Goal Setting: Your Top 3 Priorities

I just spent a long (beautiful!) weekend at Fort Myers Beach with two great business friends - Angie Newton and Trish Lindemood - brainstorming our goals for the New Year.

One of the big objectives for the weekend was to simplify our goals, and create a priority action list to take home with us.

It's so easy for your ideas to get overwhelming, and for your task list to grow out of control. I must say, it was really nice to just step away and brainstorm with friends. Definitely a good way to regain clarity and narrow down what's really important...

We talked openly for the first day or two, about what we'd been working on and ideas we had brewing in our minds. But as the long weekend came to a close, we each chose three top priorities - three things we most wanted to accomplish in the New Year. Then we brainstormed exactly what it would take to make it happen.

Simplifying your goals like that is very liberating!

I feel relaxed, refreshed, and inspired - and ready to sit down and focus on my goals for the New Year. πŸ˜€ While you don't necessarily need to head to the beach to achieve this same state, it really does help to brainstorm with friends who are in the same line of work as you - or that at least "get you".

You can do that via Skype, in a favorite discussion forum, or even on a conference call. In fact, the three of us decided we would chat weekly to hold each other accountable to our goals. Which means no slacking for me this week πŸ˜‰ LOL...

Even if you decide to brainstorm on your own, I recommend you really simplify your objectives. Set goals that are in line with those objectives, and make those goals easily attainable. From there, decide what actions (or consistent action) you need to take to achieve that goal. Simple as that!

I actually shot a quick video while at the beach, in my PJ's no less (LOL), which you can find on my new Video Blog - or watch here:

I would love to hear your thoughts. If you want to share your Top 3 Goals for the New Year, leave me a comment below! Or if you have tips for goal setting or goal achievement, I would love to hear those as well. πŸ˜€


p.s. If you're looking for people to brainstorm with, join us on my forum. I even have a Private Brainstorming Group you can join there, where we meet online for 5 live brainstorming calls every month. It's a great group to brainstorm with, and a great place to find other action-takers you may want to pair up with as accountability partners. πŸ˜‰

About Lynn Terry

Lynn Terry is a full-time Internet Marketer with over 17 years experience in online business. Subscribe to ClickNewz for the latest Internet Marketing trends & strategies, Lynn's unique case studies, creative marketing ideas, and candid reviews...moreΒ»


  1. Hi Lynn,

    Setting goals works...bottom line...but they only work for me if I set a deadline for myself, otherwise they dimply keep getting pushed back.

    That's great that you had a chance to brainstorm with friends like that. That's always fun.

    Some of the most fun I have had as having a whiteboard session with friends and a pile of hamburgers...LOL!

    Keep rollin' gal πŸ™‚ Hope you have a great 2012 πŸ™‚


  2. I've come to the point I don't even know what my goals in life should be. πŸ™ A couple of years ago I stumbled upon internet marketing and thought it would be an answer to my prayers (because of the money and the independence it would provide if I could make it work for me).

    Now I've started thinking I was attracted to im because I was running away from things in my life.

    Re the many ways to make money in im only adds to my confusion.

    Not to mention about how stupid I feel having experimented with yet another way of making money and noticing I don't like it - except the money of course! I also think I'm not willing to spend years doing what I don't enjoy doing just for the money.

    You can see I'm in the proper philosophical end-of-the year frame of mind. πŸ™‚

  3. Cosmin Hora says:

    Setting goals is indeed the most important thing to consider in order to achieve one's success. I really have lots of plans by next year. No matter what, I will start with all my plans offline. I guess its time to balance my time for both my online and offline activities.

    • Do you have both an offline and an online business?

      • Cosmin Hora says:

        Yup! My offline business is a family business. As a matter of fact, we're planning to expand our operations for next year. Also, I'm thinking of some short courses that I could take up by next year that could actually help me to develop my skills too so I'm really looking forward to it.

