Magazine article Strategic Finance

Stick with It

Magazine article Strategic Finance

Stick with It

Article excerpt

WHETHER IT'S COMPETING in a marathon, learning to fly a plane, mastering a second language, or earning a professional certification--all of which I've been fortunate enough to achieve--accomplishing a difficult goal usually requires time, talent, and especially commitment. Yes, it's tempting to want to quit at the 20th mile of a marathon or spend your free time relaxing rather than studying for an exam. But most things that are worthwhile carry a cost. And attaining that end result, especially after lots of hard work, feels fantastic.

To help you stay motivated as you pursue your goals, here are a few things I've learned:

1. Just get started. Often, this is the hardest part. For example, if you're thinking about becoming a CMA[R] (Certified Management Accountant), enroll in the program and select a date to take the exam. I've used this trick many times in my running career, and it works every time. By signing up for a race that's a few months out, I set a goal to reach and find it easier to train and prepare.

2. Share your commitment with a friend or loved one. They are your cheerleaders and want to see you succeed. They also will be there when things get tough.

3. Remind yourself why it's important to you. Whether it's the thrill of the challenge, the need for achievement, or just wanting to show yourself that you can accomplish the goal, keep telling yourself why you're doing it and why it matters.

4. Plan on setbacks. They happen, and, frankly, they're part of why others may drop out or quit. …

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