Difference Between Aims and Objectives

For individuals and businesses, aims and objectives are interlinked, with the former confirming the desire to achieve something, while the latter giving that very desire a strong foundation. However, both notions require careful understanding in order to ensure success in life and workplace.

Aims tend to be intangible in nature and could be termed as slightly vague if someone does not wish to follow up on it. For instance, you aim is to become a professional soccer player but if you don’t take measures to follow your aim, then it will be considered an imaginary thought. That is where your objectives come in to play where you take tangible measures to ensure that you achieve your aim. Similarly, for a business, the aim would be to increase sales but their objective will be to achieve it by a certain amount ( let say 10 %) in a set time frame ( six months). Your objectives will therefore follow a specific management strategy such as SMART ( specific, measurable, accurate, reasonable, time). However, your aim will not be bounded by any framework and will be a vague representation of your thoughts.

Your aim will be the base point of your new idea. For instance, having established a presence in the market, your business’ new aim may be to tap into a new audience or launch a new product. However, your objectives will the starting point of taking an viable action to insure that the new idea materializes or becomes a reality. For that, a business will declare the intention of launching a new product in the market, with the intention to meeting a sales target of 2 million.

As opposed to your aims, your objectives will be subject to scrutiny. Your aim will more or less remain same throughout a business cycle but your objectives can be reviewed, evaluated and modified according to the circumstances. For success driven employees, their aim may be the same, which is to find a rewarding job. However, they will reassess their objectives by taking into consideration market conditions, learning new skills, or gaining added experience or qualification. Same is true for a business, which will have a defined aim, but will work on various strategies to ensure that their objective is based on measurable outcomes. This way employees will know that their performances will be rewarded based on the objectives they have been able to meet.


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    Aims focus towards a specific target, but don't include practical considerations.

    Image Courtesy: brettablair.com

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    Objectives are the practical manifestations of aims.

    Image Courtesy: impactlearning.com

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