[Step by Step] : How to differentiate goals, strategies, and tactics

The term goal, strategy, and tactics are often super misused causing people to silently judge you. Until now!

in this article, you’ll learn the difference between goals, strategies, and tactics and some examples of creating a smart goal.

 are you excited?



What is a goal? Or what are goals?

What are goals? No, it’s not the thing soccer fans yell when a guy hit a ball to enter in the net. The term goal is defined by wikipedia as:

A goal is an idea of the future or desired result that a person or a group of people envision, plan and commit to achieve.

Simply put it’s a state or an end result you want to achieve.

The many types of goals.

There are many types of goals out there but we will focus on some key ones: personal goal and business goals.

What types of goals are there? Personal goals & business goals

Personal goals 

Are goals that individuals (like you) set for yourself outside of work in your personal life. Examples could be losing weight, running a 5k marathon, or even getting married by the age of 50. The key is the “outside of work” that helps you with individual fulfillment.

Business goals

Are goals that help the business thrive in a specific direction. Example, profitability, number of new users, staff retention and many more. If it helps a business to articulate a desired state then it’s a business goal.

Other types of goals

No one in the world has the monopoly on what makes a goal and what doesn't. It’s a subjective thing -  meaning it can vary by people, country, context and time. Simply put, don’t be too hung up on whether something is a “goal or not”. Instead focus on asking what is you want and make that as your goal



Can goals change?

Absolutely and it better be changing. As you achieve a goal, or you find a goal no longer feasible it’s best to have a self check to ensure that your goals are still valid. For example, if you’ve already achieved your dream of being a millionaire, time to create a new goal? Or alternatively, if you original goal was to be a millionaire but things didn’t work out, why not find goals that are more “manageable”.

What makes a good goal?

The gold standard for crafting goals are SMART goals. Yes - smart means something:

To make sure your goals are clear and reachable, each one should be:  Specific (simple, sensible, significant). Measurable (meaningful, motivating). Achievable (agreed, attainable). Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based). Time bound (time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive). Professor Rubin also notes that the definition of the SMART acronym may need updating to reflect the importance of efficacy and feedback. However, some authors have expanded it to include extra focus areas; SMARTER, for example, includes Evaluated and Reviewed.



Here are examples of SMART goal vs non-SMART Goal


Non-Smart Goal

“I want to lose weight”



I want to reduce my weight from 100kg to 80kg within 2 months.


Notice the difference? Notice how much clarity it gives you to make it?



Why are SMART goals important?

There are two key reasons: clarity and actionability.


Clarity - having a smart goal gives you a clear direction of where you want to head that you can measure and plot progress towards. Example, if you want to lose weight, you’ll be busy weighing yourself every week till you reach your desired goal. If you don’t craft smart goals, you’ll never be able to check progress and enforce accountability


Actionable - when you have clarity of goals, and it’s measurable you now get to intervene when necessary. Gaining too much pounds over the week? Time to cut down the coke or sodas. Notice how the act of explicitly mentioning your goals in a SMART method helps you to not only have direction but take actions necessary to achieve them.


So how do you create a SMART goal?

 We use the following sheet to craft our smart goal:

smart goal check list




Difference between goals, strategy and tactics

The best way to visualize the difference is through logic tree.

smart goal, tactics, strategy, logic, goals, difference



The goal covers the overall intention you're trying to achieve. The strategy cover the “things you’re going to do to achieve that intention” and “the tactics are how do you do the things you want to do”

If they sound similar, they can be confused and often are but here is an example to help you through:


smart goal, strategy, tactics, goals, difference,


notice how it makes so much sense? so congratulate yourself. you no longer feel confused.


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  • kouzhazyyz on

    Muchas gracias. ?Como puedo iniciar sesion?

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