Difference Between Goals and Targets

Goals vs Targets
 

Goals and Targets are two words used in the English language that show the difference between them when it comes to their usage. Goals refer to the ‘primary ambition’ that people cherish time and again to achieve. They are our ultimate desires. On the other hand, targets are aims we strive to reach. This is the basic difference between the two words goals and targets. This article attempts to clarify the difference between a goal and a target while providing a comprehensive understanding of each word.

What is a Goal?

A goal can be defined as the primary ambition that people cherish time and again to achieve. As human beings, we all have goals in life. These can be in our personal life or else in our professional life. In our personal life, our goal can be to lead a happy life with the ones that we love. In our professional life, it can be to achieve our highest potential. For example, a student can dream about being a professor one day. This is his ultimate goal.

Now, let us pay attention to the usage of the word. Observe the two sentences:

He achieved the goal of his life.

You strive hard to achieve your goal.

In both the sentences, the word goal is used in the sense of ‘primary ambition.’ Hence, the meaning of the first sentence would be ‘he achieved the primary ambition’ of his life. The meaning of the second sentence would be ‘you strive hard to achieve your primary ambition. This highlights that a goal refers to a clear ambition that an individual has been harboring. It is a much more long term and is can be very subjective.

Difference Between Goals and Targets

‘He achieved the goal of his life’

What is a Target?

The word targets refer to aims in general, and it has the figurative meaning of distance or mark. While a goal remains as an individual’s ultimate achievement, targets are what drive the individual towards his goal. For example, an individual can have targets for each year. Let us take the previous example of the student whose goal is to be a professor. Within his university years, his target would be performing well in his academics. Next his target would be to get involved in research agendas. Likewise, targets assist the student to slowly make his way towards his goal.

Now, let us move on to the usage of the word target. Observe the two sentences:

He reached his target with ease.

It was a difficult target to chase.

In the first sentence, you can find that the word target is used in the sense of ‘aim’ and hence, the meaning would be ‘he reached his aim with ease’. In the second sentence, the word target is used in the sense of ‘mark’ and hence, the sentence can be rewritten as ‘it was a difficult mark to chase.

‘ It is interesting to note that all targets reach towards goals. The converse is not true of course. Hence, it can be said that the word targets is the subset of the word goals. Goals are achieved by reaching the targets successfully. A goal can be only one in the life of man, but targets can be many. These are the important differences between the two words, namely, goals and targets.

 Goals vs Targets

‘He reached his target with ease’

What is the difference between Goals and Targets?

• Definitions of Goals and Targets:

• A goal can be defined as the primary ambition that people cherish time and again to achieve.

• The word target can be defined as an aim in general, and it has the figurative meaning of ‘distance’ or ‘mark.’

• Connection:

• It is through the achievement of targets that one can reach his goal.

• Importance:

• It is difficult to achieve a goal, without targets.

• Number:

• An individual can have many targets, but only a single goal in life.

• Direction:

• Targets have to be directed towards something; this direction is provided by the goal.

 

Images Courtesy:

  1. Success via Pixabay (Public Domain)
  2. Student via Wikicommons (Public Domain)