Having a Plan
I'm a bit of a planner. I thrive on organization and lists. I love crossing things off a list.
I'm also a dreamer.
Oftentimes in life, my plans for the future only exist in my dreams. I think about my plans, I dream about my plans, I obsess about my plans, and then I plan on making my plans happen.
Plan is a funny word.
In the Fall of 2009 I was a Junior at Arizona State University (Sun Devils, represent!) and I had a guest teacher who had us write out a five year plan for our lives. It wasn't a five year "career" plan, it was a life plan.
I wrote a plan. I turned it in. I saved it on my desktop.
It was in writing this plan that I first put a timeline on wanting to move to LA, it was the reason I got involved with the Phoenix Film Festival in the Spring of 2010, and it was the reason I got a new job at the time.
I kept this plan updated over the next couple years as my life and my goals changed, and I just found my "Life Plan" from February 2011.
Here are all the things I accomplished on my two year plan (in order):
-Contacted Chad Hudson Events in LA (This is where I wanted to get a job when I moved to LA. He actually e-mailed me back a couple times but he wasn't looking to hire anyone and he didn't need any interns.)
-Got new headshots.
-Created a website.
-Graduated summa cum laude.
-Got paid for acting (national Petsmart commercial!)
-Quit my job at Desert Star Construction.
-Completed my demo reel.
-Made conscious efforts to make connections in LA with filmmakers and casting directors.
-Took a trip to LA.
-Moved to LA.
-Found a job in LA.
-Got an agent in LA.
-Found a place to live in LA.
For full disclosure, here are all the things in the plan that I did not accomplish:
-Create a voice-over demo reel.
-Pay off student loans.
-Have a job at Chad Hudson Events.
-Land a role as a lead in a feature film (this actually happened, but then the project was cancelled...so I'm not letting it count.)
That's it! Between those two lists, that was everything on my plan. The timeframes in which some things were completed were a little different than my original plan, but that's a-okay with me.
Usually I write blogs to inform my friends and family of my adventures in Los Angeles, but today I'm going to challenge you.
Write down your plans!
It will keep you accountable to yourself to make your dreams come true. It might feel silly, after all, you know what you want...you're you! But write it down anyways. It makes it concrete, physical, tangible. And it's harder to argue with something that you can touch.
"But, Tiffany! Where do I start?!"
So glad you asked :)
- Grab a blank sheet of paper or open Microsoft Word (this is an important step...without this step you thing's won't get written down!) (<--That was sarcasm, friends.)
- Start with where you want to be in one year. Then work your way backwards. Figure out what you have to do in the next six months, and then in the six months after that to get to where to you want to be in a year.
- Then go a little bit longer term. Think two years. After you've accomplished your one year plan where do you want to go next? You don't have to be as detailed in this plan, just list out the things you have to do to get to your two year goal.
- From there you can go as far as five years out or even ten years out. Your five year mark might only have one goal listed, and that's ok! You'll keep your list revised and as you get closer you'll find more detailed ways to reach that goal.
"But, Tiffany! What if my plans change?!"
Nope. Don't ever let your plans change. Once you make your plans, you need to follow through with them.
Let your plans change! This is your life plan. Your life plan. Not anyone else's plan and not some rigid business plan. It's okay when things change. Unexpected things happen all the time that you have no way of planning for in your life plan. Like finding a billion dollars buried in your backyard (not in the lottery, gambling is silly).
Priorities change. People change. And when they do, change your plan. But save a draft of your old plan first...it's fun to look back on what you wanted your goals to be. For instance, in 2009 my 4-5 year plan included getting married. It's four years later, and no husband yet. (I've chosen to leave my relationship status off the plan in the future ;) )
Right now I'm updating my plan. All the things I didn't accomplish in the last two years are fo-sho on my new plan (except working for Chad Hudson) along with a few new things that I'm sure you'll hear about soon.
And if you need some motivation, this is my favorite viral video of the month: