“Ladies, it’s good to have goals… written on post-it notes!” says stationery firm

The average woman wants to meet ‘the one’ aged 24, have a child at 27 and reach the top of their career by 34

The average woman’s plan for life includes meeting ‘the one’ aged 24, having children by 27 and reaching the top of the career ladder at 34, researchers said yesterday.

Nearly two-thirds of those studied had a detailed life plan they try to follow – with targets such as passing their driving test by 19, living healthily by 24 and getting engaged at 26.

But despite ‘wanting it all’, one in two said they missed major milestones and nearly a quarter said events had taken them far from their original plan.

Source: Daily Mail, 5th June 2014

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It’s rare you have to look far in the press to find advertising thinly disguised as advice for women – in this instance, outlining precisely what a woman’s life should consist of, year by year, in clear detail. This is aspirational living set to a timetable, lest those dear sweet creatures get the impression that they can decide what they want their own lives to look like.

The source of this particular piece of dictatorial diarising is relatively surprising:

The study of 2,000 women, commissioned by 3M’s Post-it brand, found participants completed milestones an average of six years later than they had intended.

It comes to something, ladies, when even your stationery has a view on what your life should look like. Men rarely if ever have to put up with their stapler advising them on fatherhood, and I don’t recall ever being offered unsolicited advice by a hole punch.

For regular readers of this blog, you may want to pause now to see if you can play the PR connections game – how can 3M manage to get from life’s major milestones to post-it notes, in the smoothest way possible? Take 30 seconds, and see if you can get there.

Did you make it? It’s harder than it looks, which might well explain this fairly fumbled effort:

And a fifth of women had an unfulfilled dream they felt powerless to realise because they don’t know where to start.

That’s despite more than a third describing themselves as ‘very organised’ in nature, with more than half writing lists and making detailed plans.

Writing lists and plans, you say? Tell me more…

More than half of the respondents hold the belief that writing goals down andsticking them somewhere visible would help them stay on track, yet many people don’t – so the challenge becomes actually doing it.

You should be sticking your plans somewhere visible – and voila, we arrive at 3M’s post-it notes.

I’m sure there are plenty of women who read this story, and agreed it 3M should stick it somewhere, but not necessarily somewhere visible…