Goal setting: Dream, Believe, Achieve

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but building the new.’ – Socrates

Ever have an idea of where you would like to be within the next 6 months and have no idea where to begin or how to get there? You are not alone, I feel that too. As performers we are always striving to be the best in the room and the best version of ourselves so that we can beat the competition at auditions, stunning the panel and gaining our dream roles. We have multiple aspirations and then sometimes worry about how we will get there and commit to the journey when our schedules and timetables are already overflowing and jam packed. In this issue, I will share some knowledge about the art of goal setting and some tips and tricks to help you reach that desired end point. 

Most of the time when dreaming of what we want to achieve, we often focus on the end result and bypass all of the smaller steps required to actually reach our goal. Nothing comes easy and nothing comes without work. You cannot just simply ask for a million pounds and the next day it appears in your bank account with no questions asked or just expect to be able to do the splits without ever actually taking time to stretch, despite how dreamy that sounds. When we set goals we need to break them down into digestible, smaller bite sized chunks so that we can ensure the best chance of success. For example, if you want to be able to sing confidently in front of an audience and improve your voice, like myself, then you need to take smaller steps rather than going in head first to the end as this is not possible. First begin by understanding your voice and maybe some music theory. Perhaps invest in some 1-1 classes with a singing teacher to get personal feedback and assistance. Then perform in front of a smaller group of people and gradually work upwards until you reach the end point. We don’t want to miss any part of the journey and honestly, that’s the best part. We often reach one goal and then forget it, moving onto the next idea and forgetting what we have just accomplished. 

Now I will introduce you to a goal setting structure which is very common and you may already be familiar with, it is SMART goal setting. This acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant/Relatable and Time bound.  When setting your goal, you need to know exactly what you actually want to achieve and this should be clear and specific. Secondly, your goal needs to be measurable so you can track your progress. For example, if your goal is to get into the splits, measure how close you are to the ground. Furthermore, your goals need to be achievable and realistic. You sadly cannot whip out a back tuck if you have never done a backwards roll before. How can you accomplish this and are there any limiting factors such as injury, finance or accessibility to equipment? Next up is the relevant part. You need to make sure your goal matters to you and does it meet your needs. Does it align with your other goals which will help you stay on track? Finally, your goal must be time bound. This means having a target date and a deadline. This helps to prevent your goal from becoming overshadowed and less of a priority in regards to other daily tasks or other longer term goals. By setting goals in this way, you are more likely to stay focused, motivated and driven and also respect the journey more as you progress onto bigger and better things over time. 

Furthermore, ‘a goal without a plan is just a wish’ so get your goals written down somewhere where you will see them regularly. Write it on a post it note and hang it on your photo wall, write it down on the notes page of your phone or set it as the lock screen, home screen or background photo of your phone and laptop. It is said that you are more likely to achieve and reach your goals if you have written them down and there have been many studies to support this. A study performed by Harvard discovered that 83% of the study subjects had no goals, 14% had goals but they had not been written down. This group was said to be 10 times more likely to be successful than those with no goals. Furthermore, 3% had written down their goals and they were 3 times more likely to succeed than those who only kept their plans in a mental format. There is another study by Mark Murphy called ‘The Gender Gap and Goal Setting’ that may be of interest to you if you wish to learn more about goal setting. 

I hope that this has been helpful in some way and has inspired you to take action to reach those goals. Aspirations and resolutions are not just for the new year, they can be activated at any point so, the question is, are you prepared to be the best you have ever been?

“You can’t skip a chapter, that’s not how life works. You have to read every line, meet every character, You won’t enjoy it all. You will read things you don’t want to read, you will have moments where you don’t want the pages to end. But you have to keep going. Stories keep the world revolving. Live yours, don’t miss out.”

Costello

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