It’s all about the numbers, numbers, numbers! That’s right, business and metrics definitely go hand in hand. Every successful business has members of the executive team (or next-level team members) obsessing over achieving outcomes and taming those metrics. Most businesses are meant to make money, scale, and grow. This requires a powerful and seamless approach to Strategy execution. That’s where OKRs come in.
If you’re a returning reader of our blogs, you would be aware of OKRs (Objectives and Key Results), a strategy to execution framework that is taking the business world by storm. Having helped 5000+ teams track and manage OKRs, and over 40000+ OKRs being tracked on Fitbots's OKRs software, we have seen how businesses have transformed, underscored alignment, and managed with confidence quarter after quarter. Read more about OKRs in our OKRs primer.
As Albert Einstein said,
‘Not everything that can be counted counts, but not everything that counts can be counted.’
Rightly so, while OKRs place quantification, cadence, critical thinking, and shared commitments over everything else, this being a versatile framework can actually be used very effectively, in our professional and personal settings alike.
Before we start thinking deeply about OKRs in our personal lives, it's important to call out the difference between OKRs and Business… err Life-as-Usual activities. Let's call them the LAUs.
Well, these are a few examples of the routine LAUs that one would do, more often than not. It’s not that these are not important, they are required and must be done to sustain. However, OKRs are used to change something in one’s life to make one's progress.
OKRs is an acronym for Objectives and Key Results.
Objectives tell you “What do we need to achieve?” They are qualitative statements that must call out a business value. In the context of personal OKRs , the value is what it would do to one’s well being.
Key Results focus on the “How do we measure success?” You can think about Key Results like a Google Map, moving you from point A to B.
Key Results Start with a Verb + Metric to be measured and improved + movement from X to Y
Tasks/Initiatives which is “What do we need to do to get there? The Verbs in OKRs are important, as everything about OKRs is about moving the organization through actions!
Wellness can be both physical and mental wellness. But let's zone in on physical wellness. If you go back to the New Year's Resolutions, losing weight would have been top of the list! Or you would have looked at losing 20 pounds this year. This would be placed as a post-it on your refrigerator door, and probably long forgotten by the time you sunk your teeth into a cheeseburger.
To lose 20 pounds there’s a lot that one needs to measure and improve, before getting there.
Taking a cue from how OKRs are written, here’s how you could consider writing an Objective, followed by the key results. If you look at the Objective statement below, it's more than just losing weight. It’s about making lifestyle adjustments, to get healthier.
Objective: Stay committed to improving my lifestyle, in order to get healthier
KR 1: Reduce intake of carbs from 500 gms to 100 gms per day
KR 2: Increase avg days in the gym from 2 days to 4 days
KR 3: Increase my sleep time from 5 hours to 6.5 hours
KR 4: Reduce my weight from 150 to 130 pounds
Now, one may not get to weight loss immediately, but this definitely is a first step in getting there.
OKRs being a versatile framework, can be used to measure and improve something which is very close to one’s heart. You said it, time with our precious family. With busy work schedules, deadlines, marathon meetings, and more, sometimes time with family isn't always prioritized. When you think about an OKR around family time, it’s not only about increasing the time spent, but it’s about thinking about ways to improve emotional bonding as well.
Objective: Give undivided attention to my family to make them feel special ❤
KR 1: Increase the number of family dinners from 4 times a week to 6 times a week
KR 2: Reduce digital device addition during family time from 3 hours to 0
KR 3: Increase avg time per week on shared hobbies from 30 minutes to 3 hours
The great part about family time OKRs is that you could write them up to suit what's best for your family, and these can change every 90 days.
Learn continually - There’s always ‘one more thing’ to learn.
- Steve Jobs
Learning never stops. You would see the difference between professionals who learn and those who choose to be happy with where they are. You would see those who satiate their hunger for learning, by investing time and money in upskilling themselves to stay ahead of the curve. OKRs are truly well set when it comes to learning and development.
Objective: Place more time on learning new things to drive better performance
KR 1: Increase the number of management books read from 0 to 2 per month
KR 2: Increase avg number of video-based learning on technology from 2 hours to 4 hours per week
KR 3: Increase certifications obtained per quarter from 0 to 1
KR 4: Increase the number of networking conversations for learning from 2 to 4 per month
“Personal Branding is not about you. It’s about putting your stamp on the value you deliver to others”.
– William Arruda, Personal Branding Guru
Building a personal brand is important for personal and professional development. Each of us has a superpower that is unique to us, and this value is experienced by our friends, family, team members, managers, and more. If we were to consciously think about how building our personal brand can impact our life, the long-term benefits are immense.
Objective: Invest time in knowledge sharing in order to build recall
KR 1: Launch my personal website by December 09th
KR 2: Increase the number of followers on Medium from 10 to 1000
KR 3: Increase the number of blogs written for my personal website from 0 to 2 per month
KR 4: Get called for 1 speaking engagement
Global OKRs practitioners may argue that writing blogs could be a task/an input. We do see that when you are just starting out, there could be tasks that charade as Key Results. Calling them out to improve the metric, as you move forward quarter on quarter, can help you improve these OKRs.
But hey, a start is better than none at all!
‘No man (or woman) is happy or safe without a hobby.’
- William Osler
Building upon a hobby one is passionate about can have unimaginable benefits to one’s personal and professional life. Hobbies give you interesting experiences and stories to share with others. They get your mind to think about something other than the usual, and are a great stress reliever. In the best seller Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell repeatedly refers to the “10 000-hour rule,” asserting that the key to achieving true expertise in any skill is simply a matter of practicing, albeit in the correct way, for at least 10,000 hours.
While the ‘10000 hours’ did go through a bunch of myth-buster tests, one can take the essence of building OKRs to develop hobbies. Let's say one’s passion is pottery and one wishes to develop this further.
Objective: Be consistent in my pottery making to develop mastery
KR1: Increase avg time per week on Pottery from 30 min to 2 hours
KR2: Increase posts on Instagram and Pinterest from 1 to 3 per week
KR3: Create a community of pottery makers
We hope you enjoyed this post on Personal OKRs and use this versatile framework for your personal and business setting. Fitbots has worked with over 5000 teams in helping them get OKRs right and tracking powerful insights on our OKRs software. Click here to book a call with our OKRs expert on how we can help you get OKRs right, and manage them with powerful insights.
Free 21-day access when you sign up...