Personal OKRs: A Goal Setting Technique that Turns your New Year’s Resolution into Reality

We believe almost everyone has written down New Year’s Resolutions. However, most of us found those yearnings rarely successful. 

So why do the written New Year’s Resolutions often fail?   

Planning new things at the start of the year is always exciting. However, the written oaths fade in a month or so, and the end of the year alights in the blink of an eye!

Grand big goals are usually set under the One-year-is-more-than-enough mindset. However, if you’re not naturally disciplined, you might begin to realize that the “one entire year” notion is overly optimistic! 

Even though there’s still plenty of time ahead, instead of feeling energetic, you probably don’t know “where to start”. So “leaving it there” might be a more preferred option. 

The less progress you see, the more desperate you will be. As a result, those goals may finally be called off just before Q1 ends. 

This is actually a blindspot of setting a major goal without splitting it into minor, smaller goals that you can practically take action.

This is how Personal OKRs will come to play.

In this article, we will share with you the meaning of Personal OKRs and how to use them to help you achieve what’s been written down in your New Year’s Resolutions.

What is the meaning of OKRs?  

OKRs = Objectives and Key Results

Objectives are the goals you set, which should be ambitious (a rather splendid one, but pretty difficult to achieve). These goals should be qualitative and considered important for your life, and you should have some ideas of an implementation plan in mind. To make you stay focused, there shouldn’t be more than 3-4 objectives each year.

Key Results are what you plan to do in order to achieve those objectives. To facilitate the assessment, Key Results work like Action Plans that come with an indicated quantity.

3 Steps of Personal OKRs and Examples 

Step 1: Indicate the Objective (O)

- Here's an example of Objective; Become a better business person.

Step 2: Determine Key Results (KRs)

- Below are examples of Key Results;

  • Read 52 books
  • Take 6 business-related courses
  • Take 6 soft skills courses 

Step 3: Evaluate and Review

In assessing OKRs, the “actual number” will be divided by “projected number”. For example, Key Result for the number of books being read is 52, while 32 is being counted as read at the end of year. So, the score will be 32/52 = 0.62.

The score ranges from 0 to 1. If it is somewhere between 0.6-0.8, it means you pass, whereas getting the score higher than 0.9-1 means that your goal is being set way too low (Try a higher target next time!). On the other way round, if your score is lower than 0.6, this means you don't pass.

Looking at the scale that points out success and failure. It is not a rigid rule though, as you can adapt when appropriate. Try the scale that fits yourself best (as this is your Personal OKRs!). 

Result Review 

Your Personal OKRs should be reviewed when a quarter ends, if things don’t work out after 3 months, your plan should be adjusted. It’s recommended to consider other methods so that your OKRs will be reached in the next quarter.

How to write Personal OKRs

There are 3 factors to take into account;

1. Scoring Assessment  

Using scale to measure if your goals are achieved, based on OKR measurement principles, can lift up assessment results. For example, previously you might evaluate the success of a goal by looking at the extent of the thing you’ve finished.

Well, let’s suppose you aim for reading 52 books, but only 32 are actually being read. Judging with the Typical New Year’s Resolutions, you fail.

However, your performance is graded 0.6 when using the OKR scoring, which is considered a pass, and Key Result of this resolution equals success. 

Psychologically, the OKRs methodology is encouraging, because it’s not just success and failure, but your endeavor and improvement do exist along the way.

For instance, if only 60% of what you aimed for is achieved, at least you’ve overcome more than half. So you can think of the “what’s next” to reach the 80% and forget about quitting. 

2. Breaking a major goal into smaller, practical goals

It’s recommended to plan your personal OKRs yearly (like you do with the New Year’s Resolutions). However, the difference is that OKRs are split by quarter in order to make it easier to assess, review and adapt your personal OKRs in the following quarter.

Each quarter, OKRs should be split into months (or weeks), as smaller intervals allow you to write “more practical” Key Results, and be willing to make changes in the next quarter if failed. 

3. Review, Reflect, Plan

Personal OKRs Review should not be done only by quarter. Instead, do it on a monthly and weekly basis. So that you will be able to keep yourself on track.

In each review, see what goals are being set, which one succeeds and which one fails. Then, review and reflect in order to improve them for next quarter. 

Technique to turn Personal OKRs into Reality

1. Prioritize 

Of course, in real life, there are issues that need your attention; be it career, health, money or relationship with family or friends.

However, your time is limited. You can’t ‘do’ everything and ‘be there’ for everyone. There should be something that is more important than others.

Don’t say everything is important because if everything is important to you, it means that nothing is really important to you.

Prioritize it!

2. Save yourself a date

Every weekend, you can have a date with yourself to complete your Weekly Review. Once you know your goals for the upcoming week, save a time slot in the calendar for yourself to see if your plan and time slot really align. 

Planning things ahead helps securing much more success. For example, book your time for article writing from 6-7 am or for jogging from 7-8 pm.

3. Making Personal OKRs visible to you every day!

Despite having a perfect plan, you will probably fail if those personal OKRs are “Invisible”; That is to say; you come across them at first when writing them down and when reviewing at the end of quarter. Even worse, you look at them again when Christmas is coming.  

If you want to make your OKRs visible, you can use 1% Planner which is built around OKRs concept so that, everyday, you will know what you have to do and you can keep yourself motivated. 

Conclusion

Using Personal OKRs along with New Year’s Resolution is not really a brand new stuff. Indeed, it is one of the methods that help you do goal setting, planning and reviewing. 

The key is to stay on track, not just setting goals and turning back to look at them as the year ends.    

The last advice from us is that it’s good to stick to the plan. However, humans like us can make mistakes. It’s important not to let failures discourage you; use them as lessons for your future endeavors. 

We hope the article will help you on goal setting to grow personally – without having to wait for another New Year :) 

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