  4. Hi Lynn,
    That sounds like a productive and fun weekend - especially the part about eating good food.

    I love what I do, but I have way too many really good ideas going through my brain right now. Which is why I'm wide awake at 5am on a Monday ready to get after it! Perhaps a weekend at the beach with a few other marketers would help me get clarity. My problem is I want to do everything at once. πŸ™‚

    Thanks for the mindful post, I love it when you do that.

    • I think we all deal with that one (idea overwhelm). I linked to a post on that topic at the beginning of this one, if you're interested. I was in the same boat when I left for the trip. It was so nice to come home with a simple plan of action!

  5. Hi Lynn

    Your weekend at the beach sounds wonderful.

    I find that I have so many ideas knowing which one to go after is the issue. I am working on narrowing my focus down and just working on two main projects for next year. 2011 was good for me and I want 2012 to be even better for my business. Maybe a brainstorming group would be a great idea to help set goals and flesh out plans.

    I agree with what you mean about walking every day and how it makes you feel better. I have been using a stationary bike every day for the last couple of weeks and feel much better already. Even though I started because I damaged my knee I will continue because I love how it makes me feel more alive and alert.

    • I look forward to getting back to my daily walks with Slim. I'm down with a nasty head cold at the moment so I'm taking it easy, but it really does make a big difference!

      If you get serious about looking for a group, you're welcome to join my Private Brainstorming Group at http://www.clicknewz.com/members/ It's a group of action-takers, and we meet 5x a month for live Brainstorming Hour calls. Would love to have you! πŸ˜€

  6. Sounds like a GREAT Weekend!!! I do brainstorm on forums a bit but I would really love to do something similar via skype! I can't wait to see what 2012 has in store for us all! Lynn - Thank you so much for your information

    • Skype is great for small group conference calls. It can be tough to find the right accountability partner(s), but well worth it! Angie actually has a guide coming out on that this coming year that should prove helpful for all of us! πŸ˜‰

  7. I'm leaving tomorrow to go to the local Hilton hotel and stay for 4days just to sort out my plans & goals. I've done this annuals for 20yrs now, but the "annual" have gotten farther and farther apart with the babies. This year I'm going to make it happen. So I'm now packing up my juicer, detox teas, gallons of water, Bible, 1 spiritual book, laptop and journal. I intend to walk away with directions from God for my business & family. The husband & kids will join me on Christmas eve and we'll spend the next 3 days there opening gifts, swimming & jumping on the beds (my kids hotel favorite activity LOL!)

  8. I have to admit I was a bit jealous watching and hearing the status updates on Facebook via you and Angie πŸ˜‰ Hanging at the beach with the 2 of you...my idea of perfect! lol

    Loved the video Lynn. 98% of the time I am so hung up on my client work and client projects that I don't have any idea what I want out of my business or where I want to go next...I really need to make some changes in 2012 and spend some time focusing on what I WANT, not just what my clients want. It's getting harder and harder to enjoy being a VA when all you do is exchange hours for dollars...I do know I want passive income in my life! It's just a matter of making it happen!

    • We'll have to make that happen, Tishia! I'm so glad I finally got to meet you in person - but we definitely need to do it again. πŸ˜‰

      I used to have a service-based business as well, so I can relate. What I did in the beginning, to make the transition, was to work one hour a day on my passive income sources. The rest was devoted to client work.

      I would have liked to have MY hour first every day, but instead I finished up client work first. So it was like a reward, and I found myself finishing up quicker to get to my hour. πŸ™‚

      • I'm glad we finally got to meet in person too πŸ™‚ And yes, definitely need to do it again!

        I like the idea of devoting one hour a day to working on passive income...an hour a day is easier to do than trying to set a whole day aside, etc.

  9. Cindy Brock says:

    I agree with Tishia: you are very lucky to have others to meet with and spend a "brainstorming" weekend. Have you thought about trying to put an event together like this? I know I would attend.

    Cindy Bidar and I do this sort of thing - well, it's mostly me wandering in the desert and her offering me the glass of water that pulls me back in. I would love to find one or two more people who would like to do this as well: brainstorm, goal setting, accountability. If anyone is interested, simply reply to this post. (If you're in Georgia or the surrounding states, all the better.)

