Before you embark on your CPA journey, it’s very important to develop a support system of family and friends. The emotional support they can provide will help you during this difficult process. Explain how important becoming a CPA is for your professional success and ask them to support you. Detail the whole process and what you have to do to achieve your goal. This will give them a better understanding of what you're going through.
I have found it's a lot easier to be specific about what you need help with rather than just asking them for their support.
In these cases, everyone will have a different idea of what that means, either for you or for themselves. Make it easy on everyone by asking or telling everyone specifically what would be helpful for you. For example, ask your mother to watch the kids, your spouse to do the grocery shopping or laundry, or your friend to organize your other friend's birthday dinner.
Most importantly, ask your spouse and kids, or your significant other and family members, to respect your study time.
Post your schedule on the fridge or somewhere central in the house. Let them know that these are times when you are not to be disturbed unless there's an absolute emergency. Make sure to define, especially to kids, what an emergency means. Ask your spouse or significant other to help enforce these time boundaries. You will find that it will make a world of difference in your study progress.
Here are some things I learned to help get through my CPA Exam journey:
- Prioritize what’s important and let the little stuff go. Once you know your major priorities, it becomes easier to let the little stuff go. You don’t have to be perfect. Dinner doesn’t have to be served at 6!
- Plan a weekly menu and have plenty of healthy snacks on hand for yourself and for your significant other/kids to reach for on their own, without your help.
- Use the TV as a baby sitter sometimes without guilt.
- Say no to unnecessary social commitments, apologize politely, and decline because you have to study.
- Stick to your routine as much as possible; it will help you stay sane and organized.
- Exercise! Regular physical activity not only keeps you in shape and gives you the stamina you will need to study all day, but adrenaline pumping through your body perks you up.
- Meditate or pray when you're stressed out. Both will calm you down and relieve stress.
- Involve your family. Let them know when you are struggling with a topic, and celebrate the little successes with them like “I finally finished pensions and got through the homework."
- Set aside time for loved ones, at least one night a week, when you can have some fun and focus on your family/friends/loved ones. It can be a movie night or board game night.
- Remember it’s only temporary. This is probably the best advice I can give on this topic and I have learned from others. You're not going to be on this study schedule for the rest of your life. When you're frustrated or have cabin fever, just remember why you're doing this in the first place. One step at a time and one Exam at a time, and you'll eventually get there. It takes a lot of patience and hard work, but it's all worth it in the end!
Hope that was helpful, and good luck on your studies!
-Margo Pacific, Guest Blogger for Roger CPA Review