Difference between Goals vs Objectives

Difference between Goals vs Objectives



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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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 a pre-defined time frame.

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.

Needless to say, goals involve your life long 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.

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  • karishma
    karishma Archana
    142 pts
    Rising Star

    Writing is in progress...............


    If simply said, the basic difference between a goal and an objective is, the goal is the final destination, and the objective is the route to reach the destination.

    An objective is a short term, and a goal is a long term. When you combine your various objectives, you reach your goal.

    Here, I would like to share my experience. I was fresher in the company, and it was my probation period. One day, my HR scheduled a meeting for all the fresher.

    In the meeting, HR asked each of us a question, "What is your objective?"

    A few of them said they want to send their parents on an international trip. Some said they want to buy a big house and a luxurious car. 2 - 3 people replied they want to have a huge bank balance. And so on.

    When my turn came, I said, "my recent objective is, I want to be financially independent for my higher studies."

    I answered whatever I was feeling. And my HR went happy. HR said," right! This could be the objective. And what others told, was their goal."

    I hope you got the answer. The basic difference between the goal and the objective is, the goal is a desired outcome of the specific actions, whereas, the objectives are action, that takes you to your goal.

    Everyone might have a different goal; some may be moving to set a business goal, some might have company goals, and few may be fighting for personal goals. But, overall, goals existed in everyone's life.

    They are an unbreakable fact in the life of the people.

    Now, when it comes to the goals, it's not like you would have only the final goal or long term goals, and you will be moving for it only. Goals can be long term or short term.

    For example, if you want to have a huge bungalow, it will be your long-term goal, or that could be your destination. But, to reach that final goal, you would be setting many short goals, such as your job, promotions, savings, etc. These could be your short-term goals.

    And, to achieve that goal, you would be getting some objectives. Like, taking an example of your promotion in the company, you supposed to set an objective such as finishing the targets, making profits, and so on.

    All these small steps you take to achieve your final goal are objectives. By putting these objectives in a progressing manner, you can achieve your goal.

    Make your actions time-bound. Set small goals, and achieve them. Make small business plans and complete them.

    You can also say, goals are your broader targets, wherein objectives are your small aims. Well, there are many misconceptions about goals and objectives. They both are considered the same. But, in reality, they both are very different than each other.

    Here, in the same article, I will cover the difference between them.

    What is the goal?

    The goal can be defined as the wider picture, on which the eyes are set as a whole. We thought or planned a goal in the past time and put effort into achieving it. The efforts are the driving forces on the action towards the target.

    Another way of understanding the meaning of the goal is, the goal is a statement you make to represent your future desire. If you say, you want to be the most widespread company for electronics. It will be your goal.

    Let's understand this with an example. When you were a child, you surely might have fixed something to achieve. You worked hard. And now, you have achieved your goal. The time period of your efforts is supposed to have a timeline. To achieve the goal, a timeline is very essential.

    Importance of Goals

    Although when you say you want to become most successful in your business, but you don't know exactly how you will reach your goal.

    But, yes, setting up the goals gives you the direction and serves you an important purpose. At the same time, your goals should align with your business's vision and mission statement.

    When you set up a goal, it will inspire you to achieve it. When you state your goal, it has emotions. The goal will give you a reason to work. And, as you work continuously in the direction of achieving the goal, you will definitely get it.

    What is the objective?

    The objective is nothing but the aim. You will achieve your objective in a particular period. You can also say, objectives are the steps you or your company will take to reach the goal.

    Objectives are emotionless. They are specifically measurable. They are attainable and realistic and are associated with the timelines.

    For example, taking the same example of being the most widespread company, you will achieve your goal by making the objectives, such as your strategy will be, "we will increase our sales by 5 percent in every quarter of the year in every region where we are currently operating."

    Or your objective could be, "we will open up new branches in two states per quarter in the current year. When you are on the graph of achieving these objectives, you will be moving to your goals.

    Importance of Objective

    I would like to mention the first importance of an objective; the goal is out of reach without an objective.

    Huge business's objectives are to reach their goals. They keep track of their growth using objectives. They set up their objectives, keep achieving them, and make progress in their business.

    Objectives stand as a motivation for business owners and employees. When they keep achieving their objectives, it gives them the satisfaction of accomplishment.

    Andrew Smith, a business plan writer, says, "if your objectives are easy to write, it indicates that your overall business strategy is on the right track."

    Let's try to understand it with the example of a business goal.

    If a business has set a goal to increase the international client base, how will they set up their objectives to achieve their goal? Please have a look.

    • Objective:

    Reach 28℅ more clients from Australia, Germany, and the UK in the next three months. This objective will be for the overall firm. Now, let's see the objectives, department wise.

    • Outbound Sales Team Objective:

    Approach to 20 additional international possibilities per week

    • Marketing department objective:

    Minimize the cost per click from $2.50 to up to $0.50 for the international digital ad campaign, and boost the reached form 100-500 people per week

    • Product department objective:

    Translate the onboarding sequence and reduce the duration for onboarding from 12 days to five days for each international client in the next three months.

    The objective has a word, an object in it. The object is concrete. So, because of this, objectives can be associated with budgets, timeframe, and tangential results.

    Many organizations use the S.M.A.R.T. criteria to achieve their goal. S.M.A.R.T. stands for

    S- Specific

    M- Measurable

    A- Attainable

    R- Relevant

    T- Time-bound

    Whenever any strategy goes through these, each in the right way, the goal is achieved.

    How to connect your goals with your objectives in practice

    Till now, you must have understood that the goal is incomplete without an objective. Achieving your goal without an objective is not possible anyway.

    So, you will have to keep these two elements in the same tray. Then, how can you use the objectives in achieving your goals?

    Like, if a final examination is your goal. You want to score above 90% of the scores in the exam. You will set your study objectives. You will study setting the objectives of finishing particular topics or subjects.

    You will prepare yourself for the final exam by giving mock tests, practice papers, and all. Here, keep in mind; the final examination is your short-term goal.

    Goals and objectives are like, success and failure. Like, putting your failures in a manner, you make its ladder and reach your success, in goals and objective, you make a ladder of your objectives and reach your goals.

    But, in the second case, you have to achieve your fixed objectives. They should be time-bound. You cannot ignore them, either you can not delay them. And this the ultimate rule for achieving your goal.

    Final Thoughts

    Till now, many of you might be understood goals and objectives with the same meaning. But I hope, after reading this post, you have understood the difference between them.

    Although they are not the same, and they are not different too. Set your objectives and put your steps in the path of achieving the goals.

    I also have mentioned a S.M.A.R.T. technique. Thus, the strategy is very much essential for your journey. Don't ever forget to pack this technique while moving towards the goal. When you practically apply these rules to your strategies, you will know how it works and how beneficial and important it is for the achievement.


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