I read a lot, and especially read lots of blogs, quite a few of which are about productivity, and, when you read about productivity, you read a lot about goals.
Most of what I read about goal setting is confined to short-term and concrete goals. A few posts venture into the territory of larger life goals.
But, I don't think of my big-picture goals as goals at all. I think about them as aims.
When you shoot an arrow, you aim it, so that it goes in a certain direction.
On a different topic, but one that is related to this post, I enjoy anagrams. Often, when I think about words and the meanings of words, I flip the letters around and around in my mind. So, in one of those processes, I noticed this:
The word "goal", if you monkey with the letters, is: "a log". Something heavy. However, if there's a spark, a log can sustain a fire.
And the word aim: "I am". Something big picture, complete, beyond the short term. The spark behind the fire.
There's a lot of emphasis, in this culture, on goals. There's not a whole lot of emphasis on aims. Goals should be a means to an end, I think. But the end, the aim, is not a concrete end-point, but rather a path.
I'm going to leave this pondering open ended, for now.
How about you out there? Are you a determined goal setter and list maker? Do you think there's a difference between "goals" and "aims"? Or, am I just splitting hairs and thinking too much?