Over the course of the past week, I spoke with two very accomplished twenty-four year olds about their career versus their love life. They both adamantly stated that they wanted to focus exclusively on their careers and worry about dating/marriage when they were done with graduate school or had reached a certain point in their career. After all, they didn’t want a boy to derail them from the career goals.
I told them they were making a mistake.
Intelligent, well educated and accomplished women do not get derailed from pursuing their career ambitions when any boy comes along. This demographic of women, in fact, are much better able at assessing the long term compatibility that would be necessary to balance out a demanding career with a real relationship. Our culture continues to tell women to completely ignore their personal needs in favor of their business needs. What often happens is that a woman turns 30 and realizes she has no idea what she wants. It is much easier to hide in school or work than to realize you are lacking the confidence to tackle your love life. An all or nothing approach rarely leads to success.
Telling women to avoid dating altogether is awful advice. Not only does it neglect the fact that many women thrive when in healthy relationships, it makes men out to be some kind of alien to be avoided. Good men, who want to support a woman’s intellectual pursuits, are available. They are the men in my office who are just as tired of dating and want a woman who knows what they want (a strength of career oriented women!) A woman who can spot this type of man not only wins the jackpot in her love life but also catapults her future career to new heights. The bottom line is that no one can be successful alone and your relationships will help you get to where you want to go.
Rather than waiting, planning your personal life around your business goals will give you the sense that you are making progress in multiple areas of your life at the same time. Becoming over developed in one area while neglecting another aspect of your life usually leads to chronic unhappiness. Rather than charting out just your business goals for 2016, here are 4 ways to add personal goals to round out your overall well-being and pave the way for a healthier love life.
1. Dedicate time to do a Vision Plan for 2016.
I personally use the Best Planner Ever! Calendar. In this calendar there are blank pages to add pictures of your vision and a page that outlines 5 key goals: Financial, Career, Physical, Social and Community. Take the time to think about what you want your life to look like this year and write meaningful goals in each area.
2. Your Social Goals may not be dating specific.
If you just moved to a new city for a great job, you may not be ready to date yet. Creating a good foundation of friendships with other women is a good first step. You never know who may introduce you to someone amazing. Your future dating life will appreciate knowing that you have unwavering support from amazing girlfriends. Check out girlfriendcircles.com for new ways of meeting amazing women in your city.
3. If your goal is to find a significant other in 2016.
Make sure your vision plan is clear about who you are and what you want. Mindless dating sucks up too much energy and will leave you feeling depleted. Dating that provides positive experiences is much more likely to boost your productivity at work and make you happy. Thinking about your love life in this way will mean that you make fewer swiping mistakes on Tinder.
4. Use Valentine’s Day as the deadline to implement your goals.
Nothing is worse than being single on Valentine’s Day but it does not have to be this way at all. Start a tradition with your equally ambitious girlfriends of having brunch or dinner to discuss the implementation of your 2016 goals and how each of you will help each other stay accountable. Rather than dreading it as a holiday, use the date to jumpstart your future success. Your future significant others will be thankful they do not have to plan for the holiday and your tradition will keep the foundation of your friendships strong for the years to come!