Let’s face it: No one really keeps their New Year’s resolutions. I know I haven’t. Admitting so allowed me to finally start accomplishing my goals. You can do it too. Here’s how.
First, narrow your goals down to fewer than three. Trust me, multitasking is a cunning form of resistance. So, if you’ve got more than three goals happening, you’re spending too much time managing your goals and not enough time accomplishing them. Ironically, you’ll achieve more in the long term if you focus on fewer goals in the short term.
Make your goals measurable. Set a timeline and define exactly what the endgame looks like. For example, shift your goal from “I want to support myself as an actor” to “I want to earn $40,000 or more acting in studio films before Dec. 31.” Write your three goals down and keep them where you can see them.
This was one major mistake I made with resolutions in the past. I wrote a long list of goals and tucked the list away in a special drawer somewhere—out of sight, out of mind—and my resolutions were quickly forgotten.
Next, create an action plan. An action plan provides you with structure and gives you a lot of freedom and confidence. Now you’ll know where you’re going, and you’ll be able to measure your progress along the way. Best of all, you can fall off track without falling off the planet. Identify, specifically, what steps you will take each month, each week, and each day to accomplish your goals. It’s not enough to define the steps; you have to schedule them as well. Make your goal-getting process easier to do than to avoid. This means scheduling focused time each day to work on your goals.
With your plan in place, identify what bad habits prevent you from committing and moving quickly toward what you want.
One of my students, Jeff, created a fantastic Web series this year. His goal for next year is to sell this series to a television network. He wants to make money. For that to happen, Jeff decided he must stop funding production out of his own pocket. Knowing he couldn’t pay for it anymore created the urgency Jeff needed to begin pitching his series to producers.
If you really want to rethink your resolutions, stop trying to accomplish them all on your own. Harness the power of teamwork by sharing your goals with people you trust and getting their support, feedback, and advice. Every successful person needs at least three key supporters to get to the next level. First, you need a cheerleader: someone who provides positive reinforcement and acts as a sounding board for your ideas.
Next, you need an accountability partner. This can be a friend or a career coach willing to crack the whip if necessary to keep you on track. Lastly, you need a mentor who has been where you want to go. They can not only offer advice but also show you that success is indeed possible.
The biggest key to accomplishing your goals comes down to your mindset. I’ve been working with actors for almost 10 years. So, I have a pretty good idea about what you dream of doing. But what is it that you really expect?
Most actors describe the entertainment industry as crazy, challenging, or even impossible. They believe that acting success relies primarily on luck. What do you really believe about the business and your place in it? How do your actions support those expectations?
If you think this business is easy or impossible, you’re right. And you’ll find evidence to support either belief. You must believe that success is inevitable and act accordingly—always. Only when your expectations align with your goals will you see the results you’re looking for.