For the past year, you've been looking at CPA Exam changes and the requirements you need to sit for the CPA Exam. After all that work, you've looked into what it takes to pass the BEC, AUD, REG, and FAR sections and what best CPA Review programs are to help reach your goals. One of the hardest parts is figuring out how to fit all this into your life, while still having a good life.
This is especially hard around the holiday season. Lucky for you, Yaeger CPA Review has helped students through this time for over 40 years. We strive to provide you with all the information and tools you need to help you study and prepare to take and pass the CPA exam, but also have experience in life as CPA's. We've raised families, developed amazing friendships, and found personal and professional fulfillment all at the same time. The hardest times can be early on in your CPA career. The first couple years, especially around the holidays, require you to have a large portion of your life revolve around the four sections of the CPA Exam.
But shouldn't I just bite the bullet and study non-stop?
We encourage you to spend as much time as humanly possible studying our CPA review in preparation for the exam. Putting in the hours to pass the first time is better than having to retake and repeat so much work. At the same time, we don't want you to abandon your responsibility to your family or the joy they bring you. We're not just talking about keeping the bills paid and food on the table or showing up. We're talking about remembering to invest.
If you're married, with or without children, you already know that you are partially “responsible” for your partner's contentment. While we are all essentially in charge of our happiness, we can all agree that attention and love shown from our families, especially our spouses or partners, keeps us much more content than if we are ignored or put low on our loved one's priority list. Your responsibility for a good life reaches across all your relationships. But how do you keep everyone happy while spending so many hours studying for the exam?
Plan your personal and professional schedule together
When you are planning out your study schedule each week or month, be sure to include time dedicated just to your family or partner. Make sure you know when the parties you've been invited to are. Take an hour or so to watch your kids' basketball game or a recital. Don’t treat these activities as a sacrifice, as kids and friends will pick up on this quickly. You don’t have to show up to your kid's games, and no one is forcing you to your neighbor's party, you get to go. If you are constantly checking your watch or worrying about work/study life you won’t really be present, enjoy the moment, or be an enjoyable person. Having a presence is important, but if it’s clear you feel like you have to be there, it can be easy to make others feel like another burden. You may even begin to feel these things are another burden, at which point you’ll stop enjoying yourself.
Remember how special this time of year is, but how special is what you are doing?
Taking an hour or two here and there throughout your week to focus your attention on your loved ones is time well spent - for them and you. One of the best things you can do is to make dinner for your spouse before you crack open your review material on Friday night. On weekends, try to either wake up early and study for a few hours before the rest of your family rises. Another option is to study in increments, planned between weekend ball games, recitals, competitions, or just a good old family outing to see some Christmas lights. This may sound extreme but look at this as a practice of reverence. We've learned to look out our families, profession, and even strangers this way. Having a family, reaching professional goals, and knowing interacting with the gas station cashier is quite amazing when you think about all that went into creating the life you're living. When you feel like you are feeding into something special by taking that extra break for a loved one, studying that extra bit, or being exceptionally nice to a stranger you'll realize most of what it takes to be happy isn't more time, but a mindset change.
Ask for help
Once you've made this shift of thought, another way is to keep your family involved in your journey to becoming a CPA. Bringing your family and friends in may be one of the greatest things to help you pass the CPA Exam. Tell them why you want to become a CPA and how the time you are sacrificing now to study will benefit them greatly in the long run. Let your spouse be your sounding board, if you have a complaint or just want to vent about studying, do it with your spouse. This assures them that their opinion and input is important, and that you need their support. If you want to get them involved in the actual study process, give your spouse your personal study guide and have them quiz you one CPA questions from time to time. Make your spouse/partner and family feel that they are in on it with you! You are a family after all, creating memories to last, and the time you spend studying doesn’t have to be a time your family remembers missing you. It can be a time everyone remembers being a part of.