Objectives & Key Results are commonly used in companies to make business process and the interaction between management and employees simpler and more transparent. So most people think that this is the only usage of the OKR method. But this is not entirely correct.

Of course Objectives and Key Results come originally from companies and are hence perfectly usable in that sector, but we should remind ourselves what OKR actually are. As we mentioned in other articles Objectives & Key Results is a method to structure and especially achieve targets in the close future. Keeping that in mind we can see that the basic concept of OKR is actually usable in every meaning of life. OKR is a lifestyle!

Using OKR for personal motivation

How often do we find ourselves making new years resolutions and breaking them one week after the first of january? How often do we set ourselves goals we want to achieve in the future or next years and we still find ourselves stuck in the same position as we have been before! So how do we get out of this vicious circle? Yes true by using Objectives & Key Results! We can use this method for our personal motivation to keep track of our performance and to have clear targets in front of our eyes!
Let’s use weight loss as a common example. Let’s say our general goal would be looking better and being healthier. So how do we achieve that? By first setting an objective for the next year. We want to lose 20 kg in the common year and be able to run for 10 miles. This main target we again split in four objectives which we will use as milestones. The first objective would be losing 5 kg and building up ground stamina. The second would be lose another 5 kg and run for 4 miles without losing breath. The third could be lose another 5 kg and being able to run for 7 miles and the last objective would be to lose another 5 kg and run for full 10 miles without losing breath.
Now that we have set our objectives it will be necessary splitting them into Key Results. I will continue mentioning one key result per objective but of course you can and should set more key results. Keep in mind that Key Results are meant to be ticked off along the way to keep boosting your motivation and make sure that you stay on track. For the first objective one key result probably would be join a gym. The second one would need improve nutrition plan. The third objective could contain a key result like implement mountain running in training plan. And the last objective could have a key result like prepare for the 10 mile run.

OKR for self employed

If you have your own small business or are working as a freelancer you can still use Objectives and Key Results to structure your goals and targets for every year. Here again you need to proceed similarly like in the above mentioned examples. Quite often self employment leads to a lot of stress and endless working hours and still you always might have the feeling that there is much more to do or you haven’t achieved anything. This is a quite common phenomenon amongst self employed. That feeling that you still haven’t done enough, is quite often just a psychological factor and actually you have already done enough, you are just too focused on your work that you do not realize that. That is why working with OKR can actually help you structure your working hours more efficient and in the end you will also end up having more time for yourself as well as a more satisfied mind.
Why do OKR help self employed? Structuring your work days through OKR helps you plan ahead what the most important tasks are, also what is very important is that using this method you are able to control your working behavior and you prevent drifting into unnecessary work. You are able to remove distractions while also checking what you have accomplished along the way, what also gives you a satisfied feeling of achievement.

OKR in personal finance

You can already tell that OKR is a method that can basically be adopted to almost everything in life. One of our most favorite topics is personal finance, isn’t it? How many times do we check our bank accounts and wonder how are we able to make more money, or save more? Here again you might notice what we are talking about is merely a goal without a plan. Yes I want to make more money or yes I want to have more money in my pocket by the end of this year but then again the question will be how are we going to achieve that?
And of course we can rely on objectives and key results again. As we have defined our wish is to have more money in our pockets by the end of the year. Now it is on us to define our targets or better said our objectives. Let’s say by the end of the year we want to have an additional $10,000 in our pocket. So let’s brainstorm a bit how we could achieve that. One option would be work harder in our job to get a promotion, another option might be get a second job. Also we can consider starting a part time business or selling food on weekend markets or ice cream during the summer weekends. There you go some ideas to achieve that target now the whole process seems already more realistic doesn’t it? Ok now for simplicity let’s just use those ideas as quarterly objectives. Again for each objective you will need to set matching key results, like setting up an online store, getting a food selling license, acquiring a small stall at the weekend market or saving an ice cream contract with Nestlé. Those would be the key results by which you will measure your process in achieving your quarterly objectives. Which again will be your indicator of achieving your objective for the year.

So basically Objectives & Key Results can be used in all sorts of life, in some they might fit better than in others. OKR are a great way to organize your brain and work while being able to work structured without distractions and actually achieve targets and along the way you will have small feelings of achievement!

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