Goals are the destination of a dream we wish to conquer, the end toward which our effort is directed. If you are reading this website, then you are like the rest of us with a goal to pass the CPA exams in an 18 month window. It's important to accomplish smaller goals to keep us encouraged in achieving our larger goals.
Set daily goals - I kept a tablet of paper to keep a time table type journal of my daily goals. I started out writing the date and the 4-5 sections I wanted to get done that day. Labeling the approximate time it should take me to get each part done to ensure that I stayed close to my time table. There is flexibility in this schedule, after all you created it you can change it. But it helped to keep me focused, when I wanted to drift off and take a break I looked at where I was and what I had left to do and would struggle through a bit more until I was at a good point to take a break.
Keeping your daily goals on paper allows you to track and evaluate your progress. It allowed me to visually see what I had accomplished in what seemed like a short amount of time. The small goals reached will eventually lead to a large goal.
ST & LT goals - That's accountant speak for short-term and long-term goals. I wrote them on a separate sheet of paper and posted them on the wall behind my desk. It was really rewarding to reach my short term goals quickly! Also you can build in a reward system to keep you motivated. Short term goals for me were to log 25 hours in 1 week, reach 50 hours of study time, get through a particular section that is not my strong point feeling confident. LT goals were attaining more than 100+ hours in study time for AUD, completing 90% or more of the modules in my AUD material.
Make sure you only set goals for yourself that you feel you can reach, start off small and work your way up to larger and more detailed goals to ensure your success. It needs to be a positive process, to make it possible for you to succeed.
"Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out."