Difference Between Objective and Goal

Objectives and Goals are the foundation to achieve anything in life. Setting objectives and goals is essential when an organization or we have something to gain.


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Most of the organizations or individuals get confused between objectives and goals, and they get confused.

Objectives and goals describe the intended wish or outcome and result that you or the organization want to achieve. Goals and objectives are interconnected, and one aspect without the other becomes meaningless.

Both ideas are separate but related. Once we learn differences between objectives and goals, we will learn how important it is to have or set both of them personally or professionally.

Key Takeaways

  1. Objectives are specific, measurable, and time-bound targets that help achieve a larger goal.
  2. Goals are broader, long-term aspirations or desired outcomes that provide direction and purpose.
  3. Setting objectives helps break down goals into manageable tasks, enabling more effective progress tracking and achievement.

Objective vs. Goal

The difference between Objective and goal is that objective is an action plan taken to achieve the goals with the limited time on a specific target. And Goal is a long-term outcome that individuals or organizations want to achieve.

Objective vs Goal

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The objective is the effort to achieve a part of the set goal. It is time-related to perform a specific target for general purposes.

It is a kind of milestone for individuals or organizations to direct achieve goals.

Goals are an individual’s or organization’s hope to achieve a specific target. It is a long-term outcome that is to be completed.

It is entirely generic, at the same time, broad in the vision. A goal is the destined target set, while the objective is one of the ladders to achieve it.


Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonObjectiveGoal
Plan of actionScope – Narrow
Target – Specific
Scope – Broad
Target – General
PeriodUsually, a smaller period compared with the goal’s durationThe goal has a more extended period.
MeasurementEasily measurableNot as easy as compared the objectives
PrincipleObjectives are facts that obtained to achieve goalsGoals are based on ideas
FunctionThe objective is the steps taken to achieve a goal.The goal is a destination decided to reach. It is an achievement.


What is Objective?

The objective is a person’s actions or efforts that plan to achieve goals or purposes. It is the milestones that help individual or organization to achieve goals.

The objective is narrow in scope, precise, tangible, and easily measured when the target is achieved. Objectives form a part of the goals to be completed by a given deadline.

It is challenging but possible and fact-oriented.

Objectives are tangible, have a timeframe, and measure how much target has been achieved. The organizations use the S.M.A.R.T. goal-setting method to define and measure the goals.

S.M.A.R.T is defined as,

  1. S – Specific
  2. M – Measurable
  3. A – Attainable
  4. R – Realistic
  5. T – Time-bound

The objectives define the action to be taken within a year to achieve a specific target. For example, suppose an organization’s goal is to achieve 30% extra revenue by 2022. In that case, the objectives are introducing a new product, research on market strategy, reducing additional cost, or target group, and so on.

The objectives are small chunks of goals divided to achieve in a specific period. And to reach the final result for an individual or an organization.

An organization’s objective can be divided among teams to achieve goals. Objectives are specific targets to be completed in a particular timeframe.

It also helps to develop the organization’s people’s skills and performance.

An individual or an organization’s goal is a long term expected outcome, whereas objectives are short term results of goals. Objectives can be changed if it is not lead toward achieving the goal.

If objectives are unclear, it will never lead to accomplishing goals.


What is Goal?

The goal is an achievement that individuals or organizations hope to achieve. It is a long-term outcome that wants to be fulfilled.

The goal is where you want to be in the future.

The goal is broad in scope and generic as well. It is intangible and may not be measurable where we are specifically.

It is large waiting for the final result for a more extended period.

The goal is based on the ideas of an individual or organization to accomplish in a more extended period. The goal is a direction for a business plan where you want to be in the future.

The goal can be used in company strategy, financial achievement, project accomplishment, or position in a company. The proper plan gives the inspiration to achieve where you want to be.

The goals have no specific time-bound or action on how to reach your goal.

The goal explains where you want to be in the future, not as objectives on how you plan to get there. The purpose is to help you to achieve goals.

The goal can also be set in individual life, covering all importance of your life such as career, finances, family, health, or physical appearance. Set that goal you genuinely want to do, not with the pressure of parents or friends. 

Organization goals are different from individual goals; individual goals think about, or dreams are involved in the goals. Organization goals set to benefit employers, employees, financial stability, to take place in the market, and to become successful as other companies or defeat other companies.

Typically individuals or organizations set a goal based on a goal that motivates them, on a SMART goat, writing in what is to be achieved, making an action plan, and sticking to the goal at any point.

goal 1

Main Differences Between Objective and Goal

  1. The main difference between an Objective and a goal is, Objective is a complete plan of action used to achieve goals. Usually, it has a shorter duration, while a goal is a long-term plan to achieve a more comprehensive vision with objectives as building blocks.
  2. The Objective has a narrow perspective and is specific to the target, while the goal has a broader outlook and generic approach toward the target.
  3. An objective is a subpart of the goals; it shall remain a part of the goal until completion. The goal has a more extended period and is a massive vision in which objectives play vital roles.
  4. Objectives are tangible and easily measurable. At the same time, Goals are intangible and may not be measured.
  5. Objectives are facts obtained to achieve goals and steps taken to achieve goals. Whereas, Goals are based on ideas and where you want to be in the future.
Difference Between Objective and Goal

  1. https://bizfluent.com/about-4710370-what-business-objective.html
  2. https://positivepsychology.com/goal-setting/
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