5 Steps to Achieving Your Certification Goals 

By Vikram Gupta, CBAP, PMP   
Ever since I earned my Certified Business Analysis Professional™ (CBAP®) designation, I have been asked countless times by aspirants about the magical formula to achieve the coveted certification from International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA). My answer has been a simple magical word: passion. I will come to this again later, but first I would like to share what clicked for me.   
1. Set up a mental picture of your goal.
You will be surprised to know that on an average day a human mind processes 60,000 thoughts. And almost 95% of them are the same as the day before. By setting up a mental picture of your goal, you can concentrate your mind and open the gateway to the actualization of your desire.  
2. Put some positive pressure on yourself.
Pressure is not always a bad thing. It can inspire one to achieve great ends. Take a public pledge or tell everyone you know that you will take the CBAP® or Certification of Competency in Business Analysis(CCBA®) exam. Once you make your goal known to the world, there will be instant pressure on you to work towards its fulfillment since no one likes to look like a failure.   
3. Set a time frame and write your goal on paper.
To breathe life into a goal you must attach a precise deadline to it. Most importantly, hang a piece of paper with your name along with the CBAP® or CCBA® title underneath it on your bulletin board or in front of your desk or computer—anywhere you will see it to be constantly reminded of your goal.   
4. Remember the Magic Rule of 21
Most of us are juggling our limited time between work and family commitments, and as such fail to set time to pursue our goals. One of the best ways to create discipline is to follow a routine for three weeks or 21 days. By doing so you will be surprised that it becomes a habit and you no longer will feel strained by doing that task.   
5. Enjoy the process!
Passion is the most potent fuel for your dreams. If we do things because we feel we have to do them and not because we love to do them, it is a formula for misery. When you are passionate about something it is a joy to do.   
Happy learning!