Goals for 2019?

I saw the thread from last year and didn’t see a new one, so here it is. Ta da! :partying_face: (I hope someone hasn’t created another one …).

I’m still working on my overall goals for the year, but from a musical standpoint I know that one of my goals is going to be understanding and using synthesizers more, for musical expression and composing. It’s something I haven’t done a lot of, though I have been fascinated with them ever since Alice Cooper used a Moog in “Halo of Flies”, or maybe even earlier than that. I have some understanding of how they work, have owned a couple of hardware synths, but probably will now just use VI and MIDI.

How about you?


So I also created a thread about synths so as to not get this thread about 2019 goals off track. If the synth thing comes up for you too we can meet over there.

For me, 2019 is setting modest goals.

I’ve been getting unfit over the past years - I’ve mentioned my midrange build up before. So I’m going to take up running (which in The Netherlands means running in wind and rain regularly). Went for my first run on Sunday. That is the first time in my life I’ve gone running!

My other goal is to turn up to my studio regularly. My studio sits 2 floors above my head and I will find various reasons why I can’t “do my music” today. That’s ended in 2019. If I paraphrase the great Terry Crews said - just turn up, even if you don’t do anything at least you made the effort to turn up.

My last goal for 2019 is to stop second guessing things - professionally and artistically. I’m always over thinking stuff and then regretting my choices.


@madpsychot, I’m starting to get back into gear physically too. Best wishes as you take on your goal to start running! Please keep us up to date on progress and I’ll try to do the same.

Regarding my musical goals, I’m really hoping to get some dedicated time back on guitar again. I’ve been playing too long to be at the level I’m at. I’m ready to make some new strides this year!


I’ve figured out I have all this bass gear just laying about, so I decided to do something about it and keep my bass playing skills up and join a cover band as a bassist. So I am in the running for bass player for one of the local gigging cover bands. Pay is nothing to write home about but at least covers expenses.
My original project that I am lead guitarist on - plan on recording at least a new EP on it or maybe a full album once that we miked everything up in our rehearsal space and I bought a 16 track interface to record all at the same time.
If anything I plan on releasing a lot more songs and have picked up my songwriting.
As far as fitness - that’s the usual every New Year, so I don’t even bother to make resolutions in regards to that but I’ve talked with my singer that we need to look better for stage so we’ll probably start hitting the gym together as it is super boring. Problem is that after that we usually do serious damage to Irish Pubs, so who knows :slight_smile:


They say “90% of success is just showing up!” I think a lot of it is habits and routines too, there is tons of brain research on this now. Up to 94% of our “awake” time activities are run by the subconscious mind, which is mostly like an organic computer that runs its “programs” - whether for gain or pain. Or as the old computer programming maxim went: “Garbage In / Garbage Out”. Making changes literally involves changing programming to change habits!

When looking at the IRD Synth/Keys category before creating my new Synth thread, I saw one created near the beginning of this new forum (it’s been over two years now, where’s the birthday cake?) about Deadmau5 giving a workshop or something, and in the video (with a room full of analog synth gear) he talked almost exclusively about “experimenting and taking risks” to create the sounds he does. This is a common theme these days, especially as technology evolves so quickly and social changes really keep us on our toes - the need to continually adapt and make quick choices is more crucial than ever. I came across something called Intelligent Fast Failure (IIRC) where they literally encouraged you to fail, but “intelligently” (calculated risk) and fast - it’s really the only way to learn, innovate, and move ahead these days.

I remember someone once said: “Life is Risk! I’ll tell you how risky it is … we’re not getting out of it alive!” :open_mouth:


My top priority is getting fluent enough with Unity, Wwise, Soundminer, and C# to where I can tackle full blown video game sound design work from beginning to end. And also having at least one project completed and successfully deployed to VR with my name on it as the audio programmer. I’ve been working on this stuff for 2 years now. I’m almost there. I think the goal is realistic - I can do big chunks of it now, but not without the help of a more experienced audio lead working with me. I can provide a lot more value to the developers if I can do the whole project myself.

I’m also going to be selling off a lot of guitar gear that will be much more efficient to lease or borrow. So 2019…I’m gonna do a lot of downsizing.

