Q1 Goal Check-in

Since the first quarter of the year is wrapping up, and I’m on spring break next week, I’m taking some time to reflect on my year so far.

For the last six months, I’ve been trying Kathleen Shannon’s chalkboard method for goal setting, in which you make a chalkboard (mine’s really a piece of thick paper board with Post-Its on it) that lists your goals for the quarter, and also leaves spaces open for things you want to bring into your life.

Here’s my chalkboard from Q1 of 2017:


At the beginning of the year, I picked LISTEN and INTENT as my focus words for the year, and I talk more about that in this post. I also had RECHARGE as a bonus word, which I am clearly still working on

I still like these words, and I always aim to be intentional, but INTENT doesn’t resonate with me as a focus anymore, so I’m sticking with LISTEN, with RECHARGE as a component of that. I might add another word, too, but haven't decided yet. 

Here’s how I did with the things I tracked during January, February, and March:

Daily Habits

  • Piano practice: 78 out of 90 days
  • Meditation: 84 out of 90 days

These are both things I plan to track for the whole year, on a goal tracker from Elise Blaha Cripe (coloring in circles is satisfying!)

Creative Music Pursuits

  • Arrangements written: 3
  • Arrangements shared: 3 (online + live performance)
  • Compositions written: 1 (partial) out of 2
  • Compositions shared: none, because I haven't quite finished the last section yet


  • Solo Piano Gigs: 2 out of 3
  • Times playing Brazilian music with others: 21 out of 15

Website/Social Media

  • Blog posts: 25 out of 27
  • IG Followers: ~288 of 400 goal
  • Newsletter subscribers (besides my gig list): didn’t get off the ground yet

Unexpected extra: Some unexpected gigs for summer.

What worked well to track

Tracking things easily quantified by number of times worked the best (not surprising): daily habits, arrangements written (completed because I had a deadline/performance), blog posts, and playing Brazilian music with others. 

What worked well but didn’t meet goal

Number of compositions written, and solo performances. I need to schedule more time dedicated specifically to composing, and to have some accountability in the form of showing my work at a specific time. I'm planning on doing a 100 Day Project with composing, starting on Monday (more on that soon!)

Even though there are things I didn’t get done, like make progress on publishing my arrangements, or launch an email list associated with my blog (I already have a different one for gigs), there are plenty of other things I did do, (like my daily improv project), and I’ll just have to hone my focus more for the next quarter. I haven’t decided what will go on my chalkboard for next quarter yet, but it will likely be similar, with the addition of more scheduling of the activities that matter. 

Stay tuned for updates on my completed daily improv project and my 100 days of micro-composing project soon!

Rebecca Hass

Pianist and composer