How a Day in the Seminar Saved a Marriage

plan your dayMeet Mike and Jen. They are a couple who have been together for years.

Lately they have felt empty inside, almost like something is missing from their marriage. Gone are the days when the relationship was full of fun and excitement. It’s almost like the spark of their relationship has faded away.

Their marriage is not what it used to be and there are two questions that make them thoughtful: How much longer is the relationship going to continue like this and are they ever going to get the excitement back again?

They are in front of big questions and they are unaware of what to do next.

Don’t keep it just to yourself

Mike and Jen had dreams related to their future before they met, but for a reason or another they had to postpone them and put them in the background when they got married.

For instance, Jen wanted always to learn more about nature medicine while Mike has wanted to quit his job and became an entrepreneur.

Since they have been unable to fulfill their dreams, they have started to feel empty inside. This feeling has now reflected onto their marriage as well.

Communication is the vital

It goes without saying that communication is vital in every relationship and Mike’s and Jen’s marriage is not any different.

Unfortunately, both of them have kept the dreams to themselves. They have assumed that their spouse isn’t interested or supportive about their dreams.

They are also unsure what the other person might say if they revealed their dreams. And as long as they don’t communicate to each other about this matter, it will gnaw them inside and the unhappier they will become.

When was the one day, Mike receives an email from John Assaraf (he has subscribed to John’s newsletter earlier).

In that email, John talks about seminars and that couples should have this kind of event twice a year to reinforce their relationship to each other. More importantly, the idea behind a mutual seminar is to be open about each other’s short-term (one year) dreams and goals.

The seminar is also about direct communication and support: It’s about sharing one’s goals and dreams with your partner, but also about supporting your partner’s goals as well.

Mike thinks that this is a great idea and after thinking about it for a couple of days, he finally tells Jen about the email and this whole seminar thing.

Jen is more than excited to learn more about the event. Within the same day they start to plan the seminar day and what they’d like to cover in it.

How to make a successful seminar with your spouse

To make a successful seminar, do the following:

1. Pick a time and place. Decide the time and place for this event. For instance, I and my wife have had a seminar like this once in a summer cottage, outside in the nature or in a spa.

Any place will do as long as you can focus on planning your goals for the coming year. If you have kids, just make sure you arrange someone looking after them while you are on the seminar.

The event should occur twice a year. We have had a primary seminar day in January and a follow-up one in the summer (in July). The seminar lasts for couple of hours.

2. Take a laptop or pen/paper with you. Take a laptop or pen and paper with you to list your dreams and goals…

If possible, I would recommend a laptop, since it’s easier to access the files later on – especially if you store the document in the cloud (EverNote, Google Docs).

3. Make your goals in different categories. Divide a document it into the following categories:

  • Hobbies
  • Work
  • Personal development
  • Travelling
  • Relationship

Those categories present the main areas that your goals are related with.

4. Brainstorm for 10 minutes. Set a timer for 10 minutes and start brainstorming the ideas related to the first category.

Go through the rest of the categories the same way – by brainstorming 10 minutes on each of them.

5. Go through the categories. After you have found your goals for the coming year, go through all of the categories and share the information with your spouse.

This way your partner knows what goals you have while you can learn more about your partner’s goals.

6. Have a follow-up. Have a follow-up seminar like 6 months after the initial seminar. Its purpose is to see how far you have progressed after setting the goals for the year.


My wife and I have had a seminar like this for couple of years now. And although we didn’t have issues in our marriage like Mike and Jen had, we have still found this thing to be a nice way to learn from ourselves and know what we want.

Now is the perfect time to decide on your goals for the year. Just pick the time and place and spend a couple of hours deciding what you want. It’s definitely worth it!

And oh … Mike and Jen … they really enjoyed the seminar and were more than eager to learn more from each other. In fact, they made their goals concrete as Jen started to study nature medicine and Mike finally started his own company.

Their marriage has never been better and they love to set new goals and support each other’s to reach those goals.

Clearly, the seminar has saved their marriage and they are more open and willing to communicate to each other what they want.

Over to you: Do you plan your year (and future) ahead with your spouse?

Timo Kiander