How Objectives and Goals Work For You

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When it comes to self help, you might find yourself getting overwhelmed by terminology: what exactly are goals and objectives and how do they relate? Goals are your overall dreams and wishes that you want to accomplish. Objectives are the individual steps and tasks that get you there. You will need both concepts to get where you want to be! 

Goals help you set clear benchmarks for your accomplishments...but you won’t know how to get there without setting objectives. On the flip side, setting objectives for yourself without setting goals can make you feel aimless or even make your achievements seem hollow. Knowing the terminology can help you use these concepts to better yourself!

What Exactly Are Goals?

Goals are the long term achievements you want to accomplish, or the results you want to see from all of your hard work. Goals may sometimes be a bit abstract — things like “I want to get in better shape” or “I want to make more friends” that can be hard to hold yourself accountable, but using objectives can help. Specific goals like “I want to run a 5k” can be easier to accomplish- but you still need to set objectives so you can see the path to your goal!

What Are Objectives?

Objectives are essentially the individual steps that lead you to your goal. These might be implemented into your daily or weekly routine. If you have a goal of cooking more, one of your objectives might be to learn a new recipe each week and cook something new every Friday. These tasks are best if they are achievable short-term and concrete. If your objectives are abstract, it can be much harder for you to hold yourself accountable and be sure that you are actually actively working toward your primary goal.

How To Use Objectives To Meet Your Goals

Objectives are a great way to break down goals into manageable pieces. Setting a goal, such as “I want a new career, utilizing my degree” can be overwhelming. However you can break a goal like that down into manageable objectives. This will help you get started and keep going as you will be able to see your progress. Maybe you won’t have the new job yet, but you’ll be able to see the steps you have taken toward your goals and will be much less likely to get discouraged. 

An Example You Can Use

Are you having a hard time breaking down your goals into objectives? Try following along with this example! Let’s say your goal is to read more. This goal is a little abstract and may take some effort on your part. Breaking this goal down into objectives might mean reading at least one book a week. As time goes on you will likely want to set more specific objectives such as wanting to read at least one piece of classic literature or month, or to devote an hour each week to researching books by marginalized authors to broaden your horizons. Using these objectives can create a clear path to your goals.

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