Goals and objectives are similar but require careful distinction.
A goal is a long-term objective. It’s what you’re aiming for over the course of many months or years.
An objective is a short-term goal. It’s what you’re aiming for over the course of one specific day or one specific week. trying to accomplish in the next week, next month, or next year.
They’re both helpful in various ways. A goal provides a direction, and objectives provide the details. But they’re not the same, and it’s important to understand the difference.
Why do we need goals?
Goals provide direction.
Human beings are goal-driven creatures. We want to know where we’re going and how to get there. We want our lives to make sense and be worthwhile.
We also want to feel in control. If you’re heading in the right direction, we’ll follow. If you want to make sure you’re heading in the right direction, then you need to set yourself a goal — like going to school each day, taking care of your homework, and coming back next week.
Setting goals helps us stay on track.
Whether it’s going to school every day, doing your homework each night, or coming back next week, setting goals helps you stay on track. It gives you something to look forward to.
It’s important to note that goals cannot be accomplished by simply giving people goals. That’s just about the definition of a goal. A goal is a long-term objective. It requires commitment and hard
A simple goal statement of “make money playing music” is simple but doesn’t explain how or why. It’s also likely to change over time.
Our mental models of goals are based on our understanding of how the world works.
Goals are like a human being’s long-term goals. They describe what we want to accomplish in the future.
Objectives are like a human being’s short-term goals. They describe what we want to accomplish right now.
Why do we need objectives?
An objective is necessary because we can’t always be sure that our goals will be accomplished.
Sometimes goals are too general. They don’t specifically describe what we want to accomplish.
Other times, goals are too specific. They will happen if you kill yourself trying to achieve them.
Most of the time, goals are somewhere in between.
For example, here’s a goal statement: “Develop a Giving Tuesday routine.”
This is a long-term goal. It tells us what we want to accomplish over the weeks and months ahead.
But here’s the thing: Even if we achieve this goal this week, we can’t be sure that will continue into future weeks or months.