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.


MORE

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

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

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 7 ways to do that.

FAQ

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

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 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

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

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

FAQ

OKRs are about way more than just having goals. Objectives and key results help you define and articulate how you're going to achieve them. Learn more here.

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

"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.

Hear from John

Get updates and exclusive access to content.

Hear from John

Get updates and exclusive access to content.