Plans are worthless, planning is invaluable.
US President Eisenhower
As we are nearing 2020, the start of not only a new year but a new decade, I have started to retrospect on my progress in my personal goals and what I might want to set as New Years Resolutions, or Words of Intention as the cool kids say now, for 2020 and the coming decade.
But as I tried to take stock in my progress to date, I was having a hard time not only remembering what it was I was trying to do, but also in what way would I know if I was succeeding or not.
As an example, one of my goals this past year was “To help others grow”, which on its face is a very broad, opaque goal. Even worse, I had no definitions on what “help others grow” meant, how I might track if I am even doing it or not, or what I think a good metric for success would be.
I think with all of those things stacked against me, I was a huge underdog to being successful. In my eyes, looking back at it now, I had no way to succeed and I had only prepared myself for failure. Even worse, I feel, I had felt as if I was trying, as if I was succeeding. I spent a metric fuck ton of emotional effort to helping others but now that I try to quantify, try to judge, try to learn from my mistakes, I have no rubric for knowing what those mistakes were.
This year, I want to try something different. I want to try to keep track of my goals, specifically keeping track of what I am expecting myself to do, what success looks like, and what metric or rubric I will use to decide that. Which is exactly what OKRs are aimed at doing!
What are OKRs?
OKRs, or Objective and Key Results is
a framework for defining and tracking objectives and their outcomes.
which sounds pretty much like what I am lacking today!
We start by defining our Objectives, or the main, high-level, ambitious goals that we want to accomplish this year, around 3-5. Then, we create Key Results for each object, around 2-5 for each.
While the Objectives might be opaque or vague, the Key Results need to be extremely clear on not only the outcome expectation but also the rubric that you will judge success on.
For example, if I had used OKRs this past year, I would have created an object to Help Others Succeed. Then, I would start thinking of ways that I believe will help me achieve that goal. What are some things that I could say “If I had done XYZ, I know that I am progressing towards my Objective”?
Perhaps a Key Result might be
Have Open Office Every Tue and Thur from 5-8pm. Something that I can
say if I did accomplish it or if I didn’t and something that I believe will help progress me towards
Given the above, my Objectives for 2020 are
Have Passive Income
I want to be free of being a “real adult” and the only way to do that is to be making money that isn’t tied directly to salary/me trading an hour of my life directly for a \$. I am not sure which income streams will be the best or greatest but I do know that I need to start somewhere and that is what this Objective is all about.
- I have produced content on a bi-weekly basis
- I have written a book
- I have money inside of an Investment/Market and not a Savings/Checking Account
Increase Engineering Team Productivity
If I really want to be a force multiplier, I need to find a way to level-up those around me and make them as proficient and quick as I am. If I can’t do that, I will only ever be as good as my ego and mental state will allow me, neither of which can be trusted.
I want to ensure that I am actively trying to help them but I know that I can only lead a horse to water.
- Have bi-weekly 1:1s with every team member that wants one
- Write tutorials/docs specifically for each member/the team
Work Towards Internal Peace
Life sucks sometimes, ya know? I wish it didn’t and I’ve been upset for awhile that it does, but it’s time to learn to deal with it somehow. I want to work towards internal peace without being one of those people. It will be a fine line to be of the world but not it in but let’s try anyway!
- Meditate Daily
- Be present on Date Nights
- Journal once a week and retrospect once a month
I talked alot and made a lot of statements about what I was going to do. All of that is empty if I don’t actually do something. Below is a list of things that I need to do in order to ensure that I am making forward progress.