Pretty Little Liars star Shay Mitchell has become a social media icon with over 14 million Instagram followers and 1 million YouTube subscribers. The 29-year-old star has become almost as well known for her motivational quotes and encouraging posts as for her roles on TV. But Mitchell says that the positive memos that she shares are nothing new: She’s always been someone who sets crazy goals and works hard to achieve them.
“The message I’m trying to put out there is that you can do whatever you want to do, and if I’m going to say that, I need to do it myself,” Mitchell told SELF in their November cover story. “If I want to become a singer and drop a single next month, I’m going to do that.”
It’s also a millennial thing, Mitchell suggests. “My generation realizes you can be multi-hyphenated. You don’t have to stay in a box. Just because you started off in one industry doesn’t mean you can’t jump into another one. I wouldn’t say that acting is a stepping-stone, per se. But it’s another step in the direction of where I want to go.”
SELF says Mitchell’s whiteboard list of goals for herself continues to grow, even after she’s achieved a starring role in one of the most popular shows on television. “In no particular order, she wants to produce a television show, return to Cambodia, write another book and join an action-movie franchise,” SELF reports. “I’m comfortable. So let’s switch it up a bit,” Mitchell said.
After the release of the November cover, Mitchell took to Instagram to talk about the intense preparation she did before the SELF photoshoot. “Prepping for this cover made me feel STRONG, and healthy and that if I really set my goals to do something and followed through, I would see results and I definitely did,” she wrote. “I will always be the girl that can get in some exercise and NOT feel guilty about eating a slice(s) of pizza or a scoop(s) of ice cream- it’s all in moderation!”