Personal OKRs


Creating OKRs from my New Year's Resolutions to help define clearer metrics for success

Posted 4 months ago

Personal OKRs

Two weeks ago I published a blog post on my New Year's Resolutions for 2019. I'm following up with this post to establish better metrics for my resolutions — to hold myself accountable and help me achieve my goals for the year.

I received feedback that some of my resolutions didn't have the best metrics defined. Without clear metrics to determine success, I can't say if I upheld my resolutions at the end of the year.

In an attempt to define better metrics for my resolutions, I made OKRs for them with key results to dictate if I'm successful in upholding them. They're not OKRs in the traditional sense where you define lofty objectives and try to reach 60% - 70% of your key results. I'm hoping to achieve 100% of my key results for each of these objectives; I would consider anything less than 90% on one to be a failing grade. Furthermore, I'm not doing these on a quarterly basis, but for the entire year.

Nevertheless, I'll jump right into it! 😁


1. Blog More 📝

Objective

Write more posts on my blog.

Key results

  • The total number of blog posts on my website is increased by twelve
  • At least one blog post is published for each month of the year

Why is this an objective?

  • Writing is an area I've traditionally struggled in; it's something I'd like to get better at it through practice. I would like to:
    • Become more articulate at conveying my thoughts
    • Develop my writing voice through writing technical and non-technical blog posts
  • I have a lot of topics I'd like to write about, but haven't had sufficient motivation to do so; by declaring this as a goal for the year I'm holding myself accountable to write more and "put myself out there"

What actions will I take?

  • Write, edit, and publish at least one blog post every month of the year

2. Maintain a Consistent Sleep Schedule 💤

Objective

Maintain a consistent sleep schedule for the year.

Key results

  • Keep the variance between when I go to sleep each day under 30 minutes for the year
  • Keep the variance between when I wake up each day under 30 minutes for the year
  • Sleep an average of 8 hours per night ±30 minutes for the year

The ±30 minutes is to account for variance added due to a smart alarm feature on an app I plan on using.

Why is this an objective?

  • I have a problem sleeping in due to snoozing or turning off my alarm in the morning
  • My most productive hours of the day are in the morning, which I usually sleep through during school when I don't have morning class
  • I often miss breakfast because I wake up too late, reducing the total number of calories I consume in the day
  • My circadian rhythm is out of sorts because of the high variance when I go to sleep each night and wake up each morning

What actions will I take?

  • Install an app called Pillow Automatic Sleep Tracker to take advantage of their smart alarm feature which can wake me up at the lightest possible sleep stage within half an hour of my scheduled alarm
  • Use the data from the app to track how many hours I'm sleeping each night
  • Use the data from the app to track the variance in times I go to bed and wake up
  • Get approximately 8 hours of sleep each night:
    • Go to sleep consistently at 12:00 AM
    • Keep my alarm consistently at 8:00 AM
  • In the evening write down a maximum of three things I plan to do in the morning

I think one reason I struggle getting out of bed is because I don't have sufficient motivation to do so. By writing down a maximum of three important things to complete the next morning, I'm hoping to have an easier time rationalizing not sleeping in when I'm in a hypnagogic state of consciousness.


3. Gain Some Muscle Weight 💪

Objective

Gain some weight.

Key results

  • Gain at least 11.5 lbs of weight by the end of 2019
  • Finish the year weighing above 150 lbs

Why is this an objective?

  • I'm under-weight for my height (6'2") and age (22)
  • I'd like to be a healthy weight for my height and age

What actions will I take?

  • Keep track of what I eat each day with Chronometer: a web app for counting calories and tracking diet and health metrics
  • Set a weight increase goal on Chronometer to gain 1/2 lbs of weight a week
  • Ensure I eat the recommended number of calories to meet my weight increase goals
  • Track my weight on a weekly basis to see if I'm gaining 1/2 lbs of weight a week as I expect to

4. Keep A Daily Journal 📓

Objective

Key results

Maintain a daily journal.

  • A journal entry is written every day of the year in emacs using org-journal

Why is this an objective?

  • I'd like to keep a record of what I've done throughout the year
  • I'd like to better organize my daily TODOs and objectives
  • I'd like to manage my calendar and events in my journal by leveraging functionality in emacs and org-agenda

What actions will I take?

  • Spend some time each morning and each evening writing down thoughts in my daily org-journal
  • Manage my daily/weekly tasks and objectives by utilizing Org mode's global TODO list across my journal files
  • Schedule meetings and events in my journal using Org mode's scheduling and deadline features for TODO tasks
  • Integrate my Google calendar within emacs and utilize calendar-mode features in my journal

5. Spend Less Time on Social Media 📸

Objective

Spend less time on social media by limiting the time I spend on facebook, twitter, instagram, and reddit.

Key results

  • I limit the time I spend on social media to 20 minutes per day

Why is this an objective?

  • I want to be more productive and better use the time I have in my day
  • I've have an issue with spending too much time on social media
  • The value I get out of social media isn't as good as the value I could get spending my time doing other things

What actions will I take?

  • Install the StayFocused chrome extension, which allows me to choose which websites I want to blacklist to limit the time spent on it
  • Blacklist Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Reddit on the extension
  • At the end of March reassess if I need to add other websites to the blacklist

6. Read More Books 📖

Objective

Read more books.

Key results

  • At least one book is read for each month of the year

Why is this an objective?

  • I enjoy reading and want to read more books
  • I haven't made time for reading since I started university

What actions will I take?

  • Read at 30 minutes every night before bed
  • Read at least one book a month for each month of the year

Any suggestions for books are more than welcome! Please contact me if you have any suggestions of books to read!


7. Record My First EP 🎧

Objective

Record and release my first EP by the end of 2019.

Key results

  • Five to eight songs written
  • Songs recorded and produced in a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)
  • Album uploaded to SoundCloud by December 31st, 2019

Why is this an objective?

  • Music has been an important part of my life since I was twelve
  • I've written several songs, but they haven't received the proper treatment they deserve — I want to record them and release them for other people to listen to
  • I've recorded a few songs on my SoundCloud a few years ago, but I was never happy with the production of the tracks or quality of the songs released

What actions will I take?

  • Learn a DAW (i.e., Logic Pro X, Pro Tools, Ableton Live) and sufficient recording techniques to record and produce the songs I'm writing
  • Write five to eight songs
  • Record my five to eight songs
  • Upload my EP to SoundCloud

Closing Words

I really do appreciate feedback on these posts because it helps me grow and develop as writer and person. Because of the feedback on my last post, I'll probably get a lot more value out of my resolutions for the year, by making them more specific and clearly defining the metrics for success to hold myself accountable.

"Read More Books" was a vague resolution to have. Not setting clear metrics for success meant the criteria by which I measured success varied greatly. For instance, reading a book a month versus reading one book an entire year both satisfy the goal "Read More Books", however, I'm getting much more value out of the case where I have the metric to read twelve books in the year.

Is defining personal OKRs for my resolutions a bit overkill?… Maybe, but I'll try it out and see how it works this year!


— Andrew Robert