Whether you’re in your early 20s, late 30s, or close to retirement, there will always be things in your life that you want to accomplish. And while you may think that a year or two is plenty of time to travel, finish your degree, and pass the CPA Exam, time flies quicker than you can see or catch it. So in order to make sure that you’re living the life you want, here are some steps you should use to make sure that this year, and the next ones, are spent accomplishing the goals you set.
Evaluate yourself by looking at your previous year
This is probably the most important step. After all, how can you know how to change your life if you don’t know what needs changing? Take a look back at 2015 and really evaluate it. If it helps, make a list of pros and cons—what did you accomplish, big or small? What did you do for yourself or others that you set out to do for that year? What were some of the happiest moments of 2015 and what can you attribute them to?
On the flip side, what were your low points of 2015? What made them low and how did you feel during each of those moments? If you could change anything about the way you dealt with those situations, what would you change and why?
Evaluating your previous year’s ups and downs will help you evaluate yourself. Take a look at your pros/cons list and learn from it. If you were doing something a certain way that made you happy and on task with your goals, keep it up! If you were doing something that brought about negativity, reform your attitude the next time that situation arises. And so on and so forth.
Analyze your relationships
A big part of what makes you who you are is the people you surround yourself with. They can unconsciously affect your mood and overall personality; after all, we sometimes gain our quirks and idiosyncrasies from all the people we’ve formed relationships with over the course of our lifetime. So make sure you’re surrounding yourself with positive people who support, encourage, love, and genuinely care about your well-being. For those that don’t, it’s time to start thinking about how to make those relationships better or to keep your distance.
De-clutter your home & work environments
Another thing that can unconsciously affect your desire to change your life is the feng shui of your home and work environments. If you walk into a messy, hoarded home or office every day, this negative energy can influence your own energy level and mood. It can leave you feeling tired, bogged down, and sluggish. The solution? Clean up and de-clutter! Get rid of everything you haven’t used for the past year and donate them to an organization. Salvation Army even offers free pickups. Once your home and office space are fresh and organized, you’ll see that you’ll feel the same way, giving you more motivation and productivity to get things done.
Hold yourself accountable
Don’t make excuses for yourself and always remember that what you make of every day is your own responsibility. If it helps, create a buddy system with a friend or family member in your life who is trying to make their year more worthwhile too. Hold each other accountable for what your goals are and show each other what your progress is on a weekly or monthly basis. It can be inspirational to see how each of you are slowly reaching your goals, and is also a great way to stay amped about getting the life you want.
Set realistic goals that fit your budget and lifestyle
And last, but not least, let’s talk about how to set goals themselves. Many reasons why people fail to meet their New Year’s resolutions or follow through with changing their lives for the better is because they set unrealistic goals; ones that don’t fit their budget or lifestyle.
With that being said, ask yourself: What are the top 3 or 5 things that I want to accomplish this year? Whether that’s traveling, having a healthier lifestyle, or obtaining your CPA license, remember to not just leave it at that. Factor in what obligations and events you already have going on in your life so that you can see where you have time to fit them in. Then take into consideration the monetary cost of achieving those goals.
After you have everything laid out in front of you, that’s the time to actually start planning and implementing those goals into your life. Similar to our CPA Exam study planners, begin making plans for what you can do each day, week, or month to accomplish what you set out to do. If you want to do a 2 week trip to Europe, see how much you should be saving every week and how those savings will affect other areas of your life (i.e., no more Starbucks every morning!). If you plan on going to the gym after work, sleep earlier so you have more energy and make sure you’re doing it on days you have no other obligations.
Let us help you become a CPA
While we can’t quite help you out with every goal in your life, the one thing we can do is help you become a CPA. If getting the life you want means advancing in your professional career so that you can do more with your personal life, remember that choosing this designation is the best decision you’ll make. Not only does it offer more opportunity for promotions, industry, travel, salary, and exploration—it also provides you with the mental and monetary capacity you need to live the life you want.
Remember that Roger CPA Review’s course packages all come up with free, automatic updates that reflect changes in the CPA Exam. That means that no matter when you purchase, you’ll have the most up-to-date course materials. We’ll also be there to help you pass the Document Review Simulations making their debut on the exam this July 1, 2016. In addition, we offer financing on all of our products no matter how big or small, because after all—we know that CPAs make money, but it takes money to become a CPA!
Wishing you all the best of luck on accomplishing your life goals this 2016!