A goal is the anticipated result of an action. An objective is an action that drives you towards your goal. You might use the terms goals and objectives alternatively, but there is a significant difference that holds them back to their courts.
You have many short terms and long term targets in life. And to achieve these targets, you have step completion action plans in place. All these finite, precise, and measurable actions that you take to ultimately reach your bigger target in life are defined as your objectives. Once you keep progressing and parallel marking the completion of all such actions and reach your target horizon, that is what is referred to as a goal.
“The only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.”– Michelle Obama
Basically, goals are your broader targets in life. Objectives are your aims that help your goals turn fruitful. Goals and objectives are generally clashing terms that you use interchangeably in various instances. However, there are a couple of aspects that mark their differentiation. Stated below are a few to help you get more insight into the same.
1. Goals are the bigger tasks in life. Objectives are the smaller sub-tasks in life.
2. Goals are usually achieved by working over a length of time. Objectives are as small as being achievable in a couple of hours to just about a few days.
3. Goals define and determine your lifestyle. Objectives showcase your moment, rather your today or tomorrow.
“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” – Tony Robbins
4. Goals are intangible and are hard to measure. Objectives are often tangible and have a confined measurement.
5. You need to master a lot of patience to achieve your goals. You can achieve your objectives as they form part of your operational activities in life.
6. The goal decides your future. Objectives explain how to plan to decide for your future.
7. The goal is the general focus or direction or a specific intention backed by reasons. Objectives are precise and very specific and are backed by your actions.
“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” – Henry David Thoreau
8. Goals are broad in scope, while objectives are narrow in scope.
9. Goals are a compilation of a bunch of varied activities marking your success. Objectives are smaller chunks of actionable tasks and are just a part of the whole activity that leads you to success.
10. Goals are generally reviewed once a month or so. Objectives are reviewed and measured every day as they form the core of your operational day-to-day tasks.
11. A goal could be commonly set for a group of people, while an objective is specific to each individual.
“A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.” – Bruce Lee
12. Goals are typically critical in nature and need a lot of work out and varied skills and resources to fall in place. Objectives are part of your daily routine and confine themselves to limited resources and skillset.
13. You cannot achieve your goals without associated objectives. And objectives without the ultimate goal will never take you to where you really wanted to mark your presence. Understanding that both goals and objectives are separate and yet so very correlated is often used interchangeably.
14. A goal is how you describe your eventual destination. An objective is the unit of measurement of your journey towards this intended destination.
“I believe the last thing I read at night will likely manifest when I'm sleeping. You become what you think about the most.” - Daymond John
15. You undertake generic actions to achieve your goals. But for objectives, your actions are concrete, well-structured, and specific.
16. Your ideas motivate you to set your goals. Your actions and facts decide your objectives.
17. You need to spend the whole life to achieve a goal at times. But, objectives are specific milestones that you can achieve within a limited and pre-defined time frame.
“Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars, but remember to keep your feet on the ground.” – Theodore Roosevelt
18. Goals are comparatively difficult to measure, whereas objectives are easy to measure and compare with parameters of your other objectives in life.
19. Primarily, goals can be achieved by triggering continuous actions that you need to take in a particular direction. Objectives are kind of sub-goals that you can achieve in a far less span of time.
20. Goals and objectives are entirely different concepts. However, goals and objectives work in harmony, hand in hand, to help you achieve your desired results.
“It’s up to you to make your life. Take what you have and stack it up like a tower of teetering blocks. Build your dream around that.” – Cheryl Strayed
Needless to say, goals involve your lifelong contribution and effort. Goals define your future and your philosophies in life. When you break your goal into smaller sub-goals, you refer to them as your objectives.
You are reviewing your progress on goals. This means you are actually taking the feedback from your objectives to direct them to attain your goals. You cannot measure your goals statistically, but yes, you can quantify and review the objectives that ultimately take you towards your life goals.