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® (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. Know how to bounce back from failure, and don’t take it personally. Get over the failure, get back on track, and keep working toward your goal.
  5. Remember that every big accomplishment in life is a journey—one that requires many small steps to reach the finish line. Don’t get overwhelmed by the bigger picture. Focus instead on the tiny tasks that need to get done in any given day, hour, or even minute.

If you aren’t a CMA, I encourage you to take the first step by signing up and committing yourself. And if you’ve already achieved that goal, then look into IMA’s CSCA® (Certified in Strategy and Competitive Analysis) credential or volunteer opportunities to get involved and contribute to our profession.

I hope you find that whatever you commit to is well worth the effort and work. I’ll leave you with a quote from Tom Hanks’s character Jimmy Dugan in A League of Their Own that has inspired me through my challenges: “It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.”

I welcome your comments on this or any other topic at

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