    My goals are still up in the air. The personal life keeps getting in the way. LOL.

    • I have considered the event idea, but it's A LOT of work and planning. LOL. I do make it a point to travel with various small groups of business friends as often as I can though - several times a year. Often we meet up at events. Or, just grab a random weekend, like we did for this trip.

  10. Peter Lawlor says:

    My 3 goals are:

    1. Triple traffic on my 2 main websites.
    2. Triple the number of subscribers for my 2 main lists.
    3. Achieve top rankings for my local affiliate marketing websites (4 of them) at the local level for at least 20 keywords each.

    If I achieve goal #1, I'll probably work on attracting some better advertising deals which should be good for the bottom line.

    • Great goals! I imagine you've already covered this in your planning - but are you prepared for the growth? Meaning all pages have a strong call to action and lead your visitor to the "next best click". And with list growth, you have an email marketing/content plan laid out for that as well?

  11. Lynn, I love what you say about consistent action and even more love what you are modeling with this visioning time at the beach.

    I'm working with clients now to help them GET in vision and STAY in vision. I've found what really works well for my clients and for me and my business is to create "spark words" for how I want my life to feel, how I want clients to feel when they experience me and my business, what experience I want my clients to connect to for every project I start and for every book, ebook or article I write.

    Thanks again for this post!

  12. Great advice on goal setting.

    You may also want to check out and download a free ebook on goal setting called β€œGoals! How to Get Everything You Want – Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible” at http://www.goalsontrack.com/index/goals_ebook

  13. Yvonne A Jones says:

    Having an accountability partner who understands what you do and where you want to go as well as what is required to get there is a great thing. Unfortunately, many of us do not enjoy that, but I'm glad you do, Lynn.

    My list has 10 goals for 2012 but the 3 main ones are:

    1) Organize and launch a 10-speaker Expert Series. This has 8-10 steps from planning to execution. Set up my own affiliate program to promote the audio at the end of the series.
    2) Increase marketing to attract more offline clients.
    3) Books: a) Modify current Customer Service book on Kindle and publish through Create Space as a paperback. b) Start and complete the second in the series for release by June 2012. c) Start and complete the third in the series by November 2012.

    • Great goals, Yvonne! πŸ˜€

      Did you mean that you do NOT enjoy having an accountability partner/group? I would love to hear more on that...

      • Yvonne A Jones says:

        I would LOVE to once again have an accountability partner or two. Actually I thoroughly enjoyed being in a group like the Elite SSW in 2009/10. What I meant was that many of us do not get to enjoy that privilege because we don't have a partner or partners...but I'm glad you do. I was a tad envious to be honest πŸ™‚

  14. My top three goals for the new year are:

    1. Start making money from affiliate marketing.
    2. Get 2000 uniques to my site in a month.
    3. Make at least 200 dollars from article writing.

  15. Hi Lynn, great advice as always and funnily enough I wrote my most recent blog post about planning for 2012, before I read this and it is exactly what I was thinking. I am starting a new affiliate business alongside my main business so your advice has been extremely useful to me in fact you feature as one of my 3 favourite women online, on my blog. Have a wonderful Christmas and prosperous 2012, and thank you for your great advice and content.

  16. The beach is my absolute fave place in the world, so I'd imagine I would get great brainstorming sessions out of it. Especially at dusk or when the Sun is going down. That would be so awesome.

    As for some of my goals for 2012, see some below. Some is the keyword.
    1. Figure out the new competition angle Google has thrown out at us bloggers and niche markets as far as SEO.
    2. No time for a number two, number one above will pretty much take me all year. lol. Well it better not, that would leave a whole lot of money on the table. Right.

    Am making a good income online, however (and sadly) it's not mostly passive. Which is my goal. The bulk of my income is still coming in from my writing and not my niche sites. Boo.

