How to Set Goals for Your Most Successful Year Ever! 5 Key Factors


“The moment one definitely commits oneself, Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one, that would never otherwise have occurred.”     


When you set a goal, it thereafter acts like a “magnet”; you are pulled towards it. The resources you need along the way, which you previously thought were inaccessible, now contribute to your momentum. You may have had this experience: you decide on a goal, but have no idea how to go about achieving it.

The next day, you meet a person who knows a person who has done that very thing. Or you’re browsing through your favorite news site, and you see an article about that very subject. Coincidence? Synchronicity? It’s the “magnet” – you’ve put your focus on a subject, and your brilliant unconscious mind is sorting all the zillions of bits of information coming your way to those which are relevant to your focus. The stronger your focus, the more resources will come your way.

The distinction between objectives and goals is an important one. Objectives are a lifetime, ongoing direction.

Goals are specific milestones along the way

A goal is a specific, achievable, measurable, event or experience.

One of your objectives might be to help make life better for those less fortunate than yourself. You may never accomplish this completely, but you can set some specific goals (that are relevant to the larger objective) such as:

  1. a) volunteering x hours per month to work at the children’s hospital
  2. b) donating money (how much?) to your favorite charity.

Many people think of goals in vague terms –

~ to have more money ~ to have more leisure time – to get a promotion

When you set goals, you’ll have to ask yourself: Exactly how much money? How much leisure time?   What kind of promotion? This kind of refining and clarifying takes some effort; each goal will force you to answer the question: how will I know when I’m there? And each goal will have to have a time limit.

Many people are afraid to set objectives and goals. They’re afraid of falling short, afraid they won’t be able to reach the standards they’ve set. This is understandable, and a pretty common concern.


The important thing is to start somewhere, on something. Successful people achieve because they have a sense of purpose, of direction. They are in control of their lives. Unsuccessful people avoid thinking about the future and procrastinate, drifting without direction. Life is controlling them.

And remember, you can set goals not only for business and career but in any category of Life, such as Education, Physical Health/Fitness, Artistic, Family, etc.

As that famous philosopher, the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland said, “if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there”.

The following guidelines should be kept in mind when setting goals (within larger objectives). I should also say, at the outset, that goals are achieved much more successfully when they are written down.

SMART Goal Setting, business concept

 Goals Should Be Specific

Express your goal as the end state of what you want

i.e. I will be promoted to Vice President

Goals Should Be Measurable

As much as you can, be clear about what, specifically, you want to achieve

Goals should be Achievable

A goal is not a fantasy or a daydream. It should be something you can accomplish (with some effort and stretching outside your “comfort zone”)

Goals should be Relevant

Goals that you set should be relevant to you, to your specific situation and to the larger Objectives you have set

Goals Should Have Target Dates (be Time Bound)

Give yourself time limits. Often you will have sub-goals with their own target dates. If you don’t make the target, don’t hate yourself- just set a new date.

By the way, I’m not a fan of “resolutions”; they’re usually about stopping doing something – i.e. no more salty fried foods. But if you are clear on your objectives and goals,

By (goal dateI will weigh xxx lbs., have a cholesterol # of xxxx, a blood pressure reading of 120/80, a resting pulse reading of xxx, then, of course, you will not be eating the wrong foods or doing the things that go against that goal. IMHO, putting things into a goal frame creates a thinking process that is much more positive and less punitive.

Wishing you a Fabulous and Successful 2017!


Elaina Zuker
Elaina Zuker
ELAINA is the president of Elaina Zuker Associates in Montréal, Canada. She has taught seminars to hundreds of employees and managers at major corporations such as AT&T, IBM, American Express, and MCI International, and is a frequent keynote speaker at conferences and industry events. She is the author of six books, on leadership, management, and communication. Her best-selling book, “The Seven Secrets of Influence” (McGraw-Hill), the recent Main Selection for the Business Week Book Club, has been translated into four languages and its new, revised 2021 edition is now available on Amazon in paperback and as an e-book on Amazon Kindle. Her new book about Peer Mentoring YOUX2 has also just been launched on Amazon. Her internationally successful program “Secrets of Influence ™ is now available as an online learning program, either as a completely online self-study program or in a hybrid version. The program, created with the latest educational technology, can also be customized for an organization’s specific requirements. Ms. Zuker holds a B.A. in Psychology, an M.A. in Management/Organizational Development, and is the 2004 recipient of the Alumni Achievement Award from New York Polytechnic University. To engage Ms. Zuker as a speaker or consultant, to book a seminar for your company or organization, or to learn how to become a licensed Affiliate for Secrets of Influence, visit or contact us at [email protected]

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