One of the biggest challenges Internet marketers face is getting and staying focused. This is true for anyone who works at home, setting their own schedules, managing their own time, and all in the midst of an environment that is also a personal and family domain as well.

Add to this the overwhelming amount of information on Internet marketing to sift through. Then there's the potential distraction of the Internet itself – short side trips to just "check something real quick" can turn into major interruptions, as can email, texting, and instant messages.

Let's look at some things you can do to get and stay focused on your business so you can get closer to your goals.

Imagine your future. Picture your future as you'd like it to be six months, then one year, then maybe five or ten years from now. Include everything that comes to mind – family, home, income, social, spiritual, things you dream of doing and having, etc.

Write down these desires in a notebook. Write them as if they're already come about and keep the focus positive.

For example:

Don't write...

"I will solve my financial problems."

Instead write,

"My finances are in order and I am prospering."

Spend a little time everyday working with your list. Some find it most helpful to write or say affirmations, others like to create vision boards, still others can daydream so vividly that is all that is needed. Find what works best for you with the goal being to fire up the feeling that you imagine you'll have when these things actually happen for you.

This is important for two reasons:

1. The more feeling you put into it, the more your subconscious accepts this as reality, meaning you have now harnessed the power of belief.

2. You will be more motivated to focus on your business.

Also important - your notebook isn't set in stone. Your desires will evolve and change as you work with it.

Turn your dreams into goals. Starting with the items in your notebook of most importance, consider how you can bring them to fruition, whether that means earning X amount of dollars or achieving a better work/personal life balance.

What things can you do in your Internet marketing business to move toward these goals? Write these ideas down. Then zoom in on one of your shorter terms goals, breaking it down into steps. Once you've accomplished a few of these, you'll feel more confident and be better able to focus on the longer-term goals.

Create a specific plan of action. Of the things that you feel are needed to achieve this first goal, what things can you begin this week? Write them down. For example, if your goal is to increase your ROI to X amount by doubling the size of your list through social network, part of your game plan could look like this:

Double the size of my subscription list by _(insert date)_ by networking on Twitter and Facebook.

* Twitter - Create a good profile and posts that attract like-minded followers by____.
* Learn how to write a winning profile.
* Learn the etiquette of Twitter posting for success.

Be realistic when setting dates for completion. Consider your other commitments. Do you devote time to fitness? A relationship? Children? Maybe you have a part time or full time job, value a clean house, have hobbies, etc. There's only so many hours in a day, and you need your sleep to stay healthy and thinking sharp. It's time to prioritize. Can you let go of a hobby until your business takes off? Assign the time-consuming house cleaning jobs to someone else?

After working this out, estimate how many hours a week you can devote to your business. Is there anything you can outsource that will allow you to focus on the aspects of the business you do best? Figure this in.

Then, keeping your time allowances in mind, set the completion dates for your first goal and the various steps to achieving it.

Mark your calendar. Some people do their best marketing in long blocks of time, while others prefer short but more frequent work periods. Keeping in mind your most productive method and your other commitments, block out your marketing time on a calendar that you see daily.

Stay focused, within reason. Remove distractions that can be ignored – maybe this means setting your IM to "away" and closing your inbox. Buffer yourself from whatever distracts you that doesn't need immediate attention.

Figure out a way to let family members know you're working, perhaps by wearing a special set of headphones or closing the home office door. If you don't achieve the day's milestone, that's ok. But do make room for it the next day. The main thing is to keep your priorities straight. Taking time out for a child or good friend is not the same as casually chatting with the neighbor for an hour.

When you're working and get stuck on something, take a short walk outside or do some stretches. Exercise and "green time" are proven to help with focus.

If you continue to dream your dreams, work on your goals, keep your priorities in order and reasonably stick to your goal calendar, you will find that you have accomplished what stumps most people – you will be focused and make money online in 2010!