This two-part article series is meant to help you set your goals and then break them down so you have actions to take on a daily basis.
First, there are two types of goals:
1. Results Goals: These are the final results you want to produce, such as getting auditions and ultimately booking jobs. These results require that others make decisions in your favor.
2. Action Goals: These are the actions you take to produce the results you want, ones which you have control over and can do on your own.
In your plan, you need to have both. Your actions help you move toward producing the results. You can’t make someone call you in for auditions or book you, but if you take enough actions, you can greatly increase your odds of that happening.
The right actions to take are your “Primary Causes” in producing results. You don’t have direct control over getting the audition, but you do have control over many actions you can take to help you get more auditions.
If you want to increase your number of auditions, you need to increase your actions that are the primary causes of getting them. So think about it:
What are the actions you’ve taken in the past that have helped you get auditions?
What are additional actions you could take?
If you feel you’ve never been effective at getting auditions, then you obviously need to strategize to figure out some things you could do to get them.
To reiterate… as you create a plan to reach your goals, there will be results that you can’t cause directly, so for those things, you need to see what actions precede that which you can do on your own. To be cast in something, you need auditions, so the question is, “how can I get more auditions?”
To get more auditions, more of the right people need to know about you and think you are suitable for the roles. So what can you do to get more of the right people to know of you? And what can you do to make sure they think you are right for a given role?
To get more of the right people to know about you, you might decide you need to find out who the producers are for the TV shows who use your type. Or you might decide to do more networking to meet more of the right people, or more casting director workshops…. and so on.
With that in mind, in Part 1 of this 2-parter, we will looking at setting goals for your results and actions. In part 2, we will look at what those actions might be.
1. Create your vision for your Longer-Term Results that are no more than 1 to 2 years out.
I used to say 3 to 5 years, but things are moving so fast, it’s better to only look a couple of years ahead. If you really want to achieve it, you need to make a plan for how it might come about.
In the past, I often thought, “How can I plan for 2 years out?” I could get discovered and be on a successful TV series in 2 years and my life would be totally different. And yes, there’s always that chance you could get lucky and have a windfall out of the blue, so stay open minded about that.
But to make sure that things move forward, don’t count on the lucky break showing up out of the blue. Instead, plan out what you want and at least note the major points on the map for how you plan to get there.
2. Break it down into intermediate milestone Results and Actions, that are around 4 to 6 months apart.
Once you identify your 1 to 2 year goal, then break it down into several markers along the way that will tell you you’re on the right track.
For example, let’s say you want to be a series regular on a successful new series. What are the likely things that need to happen before that?
Prior to that, you will need to book a Series Regular Role on a pilot. Prior to that you need to start going out for auditions for network TV shows. Prior to that you need to get an agent who sends you out. And before that you need to get in the union.
Work backwards to the present day, writing down your major milestones along the way and when your goal is to achieve them.
3. Set your Monthly Action and Results Goals.
Once you have worked your milestones back to the present, then fill in what you need to achieve for each month during that time. Some actions might be to get new headshots, do an agent mailing, pay your money to join SAG, and so on.
For each month, brainstorm as many actions as you can that you can take to help you reach your goal. As you get closer to them, you can pick and choose more specifically which ones you will do.
4. Set your Weekly Actions.
After working backward, now look at the present month and see what you need to achieve. Then break that down into a week-by-week plan.
5. Set daily actionable goals.
Finally, write down exactly what you will do each day to achieve the current week’s goals, which then help you achieve that month’s goals and then those affect everything forward from there.
As you go through these steps and take the actions, be positive. Seize opportunities that are presented to you.
Many actors think about their long-term and the fantasy of what it would be like to work opposite a big star like Jennifer Lawrence or Brad Pitt or having a Series Regular Role. But those goals seem a long way off and are hard to use to get motivated on a day by day basis.
Instead of only thinking about the big goals, when you break them down into daily actions where you can see their direct correlation to the long-term results you want, then you can be very motivated to take the actions.
Goals that you can really feel are within your reach are far more inspiring, motivating, and rewarding in the short term.
Create your plan as described above, then go to Part 2, which will cover some of the actions you can take to produce the results you want.