CPA Exam: Fighting for Motivation During the Holidays

Megan is a weekly Another71 Facebook blogger as she documents her journey through the CPA Exam.

I’m struggling right now to find time to study. I find it difficult to balance work and life, so throwing 20+ hours of studying on top of that can prove challenging.

The holidays are the worst time of year for me to turn down time with friends and family. Call it guilt, call it lack of self-control, or call it obligation. I find it impossible to use my “free” time for productive studying when family and friends are available and the food is aplenty.

That being said, there is a personal goal here that I refuse to let fall to the wayside. I’ve come too far to stop now, and I remind myself there will be a pay-off in terms of career advancement and increased job satisfaction. As most independent studiers learn, future payoff outweighs instant gratification.

I know that I’m behind in my current study goals, but I have conceded to myself that I can enjoy this “free” time as long as I make the sacrifices necessary in the coming two months to achieve my goals. For me that means less overtime at work, less sleep on weeknights, and more Saturdays in the library with my cell phone on airplane mode.

My plan also includes inviting a fellow CPA hopeful to join me in the library for dedicated study sessions. We will actually be studying for different parts of the exam, but the study commitment will hold us both accountable. Maybe I’m stating the obvious, but I have found that I am more industrious when people around me are also working diligently.

Another strategy I must employ in the coming months involves caffeine. I am not the typical “America Runs on Dunkin” type. I don’t drink coffee, and when I choose to make tea, I usually drink either green or white tea. Black tea is reserved for those rare moments when I really need to stay awake and cannot find the energy or motivation within myself. I expect that January and February will be caffeinated! Nothing stands between me and my goals!

Keep in mind this helpful tip I learned from Roger CPA Review: Acknowledge that study time may be scarce over the holidays, and make sure the limited time you dedicate is productive!

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JoMarie 11 years ago

I'm right with you Megan!! 2012 will be our year!! :)

Megan 11 years ago

I only know one other person studying for the exams (the one I mentioned in the blog), so it's great to meet people like you online. No one wants to feel like they are fighting this battle alone! Best of Luck! Keep it up- Let me know how you are doing!