SA women need more time & finances to reach their goals

While South African women are certainly making inroads at shattering glass ceilings, shedding stereotypical norms and juggling various roles with utter dexterity, there’s still a lot more that they want to achieve.

“According to a survey conducted by 1st for Women, 67% of South African women want to pray more, 47% want to do more exercise and 46% want to register for a course online or at college. Safety was also a big priority for South African women, with 44% of participants noting that they want to ensure that their family is safe and 33% saying they want to increase the security at their home,” says Casey Rousseau from 1st for Women Insurance.

Improving their finances was rated 14 out of a possible 56 goals and to be debt-free was listed at 22. That said, younger women who do not have children are more focused on improving their financial status and habits, according to the survey.

The majority of women’s main goals are also the ones they feel they cannot get started on, with financial restrictions and not having enough time posing as the strongest barriers.

Overall, not achieving their goals makes women feel disappointed, anxious, worried and frustrated.

“… 89% of women set more ambitious goals in the presence of other women they admire – so get a coach, a mentor or a friend to keep you and your goals on track.”

Rousseau says, “Our research found that women are expected to perform at their peak in every aspect of their lives, all the time. This constant pressure sometimes clouds women’s awareness of their own competence and abilities, despite the incredible impact that they have on others. With this in mind, it’s important for women to realise that despite obstacles that stand in their way, they’ve got this.”

To help women achieve their goals, 1st for Women advises the following:

  • In a survey conducted by Leadership IQ, it was found that men are better than women at visualising their goals. With this in mind, women are encouraged to create a mental picture of what their life would be like once their goal is accomplished. As the saying goes, we need to see it in order to achieve it.
  • Start NOW. The same survey found that women are more likely to procrastinate than men. To avoid procrastinating, women are advised to write down a list of all the tasks they need to accomplish – both the short- and long-term goals. Having this record will help when planning the various actions needed to achieve the goals. 
  • Proactive saving. 43% of the women surveyed by 1st for Women said their goal was to travel more, 39% wanted to learn a new skill and 36% wanted to go out more.  And while financial constraints are an issue, the solution is simple – start saving – even small amounts eventually add up. 
  • Good company. A new survey from Lean Cuisine and New York University psychology professor, Emily Balcetis, found that 89% of women set more ambitious goals in the presence of other women they admire – so get a coach, a mentor or a friend to keep you and your goals on track.

“Ultimately, if you proactively make a target-driven to-do list with specific mini-goals and definite timelines, stick to it religiously. When you achieve a goal, you will feel more confident and confidence is the foundation of success,” concludes Rousseau.