As someone with a keen interest in personal development and product management, blending the two into personal OKRs seems like a pretty good idea.
For those not in the know, OKRs are Objectives & Key Results. It’s essentially a framework for any entity, from an individual such as myself to a huge organisation, to set measurable goals and a way of tracking their outcomes.
If that still doesn’t make sense, a few minutes of Googling and some videos should do the trick. All it is, is a way of setting yourself goals but with the outcome of what you want in mind.
One of this ‘Os’ has a ‘KR’ of writing regularly, which translates well to writing about my Personal OKRs on Medium. Hopefully, after reading this, you’ll also see more or less where I’m coming from, and perhaps come up with your own.
With the background out of the way, let’s get into it:
The overarching objective here is simple:
Be in full-time employment or full-time higher education by October 2022.
From this, there’s a couple ways I can reach the objective: getting onto a grad scheme successfully, or enrolling onto a Masters course.
As the key results are straightforward and binary (I’m either in one or the other, or not), there’s not anything more specific worth going into.
To supplement this goal and stay on track, I will:
- Continue practicing one LeetCode question every weekday.
- Continue my current applications for MSc programmes and grad schemes
- Work on a personal software side project over the course of 1–2 month periods. Currently, I’m enjoying learning about Machine Learning in MATLAB, and so will focus efforts onto AI/ML in MATLAB and Python.
Making a quantifiable objective is tricky, but in a nutshell:
Be physically and mentally active enough to sustain generally good wellbeing
There’ll be good days, great days, bad days and stressful days, but as long as my overall mood is fair, I’ll count that as a success in 2022.
Like above, there’s a few ways I’ll be making sure to stay on track:
- Continue meditating and playing Sudoku on weekdays, for mental fitness
- Continue with Amateur Boxing or Thai Boxing (which one I stick with is highly dependent on the Omicron situation & any regional competitions) 3x per week
- Continue long-distance running, but reduce it to once a week to allow time for gym sessions and strength conditioning to supplement boxing training. 1–2 gym sessions per week.
It’s the last year of undergrad for me, and I don’t want to spend all of it doing work or applying for work. Keeping hobbies was hugely beneficial on keeping me entertained and generally focused during lockdown. Everyone needs one!
As this is specifically for past-times, it may not seem like something that can be ‘turned’ into an objective. But I’ve noticed myself that by neglecting hobbies and not consistently practicing whatever the activity is, I’m less inclined to pick it back up and tend to forget about it. So here goes:
Do at least one new, enjoyable thing every week, and get back to writing.
This one will be interesting to track over the year, as I’m sure it’ll be tricky to keep up with every consecutive week. But in a similar vein to Mike Boyd (who learns a new thing every month), I’m positive that doing one new thing every week will get me out of my comfort zone more and generally be worth it.
However, I have come up with a loophole to make this one more bearable:
- Continue with 15 minutes of harmonica and 15 minutes of reading a day
- Write more often: intentionally left generic as writing about a new topic will count towards my ‘new, enjoyable thing every week’
- Find more ‘off-line’ ways to spend weekends and try to achieve the once a week objective this way where possible
I’m a huge fan of reading, and definitely don’t want to slip back into not doing it consistently. As with harmonica, I’m finally getting good enough to play blues-y songs, and don’t want to lose the skills I’ve learned through YouTube.
There we have it!
A fairly short post, but getting it out online is a great way to hold myself accountable for this. This year, I’ll try to be much more visual in how I set and track goals, something which I’ll start doing this weekend and write about next week. In short, it’s a technique that Schwarzenegger used in Total Recall by making the steps towards his goals as visual and appealing as possible.
Thank you for reading :)