Similarity and distinction between an objective and a goal
Similarity and distinction between an objective and a goal

Success is what each and everyone wants and the steps to be taken in getting to that point are very cardinal. Setting a goal is the key thing, because it becomes a driving force. And in order for that goal to be achieved it is important to have an objective that will be guide. Goals and objectives are similar in some way but the differences are many. Similarity and distinction between an objective and a goal is what we discuss in this article.


The words objective and goal are mostly interchangeably used. In terms of similarities, they both describe things that a person may want to achieve or attain. Both are desired outcomes of work done by a person. They both focus on achieving something in the future and moving forward. They are constantly motivated by the same thing and focus on achieving what is intended for.

Similarity and distinction between an objective and a goal

Similarity and distinction between an objective and a goal includes that, they are usually set with a time frame that a company or an individual is suppose to achieve the target within the deadline. Both give motivation and encourage the company, business or individual to work hard at meeting the target.

Top 10 Similarity and distinction between an objective and a goal

  1. Goals are defined as the target or purpose that a person imagines or plans to accomplish or to reach or to achieve in future. While objectives are the actions to be taken or plans for a shorter period in order to achieve the said goal.
  2. A goal cannot be measured because it is for a long period while an objective can be measured based on results for the specific period. For example an individual will set a goal to obtain a degree at the University but in order to do so he or she will need to set and objective to study every night for the assessments given in order to achieve that goal.
  3. The other distinction between a goal and an objective is that, a goal is more abstract than action oriented. It is a plan that is thought of but in order to achieve it actions need to be put in place which are the objectives. For example a company can set a goal to be the main supplier of drinks in a country. Certain measures will be out in place such as increasing the number of working hours and the number of workers which is an objective.
  4. Every individual decides what they want to become in the future and strives to achieve it. The goal is that point which a person envisions himself or herself, after a particular period of time. To achieve these goals, people usually put a timeline by setting objectives, so that they can reach their goal in the desired time. However, goals are long term.
  5. Goals are broad or wide in nature, while objectives are narrow. Goals are valuable for setting a general direction or vision, while objectives simply help in getting things done for that particular goal. A lot of sitting and planning adequately is needed when setting a goal while an objective can be thought of in a short time.
  6. The aim or target which one wants to achieve within a limited period is known as the objective. They are the milestones that help you to reach your goal. That is why they are also termed as subgoals. It is a stepping stone to reach a particular point. This is done in order to achieve the goal.
  7. Objectives are easily measured when the target is achieved. For example, A company wants to increase its sales by 50% in the upcoming six months and then when it hits the target it can be measured through the sales figure. On the other hand a goal cannot be measured because it can only be seen at the end of the plan.
  8. Objectives are narrow in scope, Specific steps, Associated with a schedule and time frame, The means to the end result, Easy to measure, Short term or medium term. While goals create a vision with a wide range, objectives focus on the individual, achievable outcomes.
  9. Objectives are the concrete deliverables that make the goal come to life. Progress towards them helps measure advancement to reaching the larger end goal.
  10. In conclusion, in as much as there is a minimal similarity between the a goal and an objective. The difference between the two should be understood so as to not interchange the terms or use them wrongly. That way it becomes clear on how to use them in the long run.

Article Written by Stella Bwalya from Lusaka Zambia

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