Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Year's Resolutions? Fuhgettaboutit!

Another year has gone by and we're back to making new year's resolutions, most of which we'll carry out for about a week or so.  Some of you will start your new year's resolutions now, others will start them next month, and the real procrastinators will start them after March.  According to my friend who owns an Anytime Fitness gym, this is exactly the pattern he sees during the beginning of the year.  Things never get busier as the months go by because the people who started their resolutions in January often give up during February.  The ones who started in February give up around March and so forth and so on.

I always chuckle to myself when people tell me about their resolutions; not because I don't think they'll stick to them, but simply because of the definition of "resolution" itself.

Resolution: noun.  the act of determining upon an action or course of method.

Notice how the definition says nothing about doing anything; just deciding what to do.

I like to set goals instead of resolutions.  The definition of "goal" even sounds better:  the result or achievement toward which effort is directed.

Of course none of these words mean anything if you don't put forth any effort.  Let's say you've set goals and you're putting forth effort.  What's to keep you from stopping or getting off course?


Track your progress!  This is the most important element that many people do not do.  How do you know if you've made any progress at all if you're not keeping track of it?  You keep track of how many pounds you've lost from working out, right?  It shouldn't be any different for any other goal that you're setting.

I'll use acting as an example.  I've set goals for myself in areas such as audition percentages, booking percentages, frequency of auditions, etc and I've made a spreadsheet to track my progress.  I've even included conditional formatting that will change the color of the results to red or green based on if I'm currently at my goal or not.  I can see exactly how I'm doing at a moment's glance, which will help me focus on the areas that need more work.

Having information is power.  If I go to my agent and say "I don't feel like I'm going out very much theatrically." they'll probably just chuckle and tell me to go away.  If I say "Out of all of my auditions so far, only 15% have been theatrical.  Let's do something about that." they may or may not take me more seriously, but at least they won't be able to deny the fact that I'm not going out theatrically.  It's not a feeling that I have, it's fact.

When people ask me how often I audition, I answer "...on average once every 7 days."  It's not an "out of my @ss" answer that most people give.  I've been tracking my auditions and that's exactly how often I audition.

Being able to see your progress will keep you motivated and positive.  Going by your feelings is the quickest way to not reach your goals.

Resolve.  Set.  Goal!

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