First things first: the relationship between goals and objectives is not complicated what-so-ever.
When a person or organization decides it wants to achieve great heights and achieve real results, it decides on a direction.
That direction turns into a vision, turning then into goals, and finally objectives to reach those goals.
Are goals and objectives the same? Yes, and no.
Goals are the ladder you get when you realize that your vision is to sit atop your house on the roof. The objectives are the rungs of the ladder, or the steps you take in order to reach your desired goal, which in turn, helps you achieve your vision for your life, business, and community.
Are goals and objectives the same?
Goals are the whole and objectives are the steps you take to realize the whole. Goals are the actionable version of the vision you hold.
Goals are what takes you in the direction you desire to go in, while objectives are how you reach those goals.smallbusiness.com
Objectives are benchmarks of progress that you create when you decide to chunk your goal into smaller pieces, and prioritize the most effective actions to reach that goal.
You could consider a year-long project to be a goal, and the objectives to be the monthly progress that must be achieved in order to realize it.
In other words, a goal is the road, and objectives are the cobblestone that built the road.
Examples of goals and objectives
Example of a vision: to look and feel great, and have tons of energy
Example of a goal: to lose 23 lbs by the end of the year
Example of an objective: to complete 30 days of P90x (exercise program) + or possibly to lose 2 lbs that particular month.
When to use a goal and when to use an objective?
A goal comes right after your vision. An objective comes when you’re thinking of steps that will help you achieve your goal. You hold the vision first, then create the goal, then list the objectives.
What comes after a goal and an objective?
The step after knowing your goals and objectives to create an explosive action plan that will help you achieve your goals.
You create an action plan by:
- Knowing your strengths and weaknesses
- Understanding your allies
- Planning to enhance your ability to perform
- Minimizing your hindrances ahead of time
- Prioritizing high result getting tasks
- Spending the least amount of time on low result minor details
Goals and Objectives in your Action plan?
If you were to construct a family tree like structure, goals would be the parent of objectives and your vision statement would be the grandparent of objectives and the parent of goals. Objectives nest within goals, who then nest within vision.
Some even go so far as to consider miniature objectives, who then have their own objectives and sometimes go even further beyond that, but that’s not required for a simple understanding of the difference.
Especially for an individual trying to accomplish personal goals think of goals as a tangible plan (exercise and eat properly) for achieving a feeling you want in your life “to look and feel great” – where the objectives are the individual actions you will take each month by saying “to achieve my yearly goal, I need to have made this much progress by the end of this month”.
How to determine your goals
You come up with a goal by asking yourself what could you do to accomplish the vision you hold in your mind for yourself.
That vision will come from deep soul searching and knowing your wants, needs, dreams and the personal growth you want to go through.
For that I recommend taking a gander at the 50 questions for finding passion and purpose.
How to determine your objectives
Accomplishing your objectives is the answer to accomplishing your goals, and you can use the same method that you used to go from vision to goals in the first place.
Once a vision is held you ask “what can i do to achieve this vision?”
Then the goal is grasped, and you ask “What must I do in order to achieve this goal?”
The answer to this question is what your objectives are going to be.
Objectives should also take into account:
- How long you have to achieve the goal
- What resources you’ve got at your disposal
- How much effort you plan on putting in
My Favorite Related Resources
There’s really no reason to guess and hope you get it right. Your goals are more precious than that.
Use these authoritative road maps to succeed.