For many of those in the business world, this is a time for conducting performance reviews, revising objectives, and reevaluating priorities. But no matter the name or the setting, the purpose of these exercises is to help define who we, as an individual or an organization, want to be and how we can achieve our goals.

The process of identifying goals can be daunting. A great place to start is to examine the achievements of those you admire within your sphere of influence. If they have enjoyed significant achievements, think about how they may have gotten there. Key factors that drive success often include education, professional or leadership opportunities, and certifications. (Incidentally, this same method can also be applied at an organizational level: Look to see what other successful organizations in your space are doing and try to emulate those things.)

If you’ve decided that professional growth is near the top of your personal resolution list, IMA can help. For example, you might resolve to get certified by pursuing the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) and the CSCA® (Certified in Strategy and Competitive Analysis) certifications. You might identify your skills deficiencies through IMA’s CareerDriver® assessment tool or strengthen your weaknesses through the many continuing professional education courses and webinars that IMA offers. Perhaps you’ll seek to hone your leadership skills by volunteering for one of the many opportunities within IMA. Or maybe you’ll become a mentor to a college student or a professional through IMA’s mentoring program.

Another laudable goal is to find a way to impact the lives of others. I’d like to make a suggestion: During this time when we’re all being asked to think about others in some way, explore ways to make a difference. That could mean serving as a role model within your organization. It could mean making decisions that benefit or improve the lives of people you work with and for. It may even mean being part of a project that contributes to the greater good of your community or even society.

Keeping resolutions is difficult, but IMA can provide support. I might even say that on behalf of IMA, we’re also making a resolution—a commitment—to help in your personal and professional development and to make a difference. In fact, that’s the theme of the global marketing campaign we rolled out in September 2020.

What do you resolve to do? Whatever it is, don’t be afraid to stretch and to possibly fail. I’m reminded of a quote by comedian and television host Chris Hardwick: “No human ever became interesting by not failing. The more you fail and recover and improve, the better you are as a person.” By failing, you just might find that you’ve become a more interesting person along the way.

I welcome your comments on this or any other topic at

About the Authors