I hope that everyone had calm, peaceful and jolly Christmas time, and plenty of rest to get you all ready for a new decade!
I haven’t written anything for many, many months, but I wanted to end the year on a better note and share some ideas with you so that you may start a new year in a productive and - most importantly - exciting way. And that is - through careful planning your next year’s goals and dreams.
You may think - oh, how boring, I thought it was something like taking up a new hobby or going sky diving. I’m afraid that’s not what we’ll be discussing here today.
I personally haven’t been a major fan of making plans and setting goals, because there was always something getting in the way that would, essentially, ruin my aforementioned plans, so I thought - why bother? It’s never going to happen anyways, there’s always going to be something in the way. But - that’s life, that’s what Sinatra said, and there will always be ups and downs, and the best thing we can do is to prepare ourselves for that and go through these obstacles in a calm manner. We shouldn’t give up and throw all our dreams away just because something stood in our way.
So then I started creating lists for a year, a month, and - surprisingly, I found myself ticking them off quite consistently. I think writing down what is it you want to achieve in any given time frame not only makes it clear in your mind, but somehow attracts it more toward you. Once I became very clear with where I wanted to go in my business and personal endeavours, things slowly started falling into place. Opportunities started presenting themselves to me, be it a course that taught me all about the thing I want to do as a photographer, or a great producer who is helping me take my film forward.
That’s how I ended up doing a very thorough goals list AND a vision board for the next year / decade. And I have to say - there is definitely something to it. It took me a long time to get started, and to arrive at the end product, but once I did - it felt quite exciting. It also felt like - it already has happened. As if the things I want are already part of my life. Strange, isn’t it? Another curious byproduct of this process was that it made me feel much more confident about achieving these goals. It made it less scary, not so overwhelming - but exciting and possible. Making a vision board and allowing yourself to really go wild with your dreams makes you less apprehensive - after all, it’s for your personal use. No-one needs (nor should, in my opinion) see that vision board or your goals list. It’s your little secret that empowers you to dream big, and after all - to go for it.
How do you make a goals list / vision board?
I think the fact that we’re entering a new decade is a great way to look at where we’d like to be by the end of it. So - for those of you who are actors - I invite you to do one of the Stella Adler’s exercises - imagine your perfect day in 2030. Where are you? Where do you live? What do you do when you get up? What’s your ideal day like? Who do you get to work with? Who do you hang out after work? What kind of projects you’re working on? Really zero in on your ideal life you want to create for yourself.
I personally created 2 vision boards - one for my career / business / work, and one for personal life. I suggest not overcrowding the boards with images, as it leads to confusion. 2/3 images per section is more than enough. As well, don’t search for the perfect image of your perfect home. Just seek those images that resonate with what you want.
Don’t focus on how you’re going to get there throughout the next 10 years, that’s not your problem. Just create a vision of your happy life.
Now, you are ready to break down your goals into categories. One of my close friends has send me a really great goals list that she makes every year, and has stated that it made it much easier to track her own progress, but also - turn the list into reality! Here’s the list:
Goals that need magic - something extraordinary, an outlandish wish!
Financial goals - how much you’d like to be earning every month, but remember to budget it all out - so take into consideration your personal income, any expenses that go into your dream/passion/business, around 20/30% for tax purposes (if you’re self employed), and any additional profit of between 10 to 20%. Gordon Ramsay said once to remember to split it 25% four ways, so a quarter for your business, a quarter for yourself, another for tax and one left for growth of business / profit.
Career goals - what kind of projects you want to realise next year - making your own film? Writing a script? Reaching out to 50 casting directors on a regular basis? Starting your own business? Connecting with fellow industry members through regular networking? Narrow it down. Make sure the goals take your career further!
Spiritual goals - for example, taking a yoga class that’s a different one from what you’ve done before, regular meditation, whatever it is that enhances your personal spirit and growth. It doesn’t have to be anything connected to religion, just something that grows you as a person. It could simply be personal development.
Skill goals - very important, especially if you’re an actor - think about learning skills that will enhance your performance. They don’t have to be horse riding - simply making a goal of going to an exhibition once a month, or visiting a theatre is you surrounding yourself with new ideas and perspectives, acting techniques, and stories.
Travel goals - go somewhere you haven’t been before, even if it’s another city!
Health goals - take up a kick boxing class, or commit to exercising one way or another 3 times a week.
Image goals - how do you want to present yourself to the world? This could be regarding your wardrobe or if you want to be more patient / kind to people.
Social goals - what kind of people do you want to surround yourself with? Who do you want to be friends with? Make sure it’s the people who let you grow and don’t hold you back or make you feel bad about yourself.
Take a moment to reflect on the past year.
If you’re already making lists, look back at what you planned for this year and see if you achieved it. It’s ok if you haven’t - again, things get in the way, but here comes another year of opportunities. If you are new to this, take a moment to reflect and write down what worked for you this past year. What brought you closer to your dreams, and what didn’t help you grow as an artist / person. Make a list of things you should do more and less of, and what you should not do at all.
Throughout the process remember not to be too harsh on yourself and not to go overboard with the list. Don’t take on too much. The process should be fun and enjoyable. Make sure to factor in time for rest and another moment of self-reflection. When we’re not running after things constantly, and take time to slow down, we become more creative, we search for new things and come up with new ideas.
I wish you all the best with making the plans and making them come true in the new year 2020!