I spent the morning drafting six high level personal objectives that I would love to achieve in my life. They are generally unobtainable and very subjective objectives, but I think that is acceptable. I would love to achieve the unobtainable!
I have been reviewing the book, Measure what Matters by John Doerr. In that book he describes a process called OKRs, that I have referenced in the blog already. I have decided to get really serious about creating Objectives and Key Results in my personal life. I have written six objectives and they are focused on the areas of nutrition, advocacy, my role as a father, my role as a husband, wealth, and spiritual health.
When crafting an objective – it should be high level and not directly measurable. What gives you the ability to measure the objective is your ability to assign Key Results to the Objective. You do not want any more then 5 key results for any objective.
To give an example, here is my first objective:
I want to be in absolute top physical condition, leading a healthy lifestyle as measured by the following Key Results:
As you can see this objective is high level and subjective. I am now asking myself, how am I going to measure the success of my progress toward this objective. That is where Key Results come in. Key Results should be focused on a short period of time, no more then 3 months. In my case, I decided to review and grade my Key Results every 3 months (4 times a year).
The Key Results that I now have for this objective are:
- Run 10 miles on the morning of September 29
- Record an entire week of consuming a balanced, nutritional diet based on entirely whole foods by the end of September
- Perform 200 Pushups, Sit-ups and Squats in less than 30 minutes
- Get weight down to 225 pounds by the end of September
As you can see these are very measurable and objective. They are also short term and will be measured at the beginning of the next quarter of the year. Instead of having this vague concept of “be healthy” in my mind, I now know exactly what I am focusing on this quarter to get me closer to that objective that I have. I also am not focused on the “tasks” that I need to do. For example, Run 10 Miles on the morning of September 29th is a milestone for me. I have ran 8 miles, but not 10. This is a reachable target for me, but I am going to have to do some work. I cannot afford to be running 15 minute miles, I need to cut that down to less then 10 minutes and I need to be more consistent in my running. I will have to map out a 10 mile course, and I will need to be ready to go for that morning run. I will need to schedule this date and make sure my family knows that I am running that morning.
(side note: ok you runners out there, do not make fun of me. 10 miles is big for me, because I am an out of shape middle aged bureaucrat, you can probably do 10 miles in your sleep and at a 6 min/mile pace – but not I!)
However, note all these tasks are all aimed at accomplishing the same Key Result. I can measure how I am doing on getting to that Key Result. Right now on a scale of 1 to 10, I would give myself a 4. I am running everyday, but I need to seriously step it up if I want to be able to run faster, with more consistency. A good Key Result pushes you to figure out how to get there.
Each of these Key Results are something I can measure and track and gauge my progress on. Many of you may criticize the weight number, but in my defense, I know where I will land weight wise when my body fat is at the best level and my lean body mass is correct. I have been there before, so I sort of know where that needs to be. So I feel perfectly ok setting weight targets. Weigh targets are usually a poor Key Result. Live a healthy life and whatever your weight is after 4 years of living right, will be the correct weight for you. I happen to know that, based on experience, so I am comfortable setting that measure.
I am working on the Key Results for my other objectives. The hard part is coming up with something I can actually measure. That will take some creativity. Now that I have some Key Results built – the magic happens as you follow the 365 Commitment.
Every morning when I wake up to write down my 365 commitments for the day, I am now going to take a look at the Key Results that I have established and ask myself the killer question –
“What exactly am I going to do today to make sure that I get these Key Results accomplished?”
Guy Reams (211)