I can’t wait! I’m going to Spain in a week for Christmas!!! I’ve had to book out with my agents, pause my gym subscription and start getting into Vacation Mode. I’ve been working so hard lately it feels awkward to have a full month to stop. I’ve realized I deserve to rest, so I can fuel up and focus on the other half of my heart, my family and friends. You deserve to take a break too.
Suddenly it hit me: Another year has gone by. Inevitably I’ve started evaluating this year in my life. I was focusing on what I hadn’t achieved and all I felt was deception, regret and I felt useless. Was I being fair? No. So here’s how to evaluate this amazing year in your life. Keep in mind to make a constructive evaluation.
Let the masochistic egocentric in you spill out all its complaints about your expectations for this year and the reality that happened. You wanted to star in Transformers 4? You wanted to go every day to the gym and meal prep? You wanted to save up x amount of money by the end of the year? Wanted to sign with CAA? And of course, you didn’t. Now, which of those were realistic in your circumstances?
Evaluate from January to December, we tend to forget about the beginning of the year as it seems so far away. But make an effort and write down things that happened every month of the year so you get an overall real perspective.
Assess all aspects of your life: Personal, Health, Professional, Dreams, etc. We tend to give a lot of importance to our Professional life in the entertainment industry, especially in LA. I don’t recall ONCE that I have mentioned I’m an actress in LA and it hasn’t followed by ‘What have you done?’, so then I’ll enumerate all my credits and kindly be reminded of the lack of credits that I would want to be saying. Give the entertainer in you a break and look at your personal life for some days/weeks. Remember that time when talking about the guy you liked in school would take all your time? Sigh.
GOOD THINGS: As I mentioned in an earlier article, you have to learn to cherish every little step you take. IMDB Credits aren’t the only good things that happen to us! Write down all the positive things you’ve accomplished this year in every aspect of your life: Did you get a gym subscription and actually went to the gym? Woohoo! Did you meet a director and built a relationship where he wants to work with you? Yay! Have you surrounded yourself with creative people that encourage you to be in a creative mindset? The best thing that could have happened to you. And so on.
ERRORS: Don’t fear to explore what wrong decisions you’ve taken during this year. We rarely learn when things are going great because it means there is no change required. We need to make errors, and suffer their consequences, to actually have a motivation to change. Again, start from the beginning of the year and watch out for errors or things you could have done differently. Write them down and give it a thought: What have you learned exactly from that experience?
PEOPLE AROUND YOU: We don’t realize how important who we surround ourselves is. We have a circle of people that have direct access to us, our successes, problems, emotions, etc. Time to assess them too. Are they genuinely happy for you? It has been a mind-blowing experience for me to come to a city full of actors, who call themselves your friends or best friends, but then would kill you if you succeed before them. I don’t have that mentality so I will never get it, but I am learning to leave people and their Karma alone. I have been trying to change people all my life, but sadly people only change when it is convenient for them not for you. Now what kind of people do you want around you? Write down their qualities. I want encouraging people, creative people and people that act from the heart like me. And just like that, I’ve learned what I don’t want: I don’t want someone who can’t be happy for me (when I am for him/her), I don’t want someone who competes with me constantly (It is exhausting!), I don’t want someone who tries to diminish my successes (I am a hard worker) and so many more. It is time to say ‘’Farewell, Adios, Au Revoir’’. It is hard to realize that someone you’ve invested your time in isn’t who you expected her/him to be, but they’re taking a big space in your life that someone better could come into. And let me add, they may be holding you back. Every time I’ve taken the step to step away from someone negative in my life, I haven’t had anything but happiness and confirmation that it was the right decision to make.
“Some think that holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it’s letting go.”
– Herman Hesse (Nobel Prize in Literature, so he knows sh##).
PEOPLE YOU’VE MET: What new people have you met this year that have created a positive impression on you? Write them down. Your range of opportunities has changed in this year as your contacts have grown. Which ones would you like to build a relationship with? This is a big success we rarely give importance too. You met a director at a mixer, asked you to help him with a shoot he had and now talks to you on a ‘LA-Friend basis’? Tap yourself on the shoulder.
TIME ADMINISTRATION: Are you happy with it? LA is a hectic city. I spend my life running from one place to another, I get 7000 things done but I know I have to work on it and organize myself better as I’m normally exhausted. This is one of my 2015 projects: Organize myself better so I can give more importance to my health and personal life. What are your days filled with? Work? This brings me to: What things do you want to keep doing/ which ones you don’t?
FOUNDATION: A great way of assessing 2014 is to see bases we’ve set up for 2015. Learn to look forward as you can’t change any of the decisions taken during this year. Realize how being here, right now, is the consequence of the work you started last year or even years ago. So what do you take from this year that is going to make 2015 different and a step forward for your dreams?