Success is not only something that can be measured through accomplishments, it is also something that we feel. One guaranteed way to have a successful year as an actor is to set attainable goals. Whether you begin your yearly plan January 1st, May 1st, or October 12th, you need to create a plan of specific yet attainable goals that build upon one another getting bigger and loftier as the months and years go on. Of course it is important to have those lofty dream or end goals, but save those for your vision boards and dream journals. If you start with an end goal, chances are you will have a harder time achieving it within a set amount of time. And when that happens, we tend to get frustrated with ourselves and with our dreams, and we begin feeling defeated and overwhelmed. However, it is those actors who build plans of attainable goals who stay in the game. Their drive becomes stronger and more powerful with every accomplishment making them feel so much more successful and so much more in control of their careers.
Let’s take for an example the actor whose resolution or goal is to be a Series Regular. That would be a great goal for the actor who is already on that path…the actor who has already worked their way up the ladder of attainable goals moving from Co-Star roles to Guest Star roles to recurring on two network series last season. However, a “Series Regular” goal for an actor just starting out in the business may not be as quite a realistic goal to achieve. Another example is Abigail Actress whose New Year’s resolution is to sign with a great agent by the middle of February. Unless Abigail has spent the last few months doing all the preliminary work leading up to finding the right agent, chances are this resolution is not going to become a reality either. When February 15th comes along and she hasn’t even gotten an interview, the excitement she felt at the beginning of the year will begin to fall away. Instead of a lofty resolution, Abigail should have created a specific plan with attainable goals including:
-Research agencies that would be a good fit
-Create a list of seven agents, include address, phone number, email address
-Write agent cover letters
-Mail pix/resumes to agents
-Find three friends/coworkers who are willing to walk my picture and resume into their agent’s office.
-Make two phone calls/day to the agents to which I submitted.
-Research and put together my “interview” outfit that shows me in my most marketable and castable light.
-Set aside $25/week over the next four weeks to gather money to upload new pictures onto acting sites.
-Put together four promotional packages for interviews.
Those are attainable goals…goals that you can have control over…goals that you can feel good about yourself when you look at your to-do list and see your achievements step after step with a big completed line through them. (There is nothing more satisfying than scratching something off your to-do list!) If for some reason you don’t reach an individual goal, figure out why you didn’t and how you can alter it or revise it so that you can scratch it off the list. Do you need to break it down into smaller more attainable tasks? Probably. Do you need outside help to get there? Perhaps. Instead of feeling frustrated create a plan to find that help.
Every month revisit your vision board or your dream journal. Look at those end goals, those lofty resolutions. Take a moment to see yourself achieving them. Then get back to your goal sheet and create the next month’s plan of specific step-by-step attainable goals. At the end of the year you will not only see your successes, but you will feel successful as well. Guaranteed.