THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GOAL AND VISION

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The buzzword for the season seems to be GOALS and VISION! However I noticed a lot of people use the word interchangeably and not too many people know the difference. Sometimes the thin lines between the two get quite blurry.

This article is designed to help you understand the difference between goal and vision.

A vision really is a clearly articulated, resulted oriented, picture of the future you intend to create. You can also say it is where you want to go even though you are unable to see the entire path. The focus here is on your destination. As you take each step, the next step becomes clear as long as you stay focused on your vision.

Goals on the other hand quantify and define the daily, weekly or monthly steps you must take. They are the milestones on your journey towards your vision of the future. They are the signposts that let you know you are moving in the right direction. They are measurable and answer questions like When? and How much? rather than Why? which is addressed by your vision. Goals give you the opportunity to celebrate success, to monitor your progress and to re-evaluate your vision in light of new circumstances.

To illustrate, having a goal to lose 3KG every month in 2017 is not a vision. But to achieve an overall fitness and healthy life style as you age is a vision.

Another example is deciding to increase your business weekly or monthly production capacity from say, 10 units a week to 50 units a week, is certainly not a vision but a goal. But a desire to become the company with the highest volume of production in a particular industry or sphere is a vision.

Yes, to create an effective vision, you have to free yourself from your current reality and think in terms of future possibilities while goals on the other hand look at the recent past as a starting point and build on that. It is incremental in nature.

In order to achieve your vision, you have to set goals. For example if your vision is to change the world than you have to set the goals to achieve your vision.

WHAT DO THEY HAVE IN COMMON?

  • Vision is the inspiration you need to set your goals.
  • Goals are the means to an end while the visions are an end in itself.
  • Visions will be unattainable when they are not coupled with goals.
  • Your visions will stretch as much as your imagination. However, your goals will stretch you.
  • Goals as the milestones on your journey towards your vision of the future.

10 DIFFERENCES

GOAL                               VISION

Life Span                          No Life Span

Requires Action               Requires Thought

Deadline                          No Deadline

Specific                           Foresight

Short-Term                      Long-Term

Create Checklists          Paint a Picture

Have Logic                    Have Dreams

Measurable                   Not Measurable

Realistic                        Futuristic

Tangible                        Intangible

Clearly both vision an goals are essential tools in the creation of a valuable, productive and happy life. So start today to work on your goals that will help you achieve your life’s vision.

Our next article will help us look at how to set effective goals and achieve them.