebook Groups – These days, almost every town has their own “Garage Sale” Facebook Group. Go to Facebook, type “garage sale” into the search bar, click on groups, and then pick the garage sale group that is closest to you. It’s that simple. Then you can simply post things you want to get rid of on the group page and tell people where to pick them up.
  • OfferUp or LetGo: If you would prefer to use an app. Both OfferUp and LetGo are great options. You simply download the app, upload what you’re selling, and message others to finalize the sale all through the app. If you’re concerned about strangers being able to look at your Facebook profile or texting your personal number, this is the right option for you.

Lose Weight

This last idea is probably the most surprising, but I promise you that this is real. You can actually get paid to lose weight! There is a website called DietBet where you can earn money by betting that you will lose weight. What is actually happening is that you are betting against a bunch of other people that you will lose weight. Whoever reaches the group goal gets to split the earnings and those who don’t make it lose their entry fee. If you want to lose weight, stay motivated, and make money doing it. DietBet is the perfect solution.

Bonus Tip!

Download your FREE Top Ten Tips for a Radical Second Half eBook by clicking the image below! This 19-page eBook is full of tips for making your life the best it can be in every aspect (not just financially). So go ahead and get started!

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What is the Surprising Meaning of the Odd Phrase “Back Forty”?

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When interacting with partners, sponsors, customers, members, and The Back Forty community in general, there is one question that gets asked over and over.

What does “back forty” mean?

Usually by that point, whoever I’m speaking with knows that our company, The Back Forty, is about making your second half of life your best half of life. So the logical jump is that we are talking about life between the years of 40 and 80. And this common misconception leads to questions like, why do you say midlife starts at 40? What if I’m over 80? What if I’m 37? Why are you putting these strict rules around what defines midlife?

To all of these questions, I say wait just a minute and let me explain.

First, let’s look at the actual definition of “back forty”. Merriam-Webster defines back forty as “a remote and uncultivated or undeveloped piece of land of indefinite size (as on a farm)”.

The Back Forty Ranch with No Victim Zone 2.jpgIf you didn’t know this, don’t worry. This phrase is less popular than over 80% of all words in the English dictionary. Like the definition mentions, it was originally used to describe the most remote 40 acres of a farm or ranch and was first used in the 1860s when the Homestead Act of 1862 granted 160 acres of land to anyone willing to farm it for at least five years (thus two front forty acres of land and two back forty acres of land). So, when farmers were too far away to be reached it was usually because they were in the back forty of their farm.

Knowing all of this probably brings up more questions than you originally had. For example, “what the heck does farming in the 1800s have to do with midlife?” Hang in there just a bit longer because it is all about to be made clear.

We use back forty as a metaphor for midlife. Just like the back forty of a farm is usually an uncultivated piece of land, your second half of life is uncultivated. The way we see it, your “back forty” of life is a blank canvas. It is uncultivated, which makes it full of potential.

So, no. The Back Forty isn’t referring to the ages of 40-80. It is simply a complex metaphor demonstrating that midlife is full of even more possibilities than you could ever imagine. Many people believe that once you hit midlife your life gets more predictable. You have a family, responsibilities, a job, you have to save for retirement, or your children’s college…the list can go on and on. We at The Back Forty believe the opposite is true. Midlife is just the beginning and your first half of life was simply research for what is still to come.

Whether you are 35, 43, 67, 92 or anywhere in-between, we believe that the best things in your life are still ahead of you and that you can cultivate your own “back forty” to be full of playfulness, passion, and purpose.

If you would like to learn more about The Back Forty, click the link below to download our Co-Founder’s Top Ten Tips for a Radical Second Half of Life!

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