Goals vs. Objectives

The terms Goals and Objectives are often confused with each other. In fact, we often use the two terms interchangeably. However, knowing the difference can help us to use both in a constructive way, to get us from where we are to where we want to go.

Both Goals and Objectives imply the target that one’s effort wants to achieve.

Goals are:
  • Broad and sometimes difficult to directly measure. We can think of goals as being the big picture that needs focus to achieve. The end result shows what the learner will gain from the instruction.
  • It has general intentions towards the attainment of something.
  • It usually has longer time-frame than objectives.
Example: To lose weight for healthy living.

Objectives have:
  • Similar definition with goals but is supposed to be a clear and measurable target.
  • The learner will know or will be able to do – as a result of engaging in learning activity.
  • Precise actions accomplished of a specific task.
  • Precise targets set for a short term. However, many objectives may be set within the goal.
Example: Lose weight of 20lbs within 60 days by:
  1. Keep proportions smaller than your fist.
  2. Control your hunger with filling foods that are low in calories.
  3. Keep track of what you eat.
  4. Make trade-offs to reduce how much sodium, saturate and trans fat and sugar you eat.
  5. Enjoy more physical activity.