Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Goals and Objectives

objectives-bookGoals vs Objectives

When you have something you want to accomplish, it is important to set both goals and objectives. Once you learn the difference between goals and objectives, you will realize that how important it is that you have both of them. Goals without objectives can never be accomplished while objectives without goals will never get you to where you want to be. The two concepts are separate but related and will help you to be who you want to be.

Definition of Goals and Objectives
Goals ‘“ are long-term aims that you want to accomplish.
Objectives ‘“ are concrete attainments that can be achieved by following a certain number of steps.
Goals and objectives are often used interchangeably, but the main difference comes in their level of concreteness. Objectives are very concrete, whereas goals are less structured.

Remembering the Differences between Goals and Objectives
When you are giving a presentation to a potential or current employer, knowing the difference between goals and objectives can be crucial to the acceptance of your proposal. Here is an easy way to remember how they differ:
Goals ‘“ has the word ‘go’ in it. Your goals should go forward in a specific direction. However, goals are more about everything you accomplish on your journey, rather than getting to that distant point. Goals will often go into undiscovered territory and you therefore can’t even know where the end will be.

Objectives ‘“ has the word ‘object’ in it. Objects are concrete. They are something that you can hold in your hand. Because of this, your objectives can be clearly outlined with timelines, budgets, and personnel needs. Every area of each objective should be firm.

Measuring Goals and Objectives
Goals ‘“ unfortunately, there is no set way in which to measure the accomplishment of your goals. You may feel that you are closer, but since goals are de facto nebulous, you can never say for sure that you have definitively achieved them.

Objectives ‘“ can be measured. Simply phrase your objective in the form of a question. For example, ‘I want to accomplish x in y amount of time’ becomes ‘Did I accomplish x in y amount of time?’ This can easily be answered in a yes or no form.

Examples of Goals and Objectives
Goals ‘“ I want to be a better ball player. I want to learn more about Chinese history. I want to maximize my professional performance.
Objectives ‘“ I want to memorize the periodic table before my next quiz. I want to increase my sales by 10% this month. I want learn to play ‘Freebird’ on the guitar.

Summary:
1. Goals and objectives are both tools for accomplishing what you want to achieve.
2. Goals are long term and objectives are usually accomplished in the short or medium term.
3. Goals are nebulous and you can’t definitively say you have accomplished one whereas the success of an objective can easily be measured.
4. Goals are hard to quantify or put in a timeline, but objectives should be given a timeline to be more effective.


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31 Comments

  1. This site helped me alot.Special thanks to site.

  2. Subsidized are the amount taken by government to reduce the cost of the production of a good or service. WHERE AS unsubsidised loans are loans which attract very high interest. *subsidies reduce the burden of the citizens in a country while unsubsidy increases the burden of the citizens in a country.

  3. Thanks alot for the valuable info. Provided. I was really confused myself about those words.

  4. Thank-you this article has been very, very helpful. One of the best easy to read articles on the differences between goals & objectives.

  5. This article just solve a problem betweem me and myself..thanks

  6. hi every one, i am very glad to see ths web site, it is helping me alot and clearing my concept on things which i believing were same. long live for the honour of this site and God bless u.

  7. Thank you very much for the insight, I have been confused.

  8. Objectives can be thought in terms of S.M.A.R.T.

    S: Specific
    M: Measurable
    A: Achievable (in finite steps)
    R: Reasonable
    T: Timed

  9. Great ..Thanks for valuable information.but please I need some help to understand and clarity i,e.Objectives is the road map to achieve Goal.so it should be very specific as mentioned in your write -up, so is objectives and KRA is same ? then please brief it that ,how you decribe Goal ,Objectives ,KRA ,KPI

    • Goal is the ultimate result you want to achieve
      Objectives are the means to achieving your goal, they are the targets you must hit to get to the goal.

      KRA stands for “key result area”, which means, when an objective is assigned to you, you must fufill this KRA in order to obtain your objective.
      KPI stands for “key performance indicator” which are very important peices of information that need to be observed on a regular basis in order to know “where you’re at” and information to help you successfully fufill your KRA and obtain your objectives.

      Once your all your objectives are successfully attained, you will acomplish your goal.

  10. Rather surprisingly (for this site) this is a very good explanation of the difference between goals and objectives. It could do with some more elaboration though, in my opinion.

  11. Goal and objective are one in the same. Take the definitions from webster:
    Goal – 2: the end toward which effort is directed: aim; synonym is objective
    Objective – 2a : something toward which effort is directed : an aim, goal, or end of action

    Goals can be measurable once you reach the end. For example, I want to retire at 65 with $1MM in the bank. That is a goal, and it is measurable; however, I won’t know if I’ve obtain that goal until I reach 65.

    An objective to reach that goal is to save $x per year earning y% over the next 30 years. This is something that is measurable on a regular basis to ensure that I will in fact achieve my goal or hopefully will learn ways to improve that goal such as retire at 60 with $1.1MM in the bank.

    I want to be a better ball player is a vague statement of desire that has no real meaning. Once you define what you mean by a better ball player, you will find metrics that can be measured.

    I want to learn more about Chinese history isn’t a goal until you put a time frame on it: I want to learn more about Chinese history before I go on my trip next year… This is then measurable as long as you define what it is you want to know by then.

    • The objective in attaining that retirement goal is to live well. Objectives are the reasons goals are set. What is the objective of running down the football field with the football? to score points. What is the goal of running down the field with the football? To get to the goalpost.

  12. This informatio is valuable, precise & concise…Thanks!

  13. great info on goal and objective. Helpful for my year end planning. thanks for sharing

  14. thanks, it is very clear.

  15. This tips has actually help me both in my academic and planning. Thank you all.

  16. Good stuff. I just recently published an article regarding this same exact subject, on my blog. I like your version better though :)

  17. I have really learned a lot from the difference between a goal and an objective and now can understand them better even though used interchangeably
    Thanx

  18. Thanks i can now write out my project proposals by setting my goals and objectives.

  19. it is realllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy helpful`thanxs

  20. thanks a lot highly appreciate.

  21. ITS REALLY HELP FUL

  22. I think a good way of representing it is through a straight line. You have a start and a finish. The finish is the “Goal”, and the milestones across the line are the “Objectives” that would help and assist you in reaching your goal.

    Nicely explained and very beneficial, thank you!

  23. This is educative!

  24. helpful special thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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