Editor's note: This is the latest in a series of guest posts from young VSCPA members dealing with topics of interest to young professionals. If you'd like to write or have a topic you'd like a future blogger to cover, please email VSCPA Academic & Career Development Coordinator Tracey Zink.
By Clare Levison, CPA
Alliant Techsystems, Inc.
Here’s an excerpt from my recently published book, Frugal Isn’t Cheap: Spend Less, Save More, and Live Better, that I thought was particularly applicable for this time of year.
Every year people make their New Year’s resolutions. Going to the gym, getting the house organized, and spending less are some of the standards.
But frequently after a few months, or maybe even weeks, the resolutions become too difficult to keep. Extra pounds return, extra dollars get spent, and that storage room in the basement never does get cleaned out. It’s such an established pattern, that one might say New Year’s resolutions are made to be broken. Why is this the case so many times? The resolution is typically an admirable one that would be of great benefit if kept. Yet, it is still too hard to follow through.
One of the reasons is that resolutions are often too broad. To be successful, you have to set specific goals. Let me suggest a specific goal you should embrace: I will surround myself with people that want to see me succeed. Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? But one of the sad realities of our society is that often people find it difficult to stomach others’ success and easy to revel in their failure.
You needn’t look any further than the Tiger Woods infidelity incident to know this is true. I’m not saying that what Tiger did wasn’t wrong. What I am saying is that the glee with which the media reported on his fall from grace was pretty apparent. People love to see success turn into failure. I suppose with celebrities, it just comes with the territory. Hopefully in your own life, you can find it easier to surround yourself with people who take a genuine interest in you and your success. More than likely, you already have a good idea who these people are and who they aren’t.
The world can be a cold place. Jealousy, pessimism, and negative gossip seem to spread more quickly and with more gusto than kindness and optimism. But it’s much warmer when you find those who are interested in lifting you up rather than tearing you down.
Encircle yourself with positive people. Ask for help when you need it, and reciprocate the support and encouragement you receive.
Reprinted, with permission of the publisher, from FRUGAL ISN'T CHEAP © 2013 Clare K. Levison, CPA. Published by Career Press, Pompton Plains, NJ. 800-227-3371. All rights reserved.
Clare K. Levison is a certified public accountant and national financial literacy spokesperson for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). She has appeared on major radio and television networks across the country and has served as a member of the Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants (VSCPA) Board of Directors. Levison was named one of the 2010 Top 5 Under 35 by the VSCPA. She has more than a decade of corporate accounting experience and is also an active volunteer, serving as PTA president, Girl Scout leader, and Sunday school teacher. Levison lives in Blacksburg, Virginia, with her husband and two daughters.