The problem with most resolutions is that they're not specific enough. They usually sound something like, "I want to be a better person" or "I want to be more out-going!" But what exactly does that mean? How do you measure your "out-goingness"? You can't. That's why it's much better to set very specific goals, even if it's as outrageous as the picture above, because at least you know exactly what you're working towards. If your "resolution" is to be more out-going, set a goal like "I'm going to go out with friends at least once a week" or "I'm going to say 'yes' to every other invitation for a group outing after work." The more specific, the better.
OK, so we've got the specificity part down, but if you don't track any of your progress, you might as well pin one of those motivational posters on your bathroom wall and call it a productive year. Tracking your progress doesn't need to be complicated; it can be as easy as making a mark on a calendar. This lets you literally look back on the year to see what you've accomplished. Just make sure you don't use one of those tear-away daily calendars because sifting through a pile of 365 pages can be a pain. ;-)
I'm happy to report that in 2012, I achieved my goal of having 35% of my acting auditions be theatrical auditions! (Theatrical = TV and film) It's kind of a weird goal to have because I'm not really in control (or am I?) of what kinds of auditions I get called in for, but it's definitely a good indicator of forward progress. Three years ago, 0% of my auditions were theatrical auditions. In 2011, 25% of my auditions were theatrical. And in 2012, 35% of my auditions were theatrical, with me being called in for major titles like Showtime's "House of Lies", Fox's "The Mindy Project", and DreamWorks' "Need for Speed". If I can keep this up, I should be at over 50% theatrical auditions in a couple of years!
Let me be proof that setting specific goals and tracking them throughout the year helps one stay focused and successful in pursuing one's dreams.
Tell me about your goals for 2013 and your success stories from 2012 in the comments below!