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I will be the first person to admit that I am terrible when it comes to setting goals and objectives. In fact, I didn’t even know the difference between a goal and objective until this year.

Sad as it may seem, I have made it a goal to become better at making goals!

So, if you happen to be in the same boat as I was regarding not knowing the difference between a goal and an objective, let me simplify it for you. Goals are what you aspire to be, learn, or do. They are the vision and direction you wish to go. However, in order to meet these goals, you need to set actionable, measurable tasks, otherwise known as objectives. The goal is the what, the objective is the how.

For me this line of thinking was logical, as it aligns with the Agile principle of having a backlog item and breaking that backlog item down into tasks during the sprint planning session. Ultimately, with any complex problem, if you want to accomplish it, you need to break it down into manageable chunks.

Where I’ve failed in the past is I make these high flying goals for myself, without making the objectives necessary to achieve these goals. Year after year I have these mission statements of sort, yet don’t have a plan in place to execute on these statements.

This year, I’m holding myself to annual goals, with quarterly objectives. Hopefully this strategy will help me keep focus, while allowing me the flexibility to manipulate objectives without swaying from the ultimate goal.