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New Year, Same Hamster Wheel! What Every Actor&Actress Need To Know About Setting Realistic Goals.

It's a new year and the new you is coming out in full swing, right? It's the time of year where hefty goals have been set and you're dead-set on booking "the" major feature film of the year or a series regular role on tv's hottest networks. You've done the work, made positive affirmations and feel certain your dream will manifest this year; there's no doubting it. Inevitably, the harsh zephyr of reality blows in and you find yourself at the conclusion of pilot season, heading into summer at warp speed and then suddenly hit with the sobering reality that you've come to the end of another year and most of the targets you'd aimed at were missed. At this point, you've found yourself justifiably depressed and ready to throw in the towel; right? Well, before you go to such extremes, I urge you to take a step back then consider one thing you might have done to set yourself up for a bit of disappointment. My guess is you might be guilty of overzealous New Year goal setting. If so, then that likely a major culprit in your downward spiral to hopelessness.

According to Marcel Schwantes at, only 9% of New Year goal setters remain committed to the goal and actually see it through to fruition. The remaining 91% of goal setters consistently miss their target and they do so before the close of the the first month of the year. Specifically, the goal plan is typically aborted by January 19th. Interesting statistic, huh? If such is the case, then perhaps the reasonable approach for both the novice and working actors/actresses is to seriously evaluate your goal plan then implement realistic strategies to execute them. Considering the rules of engagement for booking a major role, some might argue that it's easier to catch smoke with their bare hands. Honestly, there are many variables and moving pieces involved in that process with most being beyond the control of the actor/actress. The point here is simple, if the outcome is not within your control, then your goals should be adjusted.

The Transform and Thrive organization (, 2018) posits that proper goals contain the following five elements:

  1. Specific

  2. Measurable

  3. Achievable

  4. Realistic

  5. Timely

Given this knowledge and how seemingly abstract the business of booking a major role is, it behooves the reasonable actor/actress to pace yourself and set achievable goals that will motivate you to continue putting in work while consistently setting goals that are progressively challenging.

Now, with that having been said, please note that the intended message here is about goal setting and the importance of not confusing it with your hopes and dreams; they are mutually exclusive. Your hopes and dreams should always occupy a special place in your heart, but setting and accomplishing specific goals will be the impetus to ensuring your hopes and dreams become reality.

In a nutshell, keep going; you'll eventually get there.

Au Revoir,

Mahalia Jackson-Butler, MSN,MBA

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