Every year I buy a tangible planner, usually around October of the previous year, and I begin to mark up the important dates. My first year out of acting school was the perfect example of how I needed to completely plan my year before it began in order to be successful. During that year, I was finding out about festivals and contests as they were happening, instead of during the time I needed to be submitting to be a part of them.
Then I learned that I couldn’t afford to attend all of these festivals and the best way to go affordably and have a presence in the festival is to produce a project and submit. When you are entered into a festival, they usually shoot you a few complimentary tickets so you can come and support your film and others. This became my golden ticket. Another tip: If you haven’t produced a project and you still want to work your way into a festival for free, submit for press credentials. The only thing is, you should be writing for a news source, but you don’t have to write full-time. You can attend the event and usually write a piece and submit ‘coverage’ rather than being a full-time staff writer. I’m a writer, so I’m legit. But I’m sure you won’t be denied for personal blogs.
Nonetheless, here are some tips on how to adequately plan your year before it gets going:
1.Get a planner and make a habit out of referencing it. If this is your phone, cool. Planning on my phone doesn’t work for me. I enjoy crossing things off the list and SEEING my progress. However, my paper planner can’t make noise to remind me. I actually use a combination of the two.
2.If you already keep a planner, review last year’s plans. Research the dates for annual conferences, festivals, and events. See what worked and what didn’t work and move from there.
3.Start with the end in mind. Decide what you want to have accomplished by the start of the next year. Break those goals up into quarterly goals, monthly goals, and even weekly goals. Designing my future is a daily task through meditation.
4.Count your blessings daily. Like, literally. Write one down a day.
5.Set aside time to re-evaluate your goals throughout the year and celebrate your successes along the way.
I hope this helps you guys this year! I’m looking forward to making it my best year yet!