…and its also a goal this year to get my sample libraries thoroughly organized. Drum libraries included.

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This hit me a few years ago. Almost like a depression, how many years I have been playing and time invested and what I have to “show for it”. Maybe I was being hard on myself, and ultimately I realized I was comparing myself to others or to my ‘idols’. No surprise - I’m sure - that Eddie Van Halen is one of those. The guy had only played guitar for maybe 10 years before he revolutionized guitar playing and became a huge rock star. That’s a hard act to follow. :smirk:

But yes, we do have have goals of where we’d like to be and what we’d like to do. You mentioned “dedicated time”, and I think that ties in with this theme of habits and programming. If we “show up” on a regular basis, things will probably happen … no matter how hard we push ourselves. I think being relaxed (emotionally and physically) about it actually enhances the process. Not relaxed about showing up (though it should get easier as the habit kicks in - most studies suggest 1 month), but easing into the vision of the goal as if it has already happened (another brain hack for the subconscious mind).

As I have been saying above, setting goals is all well and fine, but it’s really about developing the new habits that make the difference. As someone once said: “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” :grin: Making commitments to other people to get you out playing gigs, and moving ahead on your original project sound like good steps to put those habits in place.

For the fitness thing especially, I heard something that really got my attention. Especially because - as you say - we see it as boring. Making a New Years resolution and hoping to stick to it for a year is delusional, and if you think about it, when does that goal end? Does it go on forever? Specific goals need a start and end time. That’s why I like this idea I heard: Set your goal/resolution on your calendar for every week, say Monday, and start off each week looking at your goal and trying to stick to it. I think this could especially work well with fitness and dietary/weight goals. For one thing you want to measure your progress, and one year is too long. But the main benefit is that ‘cheating’ or procrastination is what torpedoes resolutions and we give up or forget all about them. When you “start fresh” every Monday, you get to leave the guilt in the past and do your best in the short term goal of one week. This also helps reinforce the habit and programming aspect.

Rewards can be important too. They can motivate us to do good things, even if they seem superficial. I might add that hitting the pub after working out at the gym could be problematic, as you have indicated. Perhaps separate those things for clarity. Go get a smoothie and hang out if that comes up, THEN set a date for a pub crawl after so many days or weeks of successfully working out. It sets up a better reward scenario, and better habits, and separates the activities.

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Another theme I’m interested in is “minimalism” and “essentialism” (says the guy who just bought a rack of VI synths :smirk:). Figuring out what is really important, necessary, and essential to achieve our goals … and eliminating what doesn’t contribute to that. It’s a tough one for people who are deep divers and stimulus junkies. Especially in the world we live in now, so many options … which leads to FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). I sense the virtue of self-discipline coming to the fore. :thinking:

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Cool to see some talk of fitness goals! Towards the end of last year I read this book called Starting Strength, bought equipment for a home gym, and my wife and I have been doing barbell training 3x a week for the past… maybe 7 weeks or so. It’s been really cool so far. Definitely planning to stick with it, though I wouldn’t know what numbers to shoot for, goal wise, so I won’t even bother. I did make a goal of getting to a 100lb squat by the end of the month and am on track for that.

Otherwise, I have a new job that I quite like, and I want to become a really valuable team member this year. I want to grow and learn a lot in that space.

Music wise, I’ve had some huge mental shifts in that area recently (kind of related to my “when you can’t stand your own music” thread, haha,) so I’m taking some breathing room to see what I even want to do there moving forward. Basically I’m working with a couple of new thoughts.

One is that I’m banned from ever setting a goal of getting more followers. (Like on YouTube or wherever.) Disallowed. No fly zone. The anti-goal. You get the idea. I think that after many years (I started YouTube like, 12 years ago,) of chasing this goal and having it make me an unhappy, jealous nutcase I’m finally ready to give it up. I think I can be more wise to the world, realize that popularity would actually just put more pressure on me and basically suck, realize that famous people are not better than me just because they are famous, etc. etc. Things that most people probably know. Anyway, I’m done. That $200 course I bought recently on how to grow my YouTube channel can collect virtual dust. I don’t want to be a part of that race anymore.