    Other goals for 2012 that revolve around niche marketing and niche affiliate sites include:
    1. More social media
    2. More site engagement
    3. More content

    Hope you have a great New Years and cheers on that.


    • Great goals, Missy!

      I saw EVERY sunrise and sunset while at the beach (4 days) and found them both to be my most productive hours as far as ideas and brainstorming. πŸ™‚

  17. It is the business tact to plan in advance goals of your business.Braining storming with positive thoughts is always rewarding. If the whole community is on same streamline,success is sure.

  18. This is actually great advice. We (at least me) try so hard to achieve our goals that we do not want to spend any time to review these goals, to think about it. To stop for a while to come up with better ways to achieve these goals. This is why I am trying not to work on saturdays :D. I am still struggling with this too :D. It is hard to not do anything! But when I do it, thoughts come to me. Important ideas. So when you stop doing, you can start thinking! But it is sooo hard. When I am resting I feel bad for not working and I want to work, but when I start it is like I do not want that much now :D. He he :D.

  19. I guess in order to achieve your goals, you have to keep on going, never give up and if you find it hard to achieve, find some partners or adapt your idea, reestablish your goal, but keep the main idea.

  20. I forgot to tell you which are my 3 goals: double the traffic on my websites, start a new project online and buy a new car πŸ˜€

  21. Brainstorming at the beach... sounds productive πŸ˜‰

    my goals:

    1. Optimize my AdWords
    2. Redesign of the facebookpage
    3. Marketing-Makeover

  22. The Nightlife Directory says:

    My top three goals...

    1. Receive at least 1000 unique visitors a day
    2. Sell more advertisement
    3. Do the things Ive never done before πŸ™‚

  23. Great piece, my three goals are;

    1 spend more time on the beach
    2 spend more time with my family and friends
    3 spend more time just doing nothing....

    LOL, no seriously, to do all of the above I have to make more dollars, SO I need to work hard and achieve the following;

    1 raise finance and co produce the movie of my book
    2 complete the sequel novels (2)
    3 link up the royalties/sales with a childline or helpline for women


    Oh yes and loose 10 lbs πŸ™‚ urggh!

    Have a wonderful Xmas and NY, may all you wish for come your way in 2012.


  24. Joe Winpisinger says:

    First, I love Fort Myers Beach and just moved from Lee County. Second this is a good post based on a theme that has been making the internet marketing rounds: Simplification.

  25. Great post as always, Lynn. Out of all online marketers I've heard from, you're one of the very few lists I'm still on. I wish I could join your Private Brainstorming Group, because I really need it, but this year has been strictly survival mode. To that end ... I have 5 goals. I know that sounds like too many, but each one is important in its way. Here they are, for 2012:

    1. Build a site for my editing service and have it supporting me by summer -- i.e., no more need for a day job! I've already had clients, so I have testimonials.

    2. Build a content site for my favorite niche and, before the end of the year, have it monetized at least 3 different ways. This probably won't support me yet because I also have #1 to do, but I want some income started.

    3. Continue my book. I have the table of contents and the first chapter finished. Because of the businesses, I don't know if I can finish it by the end of the year.

    4. Go to California to see my friends for the first time in over 8 years. I lived there most of my adult life before heading out to chase an illusive dream that hasn't happened yet.

    5. Go back to Spain to see friends and do more research. Living there is that ultimate, illusive dream, but I know that'll take longer than 2012.

    Because I am a true beginner (learning all the techie stuff from absolute scratch) ... the first 2 will keep me busy because they're basically 2 separate businesses. But #1, the service business, will likely support me faster than #2. My day job is in a factory and I'm older, so I really do have to go on my own this year.

    It's been fascinating reading everyone's goals. All the best!

  26. This year my my goals are (not in order of importance):
    - Increase number of clients
    - increase traffic to sites of my clients
    - optimize the timing

    I hope to achieve these objectives.

    Happy New Year to you all!


  1. [...] may remember that I discussed the idea of simplifying your goals in my recent Goal Setting post. Ever since I returned from my “brainstorming on the beach” trip, I’ve been [...]

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