Er...isn’t it a bit early for this?
It may seem that way to some people –resolutions are very often formed out of the carnage that is Christmas – hastily made plans to convince ourselves that all that has been done can be undone now that a fresh new year is upon us.

Let me ask you a question. How many of your New Year’s Resolutions for 2012 will you have achieved by the end of December? How many have been let slide for various excellent reasons? what am I supposed to do?
A bit of planning is all. The reason that so many resolutions get shelved is that they’re either not that achievable in the first place, or they didn’t take into account the various aspects of life that tend to get in the way. They were ‘dreams’ rather than ‘plans’.

That makes talk me through it.
Well here’s a quick tool you can use to make your resolutions a lot more likely to happen. Write answers to each of these sections.

  • Positive. Talk in terms of what you do want rather than what you want to give up. I want to play the guitar, I want to be a size 10, I want to be a non-smoker, I want to speak Italian.
  • Evidence. What will be evidence that you’ve achieved the goal – what will you see and hear? ‘I’ll see my family singing along with me, ‘I’ll hear people say ‘you look well!’. List as many as you can.
  • Context. Frame the context in which you want to have these things – ‘I want to play the guitar in the evenings with my family’, ‘I want to be a size 10 in July and for the rest of the year after that’.
  • Self-Achievable. This is probably the most important. If you’re relying on the behaviour of someone else, then you don’t have control over whether you do it. So rather than ‘I want to have a published novel’, how about ‘I want to have finished writing my novel’. 

  • Advantages and Disadvantages. Consider these carefully. What will be the benefits of being able to speak another language? What will be the drawbacks of training for the marathon – especially in the winter months? Considering these and acknowledging them means you’re much more likely to achieve as you’re going into the goal knowing about the hurdles you may face.
  • Worthwhile. A final check. What will achieving do for you? What will it help you to avoid? What are the benefits?

And you really think this will work?
Yes. Using this tool makes ‘dream’ seem real and turns it into ‘well-formed outcome’. You might want to go on from this into making a more solid timetable or timeline and get buy in and support from members of your family and friends. Why not have a think about next year now, while you’ve got time, before the Christmas craziness is upon us – that way you can know what you’re looking forward to. 

If you'd like some coaching to get you ready for the new year, or even to handle the stress that Christmas may bring,  feel free to get in touch.

We are offering a *Resolute Resolutions* coaching package - a great gift for you or a loved one to ensure you reach your goals in 2013. Click here for more info.

The breaks come when Luck allows you to put your indisputably talented self in the right place, at the right time and in front of the right person. And to give yourself a better chance of achieving this you need contacts – Hugh Bonneville....I don't disagree with this, but, as with improv, I tend to agree, and ADD.

Surely talent and contacts are enough?
Regardless of your talent and your contacts, if you only have the ability to nail your performance some of the time, then your career is likely to be a bit hit and miss.

We all have off days, bad hair days, scratchy throat days, bad mood days etc., but the panel, or the audience don't want to know. Don't care even. If it's the first time you've met them and you give an 'off' performance, they may not call you back. I know a high ranking casting director in the West End who has a blacklist - she very rarely calls people more than once.

I work with performers a lot, and these are some things I regularly hear:
  • “I was the last auditionee of the day - didn't stand a chance”
  • “I heard the guy before me smash it, I just went in and crumbled”
  • “They kept me waiting for 2 hours – I was in a complete state when I went in”
  • “I know the casting director hates me - what's the point”
  • “I only ever get the jobs I don't really want”
  • “I hit all the notes at home, but in the audition they wouldn’t come out”
  • “I learned the whole speech really well but the words just went”
  • ETC...ETC...ETC...

SO what can we do about it?
Well you have regular coaching for your voice, or your acting, but what about your mind?

In NLP we believe that if you can do something once, you can model it - you can work out what it is you do, and do it EVERY time. 

Further we have techniques to back this model up. In the same way that whatever time of the day or night it is, if your favourite tune is played, you can feel on top of the world - you can programme helpful feelings to happen when you step into any audition room.
As a director and writer I have been on the other (easier) side of the casting desk for many an audition, good and bad. This has helped me to realise the importance of different perspectives. We work a lot on this in NLP - putting yourself in the shoes of the casting director, in that room, at that time and finding out what they want to see and hear, and then making yourself responsible for giving it to them. This kind of knowledge is power. And in an industry this competitive, you need all the help you can get!

So an adaptation on Hugh’s wise words - 'The breaks come when Luck allows you to put your indisputably talented self in the right place, at the right time and in front of the right person. And to give yourself a better chance of achieving this you need contacts...AND an ability to SMASH IT EVERY TIME!’

I am running a one day workshop called 'SMASH IT" with another Canary Coach and Director, Tim O'Hara, which covers these topics in detail enabling you to put it all into practice.

For more details see: