I've been asked by my employer to complete a "performance review". Within the context of my role at the company, it asks me for my

"Long and Short Term Objectives"

and my

"Personal Goals".

However, it seems to me that there is no difference between these two things. Can anyone explain what the difference might be.

  • possible duplicate of What is the difference between a goal and objective? Commented Nov 16, 2011 at 21:43
  • 4
    I would think the difference here might be less the goal/objective distinction and more the professional/personal one.
    – user13141
    Commented Nov 16, 2011 at 22:01
  • 3
    @FumbleFingers, I'd rather mark that one as a duplicate of this one because this one at least has some explanation of context. Is it poor form to mark an earlier question a dup of a later one? Commented Nov 16, 2011 at 22:06
  • @MonicaCellio Generally, yes, as the more recent asker should have done a better search and not needed to ask in the first place. However, in cases where the more recent one is more well-written and attracts better answers, I think it's more helpful to close the older one and direct people to the more useful one.
    – yoozer8
    Commented Nov 16, 2011 at 22:13
  • 2
    The relevant difference here isn't between "goals" and "objectives", but between "Long and Short Term" and "Personal".
    – Marthaª
    Commented Nov 17, 2011 at 0:38

3 Answers 3


In the bastardized language of business, a goal is a final destination. It's where you want to end up. An objective is a shorter term goal, used as a stepping stone on the way to the final goal.

For example, The Allied goal in Europe WWII was to capture Berlin and force Hitler to surrender. An objective along the way was to establish a beachhead in Normandy to allow the deployment of troops on the mainland.

In Business terms, your goal may be to retire as president of the corporation. An objective would be to become an Assistant Vice President in 5 years.

  • 2
    So goal=strategic and objective=tactical?
    – JeffSahol
    Commented Nov 17, 2011 at 0:18
  • Ok. But what about the difference between "long-term goal" and "objective".
    – Urbycoz
    Commented Nov 17, 2011 at 8:25

Shamelessly stolen from @onomatomaniak, but he's right: they asked for Personal Goals, in addition to "Long and Short Term Objectives" So I would say that the short term objectives are things like "bring budget in line with expectations for FY", long term would be "take over the company" and a personal goal would be "lose 43 pounds".


I tend to think of the difference in terms of sports... you have to score goals in order to meet your objective of winning the game.

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