The start of a new calendar year plants small seeds of change in each of us. New year’s resolutions are made. The prior year’s challenges, efforts, and achievements are reminisced and evaluated. The mental notations we make as one year closes and another begins reset our focus, our interests, our ambitions – if only slightly. The vows made are to improve, to change, to triumph!
As you recap your work as a talent in the prior year, be kind to yourself. Frequently, talent are their own worst enemies and tend to get hung up on only the negatives (what they didn’t achieve). I suggest that talent only focus on what they know to be concrete evidence rather than subjective guessing. It’s hard to find evidence in a subjective industry, so sometimes we have to find ways to create it. As a business, the records you’ve kept will work as evidence. Look through your records to find trends, highlights, and areas where you struggled.
When you are ready to move your focus to the new year, set clear and measureable goals. (You thought all that lab work from high school was a useless waste of time – until now!) Clear means that they are as precisely described as you can make them. For example, “I want to have better auditions” could be clearly stated as “I want to spend 1 hour in focused preparation before each audition.” Usually, by clarifying a goal, it will become measureable as well. “I want to have better auditions” isn’t clear and isn’t measureable, but one can clearly measure a length of time (60 minutes) and connect that time frame to a certain event (an audition).
Only give yourself attainable goals! There is something to be said for shooting for the moon, but unless you’ve studied rocket science, the moon might not be an option. For example, Gwenyth Paltrow is once again all the rage in Hollywood with the movie Country Strong, but her first episodes with the camera weren’t so heavily publicized or successful. Her step-by-step approach to growing as an actress has ultimately allowed her to attain the celebrity status and/or success that every talent hopes to find.
So keep the past in the past. Focus on the present. And know that the future will come when the timing is right. What goals have you set for the new year?