(BPT) - You hear a lot about dreams in our society these days. Companies tell you to 'dream big' or 'dream fearlessly.' Yet no one tells you to 'dream prepared.' And when you get down to it, this last idea may be the most important because it's the preparation that can help you as you pursue personal goals and life adventures.
In a 2017 online survey conducted by Kelton Global and sponsored by Merck of 2,013 women ages 18 to 40, the majority listed financial stability, emotional development, relationship security and career growth as their top priorities.
Comparatively, only about 40 percent of those surveyed listed starting or growing a family as a current priority, regardless of whether or not they currently have children. When it comes to family planning, birth control can play an important role for those looking to prevent an unplanned pregnancy. However, among the 908 birth control users surveyed, more than one in four women considered their birth control options for less than 15 minutes before making a decision.
For women, adventures are different and finding balance among all their priorities can help them be more prepared to take on what's next. That's why Merck teamed with actress and singer-songwriter Mandy Moore on Her Life. Her Adventures., an educational campaign encouraging women to know their options and set priorities, including talking to their doctor about family planning and birth control, to help them feel better prepared for whatever lies ahead.
Moore has been in the spotlight since a young age and as she has built her career, balancing her priorities has become more important than ever. 'My life has been full of so many adventures and through it all, setting long-term goals and having a plan in place has helped me get to where I am today,' she says. 'Whether it's landing your dream job, traveling to a new country, or pursuing your education, the important thing is to plan, know your priorities and stay focused on your goals, whatever they may be.'
To help prioritize your goals, Moore offers the following tips:
Find Your Passion
What are you passionate about? Whatever it is, Moore recommends working it into your life as much as possible. 'Growing up, music was a passion of mine which opened the door to my acting career,' she says. 'Now, I'm really fortunate that I get to incorporate music into my acting. Getting to this point was an adventure filled with opportunities and challenges along the way, but it was all part of my journey that helped me get to where I am today.'
Bring Your Passions into Your Daily Life
If you're passionate about writing, consider taking creative writing workshops or pursuing a career in editing. If you're passionate about fitness or the outdoors and you can't work in these fields, incorporate exercise or a walk outside into your lunch breaks. And if you're itching to explore something new, consider traveling to a new location. Experience the tastes, sights and sounds of a new place - there are so many options to choose from.
Make Note of Your Current (and Long-Term) Priorities
As you embark on your next life adventure - whether it's with your finances, career or next big trip - don't forget about family planning. In 2011, nearly half of all pregnancies in the United States were unplanned, oftentimes due to inconsistent or incorrect use of birth control. And it's important to remember that any woman of reproductive age can have an unplanned pregnancy; it doesn't only occur in teenagers.
'Understanding your priorities and planning can help you pursue your goals,' Mandy says. 'That's why I'm excited to team up with Merck on the Her Life. Her Adventures. campaign to encourage women to think about their priorities, including family planning and birth control, and talk with their doctor to explore their options.'
Visit Her Life. Her Adventures. to learn more about this campaign, find helpful information and tips on planning ahead, and join Mandy and other adventurers as they share their stories on Instagram and Facebook. To learn more about all family planning and birth control options, including reversible daily, non-daily and longer-term ones, talk to your doctor.