The terms goals and objectives are often used interchangeably. So much so that people have come to believe that they mean the same thing. It's not surprising considering the internet is filled with contradictory information and legions of "experts" perpetuating the spread of misinformation. It's definitely not rocket science but to hit a target, it helps to know what it looks like. So let's shed some light on the differences between goals and objectives.
Goals :: are results you want to achieve medium to long term.
Objectives :: are specific, measurable results to be achieved by a certain date.
In other words, a goal is a description of a destination whereas an objective is a measure of the progress that is needed to get to the destination.
1. Increase revenues by 30%
2. Create 5 new products
3. Build 3 additional guest cabins
4. Transition our booking process to a live, web-based, reservation system
5. Target the Brazilian market
These are broad goals that are set to be achieved in the long term. You aren't going to write down "build 3 additional guest cabins" in your calendar because it's not something that you can get done by the end of the week. Goals involve many steps and leave you wondering "how" you're going to get that done (you'll figure out the "how" when you develop your strategies).
If one of your goal is to build 3 additional summer cabins, some of your objectives may include:
1. Schedule a meeting with mortgage specialist by October 9th 2012
2. Finalize architectural plans by January 28th 2013
3. Sign contract with the general contractor by February 19th 2013
4. Apply for building permit by February 26th 2013
5. Move kayak shed to new location by March 4th 2013
6. Fence off the construction area by March 8th 2013
7. Cut the 2 large cedar trees by March 21st 2013 8. Buy 3 new beds by June 25th 2013
9. Move the new furniture in the cabin by June 29th 2013
10. Inaugurate the new cabin by June 30th 2013
As you can see, objectives are much more specific and actionable. You immediately know what's involved in getting an objective accomplished. There may be a number of steps required to accomplish your objectives but they are relatively simple and obvious. You schedule those objectives in your calendar and you write them down on your to do list for the week.
Now that you're clear on the differences between goals and objectives, I'll show you:
Adventure Business Development 101 Series