Achieve 2019: Setting and Attaining Goals

By Brittney Marschall

Have you ever heard someone—a friend, colleague or neighbor—talk about their latest accomplishments, job, relationship or life adventure and wondered, “How do they do it all?” Well, it’s not just them; it’s all of us.

Today it’s the norm to juggle full-time careers, raise children (or pets) and manage relationships. We live in a culture where we are always “on.” Technology is great, but it makes us accessible all the time. I can’t be the only one guilty of answering emails, “liking” a couple of Facebook posts and thinking about the next 20 things I have to get finished, all while standing in line paying for groceries. The work/life balance challenge is never-ending. But at the same time, we hold the misconception that everyone else has it all together.

Recognizing this, Rochester women Brittany Baker of MedCity Doulas, Rachel Watts of Planning Mindfully and Jorrie Johnson of Rochester Women magazine collaborated to plan an event series for women ready to design the life they love by committing to goal setting with intention. They created a space for connecting with community resources and experts that could provide support in eight dimensions of wellness (environmental, financial, spiritual, vocational, emotional, social, physical and intellectual).

Baker explains that the series provided the opportunity for attendees to get support and tools for implementing accountability while being surrounded by like-minded women with similar experiences.

Multidimensional goal-setting focuses on the whole person in all areas of life to encourage a holistic approach. Event attendees say they wanted support to set realistic and flexible goals so they could ultimately have what we all need—the seemingly elusive healthy work/life balance. During the first event in January, attendees set goals. Some real-life examples include:

• Environmental: Purge my home office and set up a space I love.
• Financial: Pay off two retail store credit cards and implement a plan for self-discipline around the “clothing” and “eating out” portions of my budget.
• Spiritual: Wake up 20 minutes earlier to start a daily spiritual practice time.
• Vocational: Document the “above and beyond” work that I do and ask for a raise.
• Emotional: Plan a weekly “family meeting” night and ask for what I need.
• Social: See a friend three times a month.
• Physical: Move my body every day.
• Intellectual: Read one book a month for fun (unrelated to vacation or self-help).

Attendee Cossette Nasiedlak, an owner at Rochester Moms on the Run, says, “These events helped me evaluate where I am and where I’d like to take my life or work goals. I have a lot to work on, and taking it one step at a time doesn’t make me feel overwhelmed or that I have to ‘do it all.’”

Goals are great; they give us something to work toward. Goals also take time, persistence and determination to achieve. They can be exciting at first, but motivation dips after a couple of months, meaning the goals are sometimes given up. Research shows that two factors help behavior change: incentives and accountability. When you tell your boss that you’ll get the budget done by the end of the week, you’re more likely to do it. When you tell a friend that you’ll meet them at the gym for a 5 a.m. spin class, you’re more likely to commit to rolling out of bed when the alarm goes off. The American Society of Training and Development found that people are 65% more likely to achieve a goal after committing to another person. Chances of success increase to 95% when there are ongoing meetings to check progress.

Achieve attendee Alli Vaith said that after the event, she re-created her work mission statement to “Aligning friends with life-giving homes.” She went on to say, “The event helped me focus on the importance of being YOU in your advertisement and providing value to the community around you.” Alli’s accountability partner is a friend and colleague.

These ladies committed to the process with the Achieve 2019 event series and to achieving their goals. You, too, can achieve the goals that will make your life more balanced. Commit to specific actions and ask someone to hold you accountable.

Brittney Marschall is a freelance writer and Rochester resident.