My Musical Goals For 2016 And Why Its Important To Set Your Own!


Happy New Year everyone! Yes, I know it’s a tad late but I can only apologise and promise to be more prompt next year. Now the pleasentries are out of the way, I can get to my point.

What’s the first thing that pops into your head when you think of new year? For most people its the dreaded new years resolutions and how they’re going to yet again, give up with them after a few days. My new years resolution for many a year was to learn to sight read, being a Pianist, this skill is important, like many, I “gave up” after a few weeks of trying, sometimes I wouldn’t even try. Trust me, it’s a running family joke around the dinner table that generally starts with me declaring that I’m yet again going to sight read and my parents and siblings yet again saying “Yeah right, Gary”.

This year, I’ve decided to go about things differently. Instead of a resolution, I’m setting myself goals that are realistic and achievable. Not only are they that, they are focused solely on my business/ music career. Those goals are:

  • To have a minimum of 10 clients on my books
  • To get at least one of my own written songs recorded and released
  • To get at least 400 Facebook page likes
  • Get some solid work as a studio session musician
  • To tour the U.K with a band at least once

Now, to some, those goals might seem small or unchallenging, but for me, they are perfect. They are perfect because they are relative to me and my business. I know ten clients does not seem like that many but currently I only have 2 recurring clients and I’ve had about 4 one off clients in 2015, now this is brilliant considering I’ve only been putting myself out there professionally for just over a year. 2015 was definitely the year everything started to fall into place and it was the year I could say with confidence that I did have a successful business as a freelance musician and composer, that felt great, trust me.

The overall aim for 2016 is to go bigger and better than 2015, work with more amazing people, earn more money and find new ways to advance my business and with the idea of setting goals, I believe it is possible. This is because I now have a clear idea of what I want, now I need to come up with a solid strategy on how to get it.

Having stated my musical goals for 2016, I am now going to explain the importance of setting your own and why it is 10x more effective than the standard resolutions practice.

1. You’re more likely to work towards them

If you take the time and effort to really think about the things that you want to achieve within your musical career and the benefits and rewards you will reap from achieving them, you are a LOT more likely to focus on getting to the end result!

2. A broken down list sounds a lot more appealing than one big challenge

I can tell you that just from writing my goals down on my phone, it looks a hell of a lot more aesthetically pleasing than having the daunting idea of a mammoth task ahead of me. Calling them “goals” helps too, there isn’t a stigma attached to that word

3. Having a small idea of what you want is better than having none whatsoever!

I’ll put money on the idea that some people reading this post just go around doing things that they think will help their career and hoping for the best? Now I am NOT having a dig at these people because up until last year, I was one of them! I really didn’t have the first idea about what I was doing with my music, I’d just left a band that I’d been in since the age of 9 (2012) and it was my first time solo, it was a shock to the system and no prizes for guessing how many gigs I got, yep, ZERO.

Until I’d left Ten Point Too (the band) I’d had every gig and every opportunity sorted for me, all I had to do was show up and play. Now this was great for a young keys player, having adults arrange everything for me. But once I’d left the band and went solo, things started going wrong, sure my parents would get me a few performances here and there but they weren’t really proper gigs, they were open mic nights mainly.

It was only towards the start of 2015 that I really started to get my act together after two years of wanting to do music but not going the right way about it!

4. Seeing is believing!

This is probably one of the most famous quotes in the world, and it’s more than true! If you write your goals down in a notepad, on your phone, on your laptop,wherever, you are more likely to want to work for them and you’ll believe you can do it more! Not to mention there’s nothing more satisfying than ticking things off, it gives a real sense of achievement, for me anyway!

That’s it for today people, I will leave you with this:

Goals are achievable and key to a successful and sustainable career in the music industry. Make sure to set goals realistic to YOU, otherwise it’s pointless, don’t set a goal to headline the O2 arena just yet, baby steps.

Thanks for reading guys and Happy New Year!! (see, I said it twice, you can’t complain now)

My Social Media

Twitter: @garyrcunningham


Instagram: @garyrcunningham

Snapchat : Musickid754


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