How we make an entrance in any situation is important. It sets a tone. But how we leave is just as important—making a powerful impression, not only on others, but also in our own lives. The thing is, just like the final wrap on a shoot or closing night of a play, the end of a year is often filled with parties and busy activity, which leaves little room for important completion. And when we exit in a hurry it can affect where we go next, simply because we bring everything with us into new experiences—including all our unfinished business, our loose ends, and our limiting habits.
Here are some intentional ways to wrap up 2013 so that you can give 2014 the chance of a powerful start.
1. Say your thanks. We’re in a business that’s all about relationships, and acknowledging what others have done to support and encourage you along the way is part of building those relationships. Giving even the smallest gift to each of your representatives and their assistants will let them know how much you appreciate them and encourage the relationship to grow. This also goes for casting directors, directors, producers, studio executives, crew, and anyone else who has supported your work in any way. The gifts can cost very little if you’re on a small budget, but they do need to be personal, so use the information you’ve gathered about their interests and let them know you appreciate what they’ve done.
2. Complete your goals. When I say “complete” I don’t necessarily mean finish. Instead, I suggest reviewing, sorting, and taking action on your goals in some way so that you feel complete. One way to do that is to make a list of the things you had planned to get done this year and decide which ones you want to wrap up in the next few weeks, which ones you want to drop entirely, and which ones you want to place on your 2014 calendar. And while you’re at it, adjust the goals you bring with you into the new year so that they’re easier to accomplish the next time around.
3. Celebrate your triumphs. Many people make “to-do” lists, but not many make what I call a “ta-da!” list—which is of the triumphs or goals accomplished. Making a ta-da list for 2013 will give you the opportunity, not only to acknowledge the good things, but also celebrate them. When you focus on your successes and celebrate what you’ve worked hard to create, you’re encouraged to accomplish even more—with less effort.
4. Drop your baggage. Resentment and guilt can feel like carrying heavy bags around all the time, and as an actor you can’t be fully available if you’re being weighed down. To be free of that load you have to forgive and make amends, and this is a great time of year to get that done. Forgiving someone, whether they’re in your business or personal life, will help free you from the creative blocks holding you back. You probably ought not do it directly with them, and you don’t have to condone or forget what happened. You just have to let it go and move on. When it comes to the things you’ve done to hurt others, in the kindest and most sensitive way, make your amends without defending or justifying your actions. Making peace within yourself and with others will mean walking forward unburdened and able to expand your life more freely.
5. Charge your batteries. Celebrating the holidays with friends and family can be a combination of fun, joyful, annoying, challenging, and above all, tiring. And just like nature, we can’t keep going all year long. We need take time to slow down, let go, and recharge. So, make sure you balance out the next few weeks, giving yourself the chance to let your hair down and connect with loved ones as well as have some quiet time to reflect and rest. If you really listen to you body, mind, and spirit, what really charges your batteries may be something you hadn’t though of, so be creative with the break.
Your power lies in being conscious, organized, and taking appropriate actions. Make the next few weeks a time of reflection and completion and you’ll create a solid platform to launch yourself and your acting career into those wonderful new adventures ahead.
Justina Vail, PCC CHt, is a life coach, master NLP practitioner, hypnotherapist, speaker, award-winning author, and award-winning actor. She is owner of Actors Life Coaching and author of the award-winning new book “How to be a Happy Actor in a Challenging Business: A Guide to Thriving Through it All."
Vail coaches actors all over the world via Skype and in person. For info about private coaching packages as well as Actors Life Coaching seminars and workshops visit www.actorslifecoaching.com.