And secondly, (as some people pointed out in that thread I mentioned,) collaboration. Teamwork. I get a lot of meaning out of working with others on things. I find it fun. I like sharing any stress or pressure that we face. I know what’s been holding me back from collaborating more, and it’s that it’s so hard to find people that are a “match” to work with. I had a horrible experience getting my EP mixed. But I realized that if I’m looking 10 years ahead, I can set an intention to find those people and build networks and relationships that will actually be worthwhile and fulfilling. It’s like dating. You have to kiss a lot of frogs! But once you find the right person it’s all worth it.

So yeah, whatever I end up setting as a goal for 2019, it’s going to be less about attracting the masses and more about attracting like-minded people to create cool things with. Right now I’m leaning towards getting into video game soundtracks. But we’ll see.


In 2018 I declared it was the “Year of becoming a guitar player again”. But, 2018 became a giant dumpster-fire, and while I certainly play a lot more now than I did for years… just keeping my head above water took precedence.

This quote also perfectly sums it up for me.

In 2019, I want to expand on 2018, and add new goals: Move back home (Toronto-area), and start fleshing out a business plan with my old studio partner. I’ve got some of the same motivational issues that everyone is talking about as well so there’s a lot of self-care and habit-forming to be done. Definitely some fitness goals too, I have also had a bit of an extra mid-range bump that needs to be dealt with. Lots of other little things that aren’t especially interesting, but all that to say, I’m looking forward to a positive and productive 2019… and I wish the same for everyone else too :slight_smile:

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Ha, the “anti-goal”, I love that! It brings up and kind of reinforces the minimalism/essentialism theme I’m talking about, but even more clearly and assertively. In order to focus on the most important things (essentials), we do have to eliminate the non-essentials, and that takes a conscious awareness as well.

There are two ways to look at that also. One is the dynamic of “yes” vs “no”, which is what the anti-goal reminds me of. Whenever we say “yes” to something, we are adding something to our calendar and agenda, or commitment to others. If we keep doing that, we soon find ourselves overloaded and overwhelmed. We’re scattered, and not focused on the essentials. There is great power is saying “no”, it’s preventing or removing (eliminating) those sources of overwhelm and taking care of ourselves. The challenge is that it’s frequently unpopular with others … because when they ask something of us they are personally motivated to get us to answer “yes” (visualize the used-car salesman). And can also be hard to do with ourselves. “Self-denial! Limitation! Restriction! How can you do that to me!” … says the Ego. :neutral_face: But if we look deeper, it’s really a form of freedom greater than the freedom to say “yes” to everything. :relaxed: It has been said that only with true self-discipline can we have the freedom to be spontaneous - aka Time Management.

The other way to look at it is a little bit more metaphysical or philosophical. If you see yourself and your life as a bubble or container (or whatever you like to visualize), and there’s a certain amount of space available to place the things you want in there close to you, it quickly becomes clear that you can only have so many things close in your space you’ll be crowded out of it! In other words, there is a “flow” to life, and before we bring in something new, we need to decide what we will eliminate or “let go of”.

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Another good point. A lot of times our goals are focused on enthusiasm and passion. That end goal that we want that will make our life awesome. True happiness at last. Nothing wrong with that per se, but does it set us up for disappointment? The fitness goal is visualizing that muscleman physique or swimsuit cover photo, but then we have to show up and work and sweat? The guitar wood-shedding will turn us into the next musical prodigy (that’s mine, anyway :grin:), but we actually have to make time for that? And give up something else to do it?

Can we enjoy the process, and the goal is not a means to the end? Does there have to be a Yellow-Brick Road, or Pot Of Gold at the End Of The Rainbow? Perhaps a degree of “realism” can help us focus on just doing our best and managing a degree of self-discipline and focus every day. Through the upgraded habits the rewards will come on their own. The past is behind us, the future is ahead of us, but all we really have in terms of “choice” is “now” - the present moment.

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A lot of interesting goals… 2019

Physical…my son and me made a bet/deal/pact to Stop All Drive thru-junk food. Its a financial thing too…also on the lazy side. Eat right, eat better.

