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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

How to overcome obstacles & achieve your goals

In 2009, I had been a stay at home Mom to my 3 children for 11 years.  I had previously worked in accounting and I wanted to reenter the job market.   I thought about things I could do to improve my job prospects.  I always had wanted to study for and pass the CPA exam, but there never seemed to be the perfect time to prepare.  I received my accounting degree 20 years ago, and the material to study was no longer fresh in my mind.  The first step was to fill out the application with New York state Department of Professions to sit for the exam. 

The first obstacle I had to overcome was that I did not meet the state's requirements for credit hours.  I had to enroll in 2 courses at the local community college before I could even take the exam.  Thankfully the courses I needed were offered during the spring semester.

Once I finished these courses, I began studying for the first of 4 exams.  I purchased review materials and just dove right in.  It was tough, I spent most weekends apart from my family and studying became my full time job.  I spent 3 months studying for each exam and during the next year, I passed each of the 4 exams on the first try.  I didn't think it was possible, but because I was committed to making this happen, I pushed myself and never gave up.  I can happily say now that 2 years later I am working again in public accounting and I am very happy.

I wanted to share this story because so many of us face challenges in our daily lives.  This is what I learned from the experience.

Step 1 - Write down and think about the goals you would like to achieve and the obstacles that you are facing.

Step 2 - Make a plan and think about how you can break down what is overwhelming into smaller and more manageable steps.

Step 3 - Make sure that you have a support system in place to get you through the rough patches. 

Step 4  - Remain true to your goal.  If you are committed and make the time and effort, your diligence will be rewarded.

Step 5 - Have faith in yourself and don't give up.  Yes, there will be difficult times ahead, but be assured that all your hard work will make a difference.

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