If you’ve been following this blog for a while now, you know we talk a lot about goal setting around here. Setting goals that are met using new, healthy habits is the only way to truly grow. In John Doerr’s Ted Talk “Why the secret to success is setting the right goals,” John discusses the secret to success: Objectives and Key Results, or OKR. This goal setting method was created by businessman, author, and engineer Andy Grove. While John Doerr was studying under Andy Grove, he told John “it does not matter what you know, execution is what matters most.” If you don’t go about achieving your goals in the right way, things may not turn how how you envisioned.

Growth doesn’t just happen because you declared a few goals. Andy’s OKR system was created to correct the wrongs that have previously plagued goal setters around the world. It’s a way to help goal setters aren’t just shooting in the dark, but are actively thinking about the method to and execution of their intentional goals. Let’s walk through it… Setting goals that are met using new, healthy habits is the only way to truly grow. Click To Tweet

First, define the right objectives

In order to set measurable, reachable goals, you have to define your objectives. That’s the “O” in OKR. Objectives are meant to be significant, action oriented, time bound and inspirational. They should represent the ‘what’ and ‘why’ of the goal you are trying to accomplish. Defining the right objectives will help you stick with it throughout the road toward your goal.
Objectives could be:

  • Drinking a gallon of water every day for the next 30 days so I can have more energy and in turn, give 100% to my team who needs me.
  • Saving $1,000 by Christmastime so I can take myself and my spouse on a mini vacation and finally relax.
  • Launching a new product in six months so that I can create a new revenue stream and not have to worry about money anymore.

Objectives should define what you want to accomplish and when, but also dig deep down to answer why it’s so important to you. What will keep you motivated? Growth doesn’t just happen because you declared a few goals. Click To Tweet

Next, think of your key results

The second part of the OKR system is your key results. These results should be specific, aggressive (yet realistic), measurable, and reliable. Key results represent how you will go about executing this goal, and must be organized in an achievable, but also challenging manner. (If it’s too attainable, what’s the point of making it a goal?)

If your goal is to lose a certain amount of weight or save a specific amount of money, those are great metrics to work from! If it’s based on performance, like the objective above about giving your team 100%, one of your key results may be a performance evaluation on how things have changed for you.

While the ‘whats’ and ‘hows’ of this process are very important, the reason behind your passions is one of the key aspects to achieving anything. As John said in his Ted Talk, a lot of people lack purpose — which makes it difficult to get anything done. You need to have a reason to complete it. Everyone has a different ‘why’ depending on their personal experiences and passions. Find yours!

To get started, put a lot of thought into your values, objectives, and key results, and write them down. To learn more about OKR and improve your leadership skills, check out this resource!


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