Why goal setting doesn’t work (and what does)

Why goal setting doesn’t work (and what does)

Every November, I spend a few focused hours doing a Year-in-Review assessment of the closing year AND setting goals for the coming year.

I’ve been doing this as a personal practice for more than a decade and have been coaching others to do this for more than a decade. And each year, I make tweaks and improvements to this annual exercise.

And I must say … that my latest Weekly Progress Template is my best, most cohesive, no BS version, to date! 

I’m, of course, happy to share it with YOU – for you to adapt and use as you see fit, all in support of Your Best Year EVER!

First, here’s a no-nonsense truth about goal setting: Goal setting, by itself, doesn’t work. Your goals and intentions must be paired with an ongoing, consistent, aligned, action plan – a way to stay in momentum with the intentions you’re setting out to accomplish and create.

That’s why, in addition to setting my annual goals, I block out time in my calendar (on repeat, the same day, same time, every single week) to fill out my Weekly Progress Template.

Here ’tis:

The Tara Sage Coaching Weekly Progress Template

A minimum of THREE Gratitudes/Celebrations From the Past Week:




JOURNAL while considering the following questions:

What went well this week? What didn’t go so well? How do I feel? Where might I have overcommitted? Where did I come up against resistance? What can I do different next week to better support my goals, dreams, values, and intentions? Where do I need support?

THEN, fill in this chart …

In the first column, fill in what I call your 5 Life “Buckets”.  (Determining your 5 Life Buckets for the year is an incredibly powerful process and something I love coaching people through the process of claiming and naming. I’ve given you some general examples below, but I recommend you make them as personal as you can. No rules.)

Then fill in 1 Specific Goal per Bucket. Be as specific as you possibly can so you are sure to know when you’ve accomplished your goal!

Each and every week, determine your next actions: The Challenging-But-Doable Action Step(s) you will do that week in support of your annual goal related to each of your 5 chosen “Buckets” for the year.

5 Life “Buckets”/ Categories of Focus For Your Year (e.g. Fitness, Travel, Creativity, Money, Love, Travel, Family …) Identify ONE Annual Goal
for each “Bucket” (Be specific: “I will know I’ve successfully achieved this when ________.”)
This Week’s Challenging-but-Doable Action Step
to Move Closer to Your Goal For The Year











(So, to recap, that’s … 5 Categories of Focus, 5 Specific Goals, and 5 Action Steps for the week. Your Categories and Goals for the year will repeat throughout the year, and your 5 Action Steps will be unique to each week. Fill in this chart, every week, to pinpoint your weekly steps to stay focused, aligned, and in forward momentum toward your annual goals. This, times 52 weeks, and just imagine what YOU can create!)

Then, last but not least …

IDENTIFY Three Core Desired Feelings for the week:  (E.g.: Grounded, Loving, Grateful, Focused, Peaceful…)  Decide how you want to FEEL as you pursue your action steps each week. Giving language to how you want to feel is a powerful way to pre-pave your path for that experience.




Boom. And you’re off. May this be YOUR Best Year Ever!!

Have questions or want some personalized support? I love connecting with people from my online community. Run don’t walk … Go here now to get on my calendar for a complimentary session: sessionwithTara.com. I look forward to our connection!

To your success,


Tara Sage

Helping people live their dreams since 2004.