Let’s talk about goal setting for actors and getting unstuck for a minute. I’m sure you’ve heard people talk about setting little goals (or SMART goals) that break your big goal down into manageable pieces and yes, I think this is super helpful. And as important as it is to focus on the step by step, sometimes in order to get out of inertia it’s time to circle back to the big dream.
Sometimes in the day-to-day it can be hard to show up. It’s too easy to let the time you had set aside for finding a new monologue turn into binge-watching time, or to stay cozy in bed instead of getting up early to get your voicework in before you go to work. That’s why it’s so important to regularly visualize and (re)connect to your BIG juicy goals that are clear, specific, and important to you.
It’s the WHY. It’s those juicy goals that propel you forward when you get stuck because you’ll remember that every rehearsal you stick to, every play you read, and every extra minute you spend prepping for an audition is getting you one step closer. That’s why ambitious goal setting for actors is so important.
**Important note: In the time since I worked with this student on goals, I read Atomic Habit by James Clear which talks about the power of “identity based habits” which is really powerful. Essentially instead of simply setting the big result oriented goal, you would also go a step further and ask yourself what kind of person am I becoming and then take steps in service of that. Highly recommend that book!
CLASS CLIP TRANSCRIPTION
Sarah: Yeah, none of these things actually take that long.
Student: No, it’s the inertia, though, to get yourself to do it. To go from zero to…
Sarah: It’s so much easier if you make yourself busy to stay on track.
Student: That’s the thing. This was a not good busy period, but the times when I’m busy doing things that even if I don’t like doing all of them, but I know that are progressing me somewhere…yeah.
Sarah: The reason I think the goals are important is it will help you show up every day because you’ve got a vision and an end in mind. Right, I’m working on a short term goal of getting x tapes so that I can do what, you know? So that I have my materials in place so I can get out on more auditions and get more opportunities. Staying connected to the vision of where you’re headed makes it easier to do all this stuff leading up to it because you’ve got a goal you’re headed for. It’s not just like, what am I doing all this for?
Sarah: Right, this is all in service of a bigger plan.