What is the Difference Between Goals and Objectives?

The difference between goals and objectives: The objective is a plan of action taken to achieve the goals with the limited time in a specific objective. And Goal is a long-term result that people or organizations want to achieve.

Objectives and goals are the basis for achieving anything in life. When the organization or we have something to achieve, it is important to set objectives and goals. Most organizations or individuals get confused between objectives and goals and get confused.

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

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

The objective is the effort put into achieving a part of the proposed Goal. It is related to the time to achieve a specific or general goal. It is a kind of milestone for people or organizations to achieve goals.

Objectives are the individual’s or organization’s hope of achieving a certain goal in the future. It is a long-term result that must be achieved. It is completely generic, at the same time huge and wide in vision. A goal is the stated objective, while the objective is one of the ladders to achieve it.

Comparison Table Between Goals And Objectives




Action plan

Scope: Narrow
Purpose: Specific

Scope: broad
Objective: general

Time course

Usually a smaller period compared to the duration of the goal.

The target has a longer period.


easily measurable

It’s not that easy compared to goals.


The objectives are facts that are obtained to achieve the goals.

Goals are based on ideas


The objective is the steps taken to achieve a goal.

The goal is a destination decided to reach. Is an achievement.

What is the Goal?

The Objective is the actions or efforts of a person who plans to achieve goals or purposes. It is the milestones that help the individual or organization achieve its goals.

The goal is limited in scope, precise, tangible and easily measured when the goal is reached. The objectives are part of the goals to be achieved within a given period. It is challenging but possible and fact-oriented.

Objectives are tangible, have a time frame, and measure how far the goal has been achieved. Organizations use the SMART goal setting method to define and measure goals.

SMART is defined as,

  1. S – Specific
  2. M – medible
  3. A – Achievable
  4. A: realistic
  5. T – Fixed-term

Objectives define the actions to be taken in a year to achieve a specific objective. For example, if an organization’s goal is to achieve 30% additional revenue by 2022, the goals are to introduce a new product, research market strategy, reduce additional costs or target group, etc.

Goals are small chunks of goals that you break down to accomplish in a specific period. And to reach the final result of an individual or an organization.

An organization can divide an objective among teams to achieve goals. Objectives are specific goals that must be achieved within a specific timeframe. It also helps develop the skills and performance of people in the organization.

An individual’s or organization’s goal is an expected long-term result, whereas objectives are results of short-term goals. The objectives can be changed if it does not lead to achieving the goal. If the objectives are not clear, it will never lead to achieving the goals.

What is an Objective? 

The goal is an achievement that people or organizations hope to achieve in the future. It is a long-term result that you want to achieve. The goal is where you want to be in the future.

The goal is broad in scope and also generic. It is intangible, and it may not be possible to measure where we are specifically. It is great to expect the final result in a longer period.

The goal is based on the ideas of an individual or organization to achieve it in a longer 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, completion of a project, or position in a company. The right goal gives you the inspiration to get where you want to be. Goals do not have a specific time limit or action on reaching your goal.

The goal explains where you want to be in the future, not goals for how you plan to get there. Objectives help you achieve goals.

The goal can also be set in individual life, which can cover all the importance of your life, such as Career, finances, family, health or physical appearance. Set yourself that goal you want to do, not under pressure from your parents or friends.

Organizational goals are different from individual goals; individual goals think their dreams are involved in the goals. Organizational goals are set to benefit employers, employees, and financial stability, take place in the marketplace and succeed like other businesses or beat other businesses.

Normally, the individual or organization sets a goal based on the goal that motivates them, on a SMART goat, writing in what needs to be achieved, making a plan of action, and sticking to the goal at any time.

Main Differences Between Goals and Objectives 

  • The main difference between goals and objectives, i.e., an Objective is a complete plan of action used to achieve goals; it is usually of shorter duration, while a goal is a long-term plan to achieve a larger vision. Which has goals as building blocks.
  • The lens has a narrow perspective and is specific to the target, while the lens has a broader perspective and a generic focus on the target.
  • An objective is a subpart of the goals; it will remain part of the goal until it is completed. The goal has a longer period and is a huge vision in which the objectives play a vital role.
  • Goals are tangible and easily measurable. Although the Objectives are intangible and may not be measurable.
  • 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.


The goal and the goal are separate but related to each other. Without goals, we cannot achieve goals. The goal is a long-term result that can be set as an ambition, while goals help you achieve it smoothly. It is part of a series of goals and milestones that help us achieve them.

It is said that without goals, you cannot achieve goals, and you will never be what you want to be. Objectives are specific goals achieved within a specific time frame and can measure how much we have achieved. Once we learn the differences between objectives and goals, we will realize how important it is to set objectives and goals in an individual and an organization.

Courtesy: Queens College of Vocational Education

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