The words “objectives” and “goals” are often used interchangeably. However, they have two distinct meanings. Depending on where you work, even these meanings can differ. I follow the “OGSM” method, which stands for:
Objectives: Stated in words, what do you want to achieve?
Goals: Quantitative target of progress toward objective
Strategies: In words how will you obtain the goal?
Measures: Provide a numerical answer on your progress
Regardless of whether you call them objectives or goals, it is important that you not only define them and put them down in writing, but determine a strategy to achieve them. I find this useful not only for business planning, but in my personal life as well.
For example, I recently broke my foot. Unable to walk, I put on a few pounds (okay, several pounds). I started the Weight Watchers online plan. Weight Watchers gives me the tools I need to meet my objectives (fit into my clothes and live a healthier lifestyle). I set my goal in writing online (target weight). The strategy I use to achieve the goal is to digitally log and monitor the food I eat each day as well as the amount of exercise I get each day. Then comes the measurement piece. Each week I weigh myself to see how much closer I am to my goal. If I follow this plan I will definitely meet my objective and fit back into my old clothes.
Sounds easy right? That’s because this is a simple formula that can be applied to any aspect of your work or life. Think about your long-term objectives and start working on your plan today.