In 2016, I realized my need for a structured plan to achieve some of my goals. I took a class that was truly the extra accountability I needed: a small group of I believe eight people that met once per week, and we created yearly goals and worked backward from there. I knew one of my “tracks” needed to be Health and Wellness. I’ve always been an active person (I’m a trained dancer) and being physically active has always been an outlet for me to release anxiety and connect to my mind and body. However, it had been difficult to physically motivate considering the inconsistency of my freelance schedule. I would find myself planning out my week, only to have a voice-over audition come through my agent the day before and then my schedule would shift, with working out falling by the wayside. I knew I needed a plan and accountability.
I feel I should preface sharing my experience with laying out my circumstances – I live in NYC with workout studios a-plenty, do not have kids, and had a freelance schedule which could be a challenge and an asset to my goals. I realize to some of our readers, a goal like this may prove to be even more of a challenge given certain lifestyles. However, I believe the structure of goal-setting and committing to health and wellness, no matter how small or large the goal, is applicable to anyone.
To make my goal specific, I calculated that if I committed to yoga 3 times a week, it would be 156 classes a year. It gave me a concrete number and I had also pledged to meditate the same amount. I had a few other tracks: “voice-over”, “finances” and “creative projects” which included producing a comedic web series I wrote which was about – drumroll – achieving balance in the hectic concrete jungle of New York City entitled “Unbalanced”.
This isn’t the story of me achieving all of my goals perfectly, nailing my number of 156 yoga classes a year and becoming a zen master of meditation. I ultimately didn’t meet that number, but what did happen was an awareness and focus to do better. I MADE time to meditate and practice yoga instead of FINDING time. Yoga released my physical tension, connected me to my breath and increased my self-compassion and patience. Meditation made way for me to be more present in life and the booth – whether it was an audition or booking.
Voice-over is physically demanding, whether it’s standing for hours in the booth for a session, sustaining long phrases with good breath control, or having the mental clarity to take direction and apply it immediately. It is imperative to develop a physical and mental practice outside of the booth that supports this work.
Everyone has their own preferred form of exercise whether it is pilates, yoga, zumba, barre class etc. It’s about finding what is right for you. The year I focused on Health and Wellness (and wrote a comedic web series about some of my hilarious failures in the pursuit) was the year I also had the most voice-over bookings, and I don’t think that was a coincidence. I made the mental space, challenged myself physically and wrote down my goals which gave them power.