How to Distinguish Between a Goal, a Project, and a Task

When your book writing dream remains a dream because you struggle to take action and follow through, you have a productivity problem. To fix the problem and turn you into a lean, mean, writing machine who finishes book after book, you need a mindset shift. That starts by understanding the difference between a goal, a project, and a task.

Listen to the podcast here.

What is a Goal?

A goal is an identity target (who you want to become) or a tangible target (what you wan to accomplish).

An identity goal is the kind of goal that matters in eternity. It’s based on your values, strengths, and character. You measure the success of your identity goal on your attitude and your habits.

A tangible target is easier to track and measure. It’s something specific and measurable you want to accomplish. A tangible target should:

  • Be grounded in your God-given identity
  • Be measured with time, emotion and/or logic markers
  • Pull you out of your comfort zone
  • Lead you toward your ultimate goal
  • Strengthen your relationship with God, strengthen your character, & improve at least one area of life.
  • Be a desired outcome with a deadline
  • Be an outcome you believe is possible, ask God for continually, and surrender to His control.

What is a Project?

A project is a collection of actions that result in achieving a goal.

So every goal you have needs at least one project to lead you toward that goal.

The purpose of every project should be to create an asset in the form of content, a skill, or health.

What is a Task?

A task is what you need to do to complete a step in a project.

Work gets done at the task level. The trick is to break tasks down into small enough chunks to complete in one sitting. That sitting could be 25 minutes, 60 minutes, 90 minutes or whatever block of time you prefer to work in. The task should be actionable, clear, and precise.


When you put those three things together—a goal, a project, and a task—you develop a powerful system for getting the right things done in the right order in the most efficient way.

Those are my definitions for a goal, a project, and a task. Now I’d like to hear from you. Leave a comment to share your own definitions.

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.