OKRs For Personal or Life Goals: How Do They Work?

OKRs For Personal or Life Goals: How Do They Work?

by Sam Prince


Published on 04.07.2019

Can OKRs work for personal or life goals? The OKR examples we so often hear about come from the business world that it’s an easy thing to wonder. But yes, OKRs are great for setting goals outside of the office. In fact, they’ve been used to help people build stronger bonds with their family, prepare for a marathon, and much more.

In an interview on Recode Decode, John Doerr was asked about his personal OKR. He answered, “You know, my daughters have both left home, but I had read and I believe that having family dinners together was a good thing. So, I set an OKR, shared it with my team to be home for dinner by 6:00 p.m. 20 nights a month and be present, turning off the phone. I put a switch on the router. We shut down the internet to the whole house.”

“It’s not only the quantity but the quality,” he added.

So, how would this personal OKR be written out to express his goal?

O: Have more quality family time as measured by:

KR1: Getting home for dinner by 6 p.m, 20 nights a month

KR2: Being present by turning off the internet router to eliminate distractions

And while it is a “personal” OKR, John was transparent from the get-go: he shared his goal with his team and family.

A similar set-up can be used for your personal fitness goals. Say it’s been a long winter and you haven’t gone on a run since early late September. On your first run of the year, you’re at a 9-minute mile when you used to be an 8-minute mile. There’s a 10k coming up early in June and you want to run it under 50 minutes. How could you use OKRs to train?

O: Train to run a 10K in under 50 minutes by June

KR1: Go for a run 3x/week for at least 30 minutes

KR2: Increase distance of run by 1 mile every week

KR3: Increase mile speed by 5 seconds every week

On top of it all, make sure to tell people about your plans to get back to an 8-minute mile and the 10k you will run at that speed.

Those are just a couple of WhatMatters.com team examples on how personal goals can be used for personal life goals.

Small reminder. These OKRs have to be just as specific and just as focused as any metrics you would use to craft your OKRs at work. Personal OKRs aren’t a “bucket list”, they are a means to think through how you will accomplish unambiguous life goals.

In a Medium post about personal OKRs, Christina Wodtke wrote how she used them to model herself as a professional author.

What sort of things in your personal life do you want to accomplish? How will you get there and who will you tell? As you plan, check out all FAQs, Resources, and Stories available right here on WhatMatters.com.

Sam Prince (@samprincetweets) is a journalist, storyteller, and the content strategist of WhatMatters.com. 


MORE

FAQ

"OKR" stands for "objective and key result." OKRs are a goal-setting tool that helps figure out what you want your team to accomplish and how to do it.

FAQ

What are some examples of OKRs and how do I write them? Get ideas for bettering your OKRs or compare your current ones to gain insight.

FAQ

Learn the best way to kickstart OKR adoption with these 4 steps that work for organizations, individual team members, and departments—with examples.

FAQ

What's the best way to give feedback to employees? Learn the difference between an ineffective work relationship and a great one here.

FAQ

If you're setting personal goals or professional goals, these 3 strategies are key for successful, smart goal setting.

FAQ

The most efficient companies can say no to any opportunity when necessary. OKRs provide a fair and transparent framework for doing so.

FAQ

Pairing quantity and quality key results is a great strategy to strengthen OKRs. Learn how to do it with these examples.

FAQ

Looking for some good examples of customer service or support OKRs? Check out these real-world examples to be inspired to be proactive with customer success.

FAQ

Bottom-up OKRs sparks innovation by freeing individual employees to be creative. Here are some examples.

FAQ

If you’re feeling that your OKR cycle is not working, take a step back and try to pinpoint the problem. Here are some ways to do that.

FAQ

Many people wonder "how to find my purpose." For most, it’s going to take spending time to find your passion. But this goal-planning technique can help hone in.

FAQ

Inputs are the tasks needed to be done to reach your goal. Outputs are the outcomes needed. Learn more about inputs vs. outputs here to write more powerful goals with OKRs.

FAQ

Great sales OKRs can take your sales team to the next level with these Objectives and Key Results examples. Use them to help with revenue and bridging the gap between company and customer.

FAQ

Marketing OKRs are great for teams both large and small because they help bring alignment across departments. Check out these good marketing OKR examples here.

FAQ

Committed or aspirational OKRs both serve different purposes and have separate ways they can be acted upon. Learn how here.

FAQ

When a new or significantly recalibrated high-level quarterly OKR comes up, what’s the best way to keep your team unified?

FAQ

Common OKR mistakes are all litmus tests to decide: Are you really measuring what matters? Check and see with these common OKR mistakes taken from Google’s OKR playbook.

FAQ

Cascading OKRs will help align the various teams and individuals across your company toward the same overall goals. Here are some examples.

FAQ

What is a good number of OKRs to have? When it comes to objectives and key results, what to focus on can seem like an objective itself. Here’s the answer.

FAQ

Why use OKRs? Because OKRs are about way more than just having goals. Objectives and key results help you articulate how you're going to achieve them.

FAQ

Are you looking for an OKR coach, speaker, or author? Let John Doerr and the "Measure What Matters" team guide you through OKRs with FAQs, Resources, and Stories.

FAQ

If you’re looking for paid ways to scale OKR adoption and usage across a company these tools might be something to look into.

FAQ

Organizations that are mission-based can be rewarding but it can be easy to drift from the original mission. Learn how OKRs are great for keeping nonprofits on-track.

FAQ

OKRs are great for software engineers because they prioritize ideas and assign metrics to completion. Get inspired by these real-world software engineering OKR examples here.

FAQ

The 5 key benefits of OKRs include focus, alignment, commitment, tracking, and stretching. Learn more about each of them and how they work here.

FAQ

A well-defined company purpose provides a clear vision and inspiration for your team. Learn how to find your company's mission with these strategies.

FAQ

“OKRs” stands for Objectives and Key Results. They are a tool used by individuals, teams, and companies like Google for setting ambitious goals.

FAQ

OKRs can be used for office administration to help improve productivity and efficiency across your entire operation. Learn how with these examples.

FAQ

If you’re approaching the end of on OKR cycle, it may be time to refresh on how to grade them. Here are some examples of how.

FAQ

What free tools and software are available for tracking OKRs? If you're looking for a budget-friendly way to commit to transparency, here are some ideas.

FAQ

Company-wide OKRs help align teams and provide clarity throughout entire organizations. Spark inspiration for your company with these examples.

Join the community

Join the community

Get exclusive guidance from John, Ryan, and the What Matters team by signing up for our weekly newsletter, Audacious. You’ll learn week-by-week how to sharpen your OKRs and stay on track to reach your goals.

Get exclusive guidance from John, Ryan, and the What Matters team by signing up for our weekly newsletter, Audacious. You’ll learn week-by-week how to sharpen your OKRs and stay on track to reach your goals.