The OKR framework is a method that can be used to bridge the gap between strategy and the implementation of ambitious business goals. However, it can also be used for personal goals. OKR, which stands for “Objectives and Key Results”, has revolutionized the way the corporate world approaches goal setting. OKR allows teams to focus on the results of the bigger picture and achieve more than the team thought possible, even if they don't fully achieve the original goal.
Since the late 1990s, thousands of organizations and Fortune 500 companies worldwide have implemented the OKR framework to improve both team and individual performance and increase bottom line. What if you could use the same principles to achieve your personal goals? It is definitely possible to apply the OKR framework in a non-business context to map your future success.
Just as OKR enables companies to “work in a goal-oriented manner,” this framework can help you set goal-oriented goals in any area of your life. When it comes to your personal and financial goals, OKR can help you live your dream life. We'll share how OKR can be applied to your life in a non-business context and give actionable tips to maximize its principles. First, let's cover the basics of OKR.
Jump to our infographic or read on for a more complete description.
What is the OKR Framework? How it all started
Before setting your personal goals, it is important to understand the context of OKR development in order to understand their implications. The idea of OKR caught on in the 1990s after Andy Grove taught the principles to John Doerr, who both worked for Intel.
Doerr formalized the teachings of the OKR framework and authored the popular book Measure What Matters. The OKR framework is broken down into a target that encourages action, key outcomes that measure progress towards that goal, and initiatives that can make the key outcomes a reality. When Doerr introduced OKR to Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 1999, the duo used it to drive the tech giant's success. To this day, it is used by Google and countless other companies to set business goals and track progress.
Understanding Different Types of OKRs
When creating OKRs that will excel in your personal life, you need to be sure that they fuel your ambitions and yet are reasonable. Otherwise, it will be difficult to use a business-oriented framework as a growth tool for your personal and financial goals. We have described four popular varieties of OKRs here:
These OKRs are extremely achievable and should ultimately be 100 percent achieved. The success of a set goal usually has a direct impact on the quality of life.
example: Revise your personal time management system by the end of the month.
These OKRs are route goals with ideal results that still seem a little impossible. They are unlikely to be reached on the first try, but should remain on your personal OKR list until achieved – no matter how long it takes.
example: Start a side business based on a passion project.
Personal OKRs are the goals you focus on in order to make progress along the path to life achievement and general happiness. For example, you can start a new job that gives you meaning if you are not happy with your work life.
example: Find a new job by the end of the year.
These personal finance OKRs should train you to make better financial decisions while being reachable at the same time. Even if you are heavily in debt and living from paycheck to paycheck, the OKR framework can help you achieve your financial goals step by step.
example: Build an emergency fund in six months.
Setting different types of OKRs is easy, but achieving these types is the real challenge. It's hard to believe that 92 percent of people give up their New Year's resolutions, but it is evidence of poor goal setting. If you plan your future and finances with a reliable framework that you will love, you will improve your chances of achieving your goals.
5 tips for achieving your OKRs
Goals can be short-term goals that you can turn off in a few months, or big goals that can shift over years. At the end of a period, a key outcome is either met or not. With that in mind, here are some best practices to consider while tracking OKRs in your own life:
Set and revise goals frequently
Do not go for more than 3-5 OKRs every 3 months
Find a balance between an aggressive and an achievable goal
Treat yourself to a reliable tracking system
Update your progress regularly
Companies that are not innovative or do not take enough risks lose out in the long run. In the same way, if you don't challenge yourself in setting personal goals, you can feel disappointed. A system like the OKR framework is a great way to set ambitious goals that are both doable and worthwhile.
OKRs enable individuals to improve their financial health and achieve goals in the workplace through actionable, measurable steps. When you set meaningful OKRs, vague desires become concrete, achievable mini-goals. With the OKR framework, a large financial goal like saving up for a down payment or paying for your tuition becomes a set of quantifiable, repeatable tasks that you can reassess every few months.
Let's say you're trying to increase your salary by earning a promotion or finding a new job. By setting OKRs, you are forcing yourself to be realistic about your schedule for achievement. Instead of obsessing about getting promoted by the end of the year or adding a dollar amount to your salary, focus your energies on the most important results that get you there.
If you deal systematically and practically with your goal setting, you will maintain your dynamism and prevent demotivating disappointments. Check out our infographic below for some additional tips on how to effectively implement the goal setting framework.
In the simplest sense, goals describe where you are going, while key outcomes describe how you get there. Countless companies and even schools use OKRs to improve themselves. So why not apply this goal setting technique to your personal goals? One of the most important aspects of the OKR framework to remember is that it is designed to push you beyond your comfort zone in order to achieve greatness. Just as microlearning helps you achieve a big goal, OKRs allow you to break a daunting task into achievable ones.
Even if you start small with a few budgeting goals, your life path can change. You can lead a purposeful lifestyle that sees failure as a necessary part of learning and growth. Don't forget to visit our app to keep track of your purchases and take into account your spending habits.