I wish I could enjoy…Exercise… I did sports but after that the gym thing hasn’t worked out and walking around the neighbor hood is just awkward or something? Netflix and popcorn is easier and more enjoyable.

Gear wise hobby’s ….I enjoy playing less and less, but the gear does get me motivated to turn it on now and then. Truth is I could do 100% of everything with my Line6UX8 and the instruments and headphones. I find its only the creativity part that’s fun, making the sounds and noise…but I don’t even want to hear again and the next time is a new tune or noise.
Im averaging about 4hrs a week, on Saturday mornings. If anything. Just turn it on and track and have some quick fun.

As someone said “my skills should be better than they are!” …I have a great mic and channel now and really, its great but the final Folk/ Homegrown sound isn’t much different than some of my cassette multitrack stuff… so there you go. Another end game that its not the gear that makes anything happen.

McCartney and Jagger are still going… Elvis is dead. The 50’s guys are pretty much all dead. The 60’s British Invasion rock an rollers still have some around…the 70’s Zepplin and others still hanging in there into their own 70’s? lol…the 70’s bands are in their 70’s.
The 80’s hairbands still have some alive touring small venues. 90’s grungers…

Maybe I could sell all my gear and just use a mic and fruity loops and start rapping?
Im 57…I got some angst…bowels and back aches…I aint no cornflake …I still do coke but its legal to drink…so make me think… im on the brink…yo momma stink,

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I think it makes it a lot easier if you can find something that gets the body moving and that you enjoy. Maybe multiple things so you can change it up if you find the same old thing getting boring. If it seems like a chore we’re less likely to do it. I find it takes some willpower to get moving, but then it feels good to do it. There’s supposed to be a natural endorphin thing that rewards us when we push ourselves. If I can find a way to get a “natural high” that’s also a good thing. Less likely to go about it ‘artificially’. :wink:

Dude - you are 57 and need the exercise or you will die… Load some gear in a van and play some gigs. or at least stick some $$$ into gear and rent it to bands who want to play… or get some audio/ video gear and make live videos of other guys/bands who WANT to play.

FFS its not rocket science, it will get the juices flowing… go DO something.

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I’m getting on a bit, and I had a weird thought / vision over Christmas where I could actually see myself being in trouble health-wise in the next decade or so. I’m of Indian descent, so chromosomally I’m blessed with an easier path to diabetes and heart disease. I think my little vision was enough to jolt me into buying a pair of running leggings and paying the $5 for a running app on my phone. Been out a few times now, and I have to say, once the music is playing running is a lot of fun. I might actually combine it with my other love and listen to my mixes while running!

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If you’re running at a hard and fast pace, that can be stressful on the knees, ankles, and feet. Especially if you’re middle aged, but even younger runners sometimes have problems. Usually “jogging” is recommended over full out running, but even that has low impact techniques to be employed. It’s not just ‘running slower’ but aiming to prevent injuries as much as possible. Warming up is also critical in the process. I’d guess 10-minute warm up and 10-minute cool down. That makes everything take much longer, but is very important for the joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles.

Shoes are also incredibly important, so do your research. A new pair of good jogging/running shoes is probably your best investment.

I’m realizing by writing this that there could be a collective tendency for folks to jump into exercise to meet these New Years resolutions, but especially if going from lethargy straight into it I think it’s important to ease in, get informed, and build up slowly and steadily. After all, it’s probably more of a life long habit if you decide it’s good for you and really what you need. Getting injuries can interrupt the process and nullify the benefit. :wink:

I was very careful not to make it a New Year’s Resolution! I decided to do this about 3 months ago but picked up an injury cycling so I was delayed. For the reason of injury to knees and ankles I’ve never jogged or run. But I’ve been looking after myself for the past few years and cycled a lot so I thought I’d give it a go.

Luckily, I used to be a Biology teacher back in the day, so I’m the one normally warning people against sudden bursts of gym activity straight after a new year! I myself have opted for interval training, which is the recommended training for amateurs like me. At this moment I’m doing 45 seconds of very easy jogging and then 2 and a half minutes of rapid walking. Add to that my 100 or so km of cycling per week, and my working day of about a billion steps, I’m doing my best to be more active and less sedentary.