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Set SMART Goals And Keep A Journal To 
Help Your Voice Over Career - And Auditions!
By Emily Maguire
Voice Actor, Talent Agent, Life & Business Coach
With the start of each new year, we often consider setting new goals and making new year resolutions. 
However, by the time February starts, we can find ourselves needing help to maintain the motivation needed to follow through with these goals, and our resolutions start to fall by the wayside. 
Instead, what if you could set goals that inspire and motivate you to achieve even bigger and better goals? Well, there are actually some simple and proven ways to achieve this. 
The first way is to set SMART goals, which are:
  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant, and 
  • Timely
Specific. Don't generalise, as in wanting to be a better voice over artist; be clear about achieving a particular skill or qualification. 
Measurable. How can you measure the achievement you wish to make so you'll know when it's completed?
Achievable. Be realistic; if you set a goal too big, you'll become demotivated trying to achieve it directly. Make sure to set goals that stretch you, but are still attainable.
Relevant. Any goal you set needs to move you toward your overall goal. So, if you want to become a professional voice over artist, selecting a goal around your current skill level that moves you toward this is relevant.
Timely. To keep you focused, give yourself a fixed and specific deadline for achieving your goal.
So, for a goal to be SMART, it needs to be specific, not generalised. You need to be clear about what you want to achieve. It should be measurable, so as to track your progress and know when you've completed it. It should be achievable, not too big or too small, and relevant to your overall objective. It should also be timely, with a deadline for completion.
This next step is key to keeping you motivated and on track to goal completion. You need to break down your SMART goals into smaller, achievable stepping stones tasks. 
In doing so, you boost your self-esteem and well-being as you overcome new obstacles with each step. This is essential for keeping you motivated and on schedule toward goal completion. 
Remember, it is essential to stay flexible and to accept that detours are a part of the journey towards goal completion. 
Adapt and learn from any obstacles you encounter, using them as opportunities for growth. 
Learn from your mistakes, revise your plan, and move forward with renewed determination, which brings us to the final piece of advice: keeping a lessons-learned journal. 
Sometimes it can be challenging to determine what goals to set, especially if you don't receive feedback or guidance for auditions or work. 
As a coach, reflective practice is part of my daily routine, and I find that a lessons-learned journal is one of the best ways to maximise your potential by recording what you learn from your everyday experiences. 
By reflecting on your experiences, you can gain insights into what you need to do to improve and grow. 
One way to improve your skills is to reflect on your past performances. Keeping a lessonS-learned journal can help you in this process. 
To use this method, start by writing down your thoughts and feelings about your last audition or voice over job. 
Reflect on what went well and what didn't. Think about what you could have done differently and what you can learn from the experience. 
After an audition or a voice over job, open your journal, think back, be honest with yourself. Ask:
1. What did I do well in my audition?
2. What could I have done differently or better?
3. Did I adequately prepare? If not, how could I better prepare going forward? Do I need to practice different types of mediums or voice over styles?
4. Were there any mistakes I made that I can avoid in the future? By taking a training course or improving a skill set?
5. Did I display confidence and enthusiasm during the audition? If not, would audition preparation courses help or practice with feedback from a trusted source?
You know that improving your craft requires dedication, effort, and continuous learning. If paper and pen aren't for you, consider using a digital tool like Evernote or the new journal app on your iPhone. 
By reflecting on your successes and areas for improvement, you can avoid repeating past mistakes, find clarity, take full advantage of opportunities for growth and development, and develop SMART goals to address them. 
Reflecting also helps you to stay accountable and make adjustments where necessary.
Using SMART to set achievable goals and your lessons-learned journal will help keep you motivated and empower you to keep setting goals that are bigger and better than before. 
By breaking down your goals into smaller milestones, reflecting on your progress, and making adjustments where necessary, you can track your progress over time and see how far you've come; you can achieve your goals and continually grow both personally and professionally.
Emily Maguire is a Level 7 career development professional with over two decades of experience in business management and the entertainment industry. She is a go-to professional for individuals and companies in the creative industries, and has worked with clients worldwide for over 1,000 coaching and mentoring hours, helping them achieve their career goals. As a trained meditation teacher and mental health first aider, Emily incorporates mindfulness into her coaching techniques to help clients thrive. Outside of coaching, she is also the Managing Director of Reflections Talent Agency (TM), which represents actors for TV, film and motion capture. Her recent work includes popular productions like Baldur's Gate 3, Final Fantasy, Mission Impossible, Dungeons and Dragons, Sanditon, Carnival Row and Operation Fortune
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