A $5 Goal Setting Tool That I’ve Use Every Day

(Hint: You Can Buy It At Walmart!)

Lesson Transcription:

Today I have a great goal setting productivity tip for you.

This tip was prompted by a post in the Internet Business Accelerator forum from one of my members.

This is Carina’s post:

“I’ve really enjoyed reading everyone’s posts and learning about what’s motivated people to take this course.  So I thought I should introduce myself too.  

I’ve worked as a language teacher for the past 6 years but became tired of working in schools.  I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was spending my days running around like a mad woman, while accomplishing nothing.  Does that make sense?

Anyway, I decided to quit my job in June and focus on harnessing my skills in a more productive way.  In particular, I wanted to start an online business focusing on language learning. 

So when I attended Derek’s seminar in August I knew that this would be a great course for me!  I’ve been dutifully working through the modules ever since and have already learned so much!

One of the lessons I’ve benefited most from is the goal setting.  I’ve been rigorously applying these techniques and have found them to be indispensable!  I really like the ‘small wins’ idea as a general approach to getting things done. 

I even put this into practice yesterday with a singing exam.  Rather than being overwhelmed by the entire repertoire before me and the difficult passages in each song, I just focused on each note and word as it came.  It definitely, definitely worked! 

I guess the point is that setting small, achievable goals in any area prevents you from becoming overwhelmed by the bigger picture.

Thank you to Derek and all the members for your help and encouragement. “


So, the point I want to drive home from what Carina said here is that as Internet entrepreneurs or someone who has a job but has decided to get rid of that job and become an Internet entrepreneur, one of the most difficult things to do is goal setting, i.e. “What do I want to achieve?”

Then, more importantly, you need to break that down into bite size chunks.  Small chunks that are achievable and allow you to celebrate small wins.

So How Small Should Those Chunks Be?

Well, I’m not going to go into detail on my entire goal setting process, but I will summarize it for you.

  • Every year (at minimum) you should write down your top 5 annual goals.
  • Break those top 5 annual goals into top 5 quarterly goals.
  • Break those quarterly goals into top 5 monthly goals.

Now lots of people get to this level and start working.  The problem is that this is simply not granular enough.  Monthly goals are still too far out and quite frankly it’s just too easy to procrastinate them!

If You Want to be Really Successful With This…
You Must Take Goal Setting to the Next Level!

Every Sunday night I sit down and write out my weekly goals.

This may end up being more than five, because realistically in any given week I may have one big project I’m working on or a dozen small ones.  Either way, I write out what I need to do in that week in order to get me closer to my monthly goal.

But that’s not where it stops!  Here’s where it starts to get very granular…

Every single day I set my daily goals!

This is the part that I find kind of funny…

For my annual, quarterly and monthly goals I print them out and put them on my wall and for my ongoing projects with my team I use some really great software (a good subject for another post!).

But I’m often asked what kind of app I use to track my daily task list and the fact of the matter is that it is the least technologically advanced method out there!


That’s right…it’s a simple black notebook that costs less than $5 and can be purchased on any local Walmart!

Every single morning I get up, open my goal setting notebook to a new page and write “To Do” at the top.

I then list out every single thing I need to accomplish that day.  I use my weekly goal list as a base to determine what I need to do every day in order to accomplish my goals for the week.

So you can see that every single day I am working on tasks that help me to accomplish my weekly goals…

…which are derived from my monthly goals

…which are derived from my quarterly goals

…which are derived from my annual goals!

Every single day I am working on tasks that relate directly to my annual goals!  How many people do you think can make that claim?

Once again, this is not high technology – it’s a good old notebook!  And let me tell you… nothing is more gratifying than being able to pick up a pen and manually scratch something off your list.  It is immensely satisfying!

In fact, studies have been done that show that checking an item off a list actually releases dopamine into your brain.  In fact, it can even be addictive.

I swear I’m not making this up! I read a study!

It really works for me.  If at the end of the day I can swipe everything off my list, I feel good.  If I get to the end of the week and I can swipe everything off my weekly goals list, I feel great!

Small Wins Are Important

This brings me to another point… these are our small goals; they are small wins.  But those small wins feel great.

At the end of the day, if you are going to be a successful Internet entrepreneur, you will need to learn goal setting skills.  Be careful to not set big, audacious goals without breaking them down into bite sized chunks.

Because if you don’t break your goals down, you are going to get overwhelmed and spin your wheels and get distracted.

If you follow this simple goal setting process, you will be so much more productive.  I cannot emphasize this enough!  I hear this from my members all the time.

I know this has nothing to do with Internet marketing, but this is how I run multiple businesses and run multiple seminars every year and still keep everything organized.  I don’t stress about forgetting something because it is all written down.

Best of all, every single day I get to celebrate small wins!

So if you want to be successful as an Internet entrepreneur, whether you are just getting started or are making the transition from “job” to entrepreneur,  goal setting is an invaluable skill.

And if you can take this skill and apply it to your Internet business, I promise you will see results you will be happy with far sooner.

Hope you learned something, talk to you later!


  1. Thanks again for the reminder on setting goals and breaking them into ‘bite size’ pieces.

    Learnt a lot from your seminar in Melbourne, Australia this year.

    Now putting what I’ve learnt into action.

  2. Debbi S.

    That index card idea is a bit nutty lol but if it works, it’s good. I’ve never been too good at setting goals, especially long term goals. Maybe that’s why I struggle to know what exactly to do and waffle around too much. I can make a weekly goal to post on my blog or something like that, but I don’t really know what the big goal is. Mine usually deal with a certain amount of money I want to make. Thanks for this post. It’s helpful!

  3. Cmarten

    This is an amazing post, and one I agree with completely. I’ve been a great goal-setter for quite a while, but never narrowed it don enough to daily goals to actually get everything I wanted done. I don’t use a notebook, however. I use an old child’s shoebox and index cards with tabs for every day of the month. I write each of my repetitive tasks on individual index cards and stick them in the box. Each morning, I pull out the days cards and start working, putting the cards in the back of the box when they are done. People think it’s a bit nutty, but it works great for me.

  4. Doreen

    I’m going to set my goals tonight, definitely determine to become an online entrepreneur to achieve freedom & to improve my family lifestyle:)

  5. Selvaretnam

    This is very good knowledge and an important skill that should be learned by all aspiring entrepreneurs.This will take you far in your business.

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