SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time bound) are a key way to double you effectiveness.  Your success on any goal comes down to Hours Worked times Effectiveness.  SMART goals help you prioritize your efforts which helps painlessly increase the Hours Worked and the Effectiveness of those hours.

One component of SMART goals, Measurable, is frequently only half considered.  You need to measure both the success toward the goal but (and here’s where most people fail) you must also measure the effort put toward achieving the goal.  I can’t even say how many times I worked with someone who was not accomplishing his/her goals who felt that he/she was really working hard on those goals.  Once we looked at their effort put in, we saw hours and hours each week waisted on Facebook, unnecessary research and low priority projects.  To accomplish your goals, pick a few broad measurements – 2 hours a day, 1 chapter a week, etc – and several specific measurements on high priority tasks.  For example, if you are starting your own home based business you may want to invest 3 hours a day (the broad measurement) which should include (high priority task measurements) 5 customer phone calls, 10 follow up emails and 20 postcards sent.  Track how well you are living up to those input measurements.  If you are not accomplishing your goals, this will give you information on which inputs need to be changed.