Woman enjoying on the hill and 2018 years while celebrating new year

This first few weeks of the year are a great time for “New Year’s resolutions” and setting new goals. As you think about what it is you want to accomplish in 2018, may we suggest you put “passing the CMA exam” at the top of your list? After all, becoming a Certified Management Accountant is a proven way to earn more money and advance your career.

But passing the CMA exam is a BIG goal – it takes a lot of work and requires setting smaller goals along the way. Here’s some advice on how you can start your journey to becoming a CMA in 2018.

1. Decide Why You Want to Be a CMA

To set realistic goals, you have to ensure they are important to YOU, and there is clear value in achieving them. Don’t let someone else define or set your goals for you.  This way, you can avoid the “I must do this” attitude. “I want to do this” should be your drive.

2. Set SMART Goals

This acronym stands for: “Specific. Measurable. Attainable. Relevant. Timed.” To set realistic goals, makes sure your goals are:

Specific — “Lose weight” or “make more money” is simply too big of a goal. To give your goal value, you need to make it as specific as possible. Something more specific like like reviewing a set number of Learning Outcome Statements within a particular period is far more realistic.

Measurable — This means is that you have to start somewhere. So take an audit of your current knowledge as it relates to your goal. Where are you now in terms of your management accounting knowledge? Where/how far do you need to go to be ready for the CMA exam?

Attainable — Similar to having a starting point, you need to pick an endpoint for your goal and it needs to be attainable and tangible.

Relevant — You too should pick set realistic goals that are relevant to your everyday life. What can realistically fit into your work schedule and life?

Timed — If you put a time limit on your goal, you’re more likely to start working toward achieving it sooner.

Here’s an example of a SMART goal: “I will be ready to take Part II of the CMA Exam by June 2018 by devoting 8 hours a week to studying the CMA curriculum using Wiley CMAexcel.”

3. Make Your Intention/s Known

Put it in writing and tell everyone you know about your plan for success. If you make your goal tangible, you’re more likely to stick to your plan.

4. Create Your Plan

Speaking of plans, after you set realistic goals, you need to make a road map of how you’ll achieve them. In terms of passing the CMA Exam, that means meeting the requirements, setting your exam date, mapping out your study schedule, etc. The digital exam planner in the Wiley CMAexcel course is the perfect resource for doing a good bit of this in mere minutes.

5. Stick to the Plan!

Even if you stumble here and there, come back to your study schedule and your exam plan. It will require diligence and some work ethic but you can achieve your goal of passing the CMA Exam in 2018.