Why you should make your 2024 goal a fresh start as an actor?

By Fernanda Karpienski | Last Updated: December 30, 2023
Go to the gym. Eat less red meat. Quit closing down bars. Smoke less. We have so many things we desire to change, quit or improve, and it all seems impossible at month 6 or 7 when we cannot see over either side of the year to make sense of our life. Then, like a vagabond friend who suddenly appears in the night — thus the passage of time. You make it through the remaining months. Until, there the song plays again: John Lennon’s slightly nasally, slightly raspy voice in the background at auntie’s holiday get together: “Another year older, a new one just begun,” . . . and then, WHAM — just like that, it is official.
NYE is here. You look back, gazing at things you accomplished. Then out ahead you look out, to that great void of time and blankness that can be filled with all imaginations dared to be dream.
Such a moment occurring hours before midnight on NYE can be uniquely powerful. When spent with the right friends and family, it can push one to ask the strongest question of all, ‘What if . . . ?’
Studies show that despite whether New Years resolutions are kept in check the whole year, for those that do make them, there is no better chance of following through than on January 1st. That moment when you go out running to the department store with Mom, looking for that perfect Moleskin planner that somehow grants you the sole opportunity to plan how this impactful year will take shape and materialize — all because of the right margins and carefully lined pages and soft cover. Whatever is your annual routine, we have prepared some important questions to ask yourself when starting your acting career afresh in 2024:
1. Create a vision of where you want to be. This is imperative as it will remind you of what all of the little tasks and training and showing up each day is in service of. So, if you want to land a lead role in a short film or a feature by the end of the year, you need to write this down. Note: the bigger the goal, the longer it usually takes to accomplish. So try and find a sweet spot between being both idealistic and halfway realistic. Remember, it is always better to be super ambitious and not hit the goal completely in the year, for the amount of progress you will make within the 365 days will be rather staggering when looking back at the start of 2025. So write it all down.
2. Get a good planner. I personally use a daily Moleskin planner. This allows me to have at least one full page to set my main tasks for the day, as well as more space to put ‘to do lists’ and other important meetings and events scheduled. Weekly planners do not allow for this kind of specificity.
3. Each day you should be spending some amount of time doing one task related to your acting career. Using your planner, decide which days are best for self-tape work. Which days are best for studying scripts and self-submitting. And which day is best for working on scene studies and taking acting classes? Fill in your journal and plan accordingly. Then, wake up in the morning and follow your schedule. The trick is to not lead your actions through the feeling of the morning but the set task at hand.
4. Do you want to get an agent this year? It is time to make these decisions and hold yourself accountable. There is nothing stronger than a ticking time constraint. So mark your planner. Set a date at which point you need to achieve this. Then work your way back, deciding on weekly or monthly tasks that can get you closer to making your goal happen.
5. Create accountability. It’s most important to have an accountability partner. This can be someone you meet in acting class, someone you befriend on set or someone you find online that shares similar goals in their respective acting career. Once you find a partner, share your goals with this person and be sure to carry out weekly check-ins, where each partner will review the week, going through what successes and failures occurred in the week and why? More often than not, having to answer to someone keeps one from justifying not doing something, as it is much easier to justify things to oneself than to someone else.
6. Lastly, prioritize ‘approach type goals’ over ‘avoidance type goals’ In other words, try and steer away from goals that are about not doing something. Instead, focus on what new habits you wish to achieve. This is because many studies have shown that it is far easier to replace bad habits with new ones than it is to practice abstinence. So instead of saying: “I will not stay out all Friday night, drinking and singing karaoke like it’s the end of the world.” Instead say: “I will go to acting class at 7am Saturday, which will, in essence, keep you from singing ‘Sweet Caroline” 2 or 3 too many times before stumbling onto the couch with your contacts still in. So, go get em’! Make us proud this new year!
-Fernanda Karpienski