Everyone has made a New Year’s resolution at some point in life, whether it was to achieve a personal or professional goal. Each year, I aim to set at least one personal resolution and one professional resolution for myself. Professionals holding a CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) certification are required to earn 30 continuing professional education (CPE) credits each year, and among my resolutions this year is to earn all of my CPE credits before August.
Making resolutions may be easy, but keeping them may prove more laborious if they fall to the back burner during the year. Here are three steps for staying on track in 2017.
1. SET UP YOUR PLAN
As management accountants, we are used to creating or setting the annual budget in line with a strategic plan, so this first step may not surprise you: Think about where you would like to be in your career five years from now and what steps you can take in the coming year to prepare yourself for that role. IMA’s CareerDriver® career planning tool can help you assess your skills, plan your path, and envision your future. It can help you organize your goals and set up a continuing education plan for the year.
2. MAKE YOURSELF ACCOUNTABLE
The next step is to make yourself accountable, which can be done in a few ways. You can partner with someone else, like a coworker or a family member, to achieve a common goal (i.e., go to three networking events in the next three months), or you can build a support system of people who will keep you motivated throughout the year. Share your long-term and near-term goals with those closest to you. The support of your family, friends, and coworkers will also bring you encouragement to continue completing milestones.
3. REWARD YOURSELF
As Nelson Mendela once said, “Remember to celebrate milestones as you prepare for the road ahead.” Completing small milestones is crucial for achieving your overall goal. After completing each milestone, reward yourself for your hard work and dedication to accomplishing the task. Rewards come in various forms and could include taking a mental break by participating in your favorite hobby. Bigger milestones deserve more significant celebrations. Completing a milestone puts you that much closer to achieving your overall resolution.
PUT YOUR RESOLUTION INTO PERSPECTIVE
The most important thing to keep in mind is why you set this resolution for yourself in the first place. Was it to gain new technical or leadership skills? To improve your résumé by obtaining a new certification or an advanced degree? Or to simply better manage your everyday work-life balance? Whatever your reason, keep moving forward, and before you know it, you will have accomplished your resolution!
What are some of your professional and personal resolutions for 2017?
Science Says 92 Percent of People Don’t Achieve Their Goals. Here’s How the Other 8 Percent Do – INC.
4 Ways to Manage Continuing Your Education While Working Full Time – IMA Moments that Matter
Reinventing Myself – Strategic Finance
Top 2017 Risks – Strategic Finance