Goals and Goal Setting

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What is the difference among Aims,Goals and objectives?

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Although the three terms are typically used interchangeably in regular discourse, the main difference among the three is how they are set, what they will be used for, and what purpose they will serve in the end. 

The formula is:

"You aim to accomplish a goal in order to achieve your objective"

Aiming is basically the first step of goal setting. Stemming mainly from emotion, the want to accomplish or earn something is the first necessary step to move on to the next component of achievement, which is the actual setting of the goal. An example of an aim is weight loss. Suppose that you want to feel better and look better, and you have decided that this may be possible if you lose weight. The next step is to figure out a plan to get that aim to come to life. This is how you set a goal. 

Compared to aiming, goal-setting is more concrete and it is both operational and systematic. A goal is determined by breaking down the objective at which we aim to get, but using a method, whether it is

  • how much 
  • by when
  • using what methods
  • whether in milestones or in one shot

When the goal is decided, it will also be determined there are milestones there, that is, whether you will go slowly so that your experiences help you learn more and make you become more steady at it. 

For example, if you must lose 40 pounds by Christmas, starving yourself, or overdoing the diet plan, may result in failure once you lose the 40 pounds: you will more than likely put all the weight back on. Hence, why not celebrate milestones that will keep you motivated to stick to the plan; for each "x" amount of weight you lose per month, you reward yourself with a treat, or by posting pictures of your progress, etc. 

Finally, the objective (what wants to be accomplished or earned), comes after the goal-setting process and the systematic following of such process has been done properly. 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
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