Personal Goals

I have never found New Year’s resolutions particularly useful. The “standard” ones like “go to the gym” and “eat healthy” are worthy goals but lack specificity and clear quantifiable sub-goals. But all the talk of setting personal goals around this time of the year usually pushes me towards setting a few of my own, even if I am a few weeks late to the resolution game.

I came upon a video of a workshop by Google’s Rick Klau, How Google sets goals: OKRs, and immediately started to like the idea of using something similar to Google’s internal goal system, OKRs, as my own personal system for setting goals. Basically the system breaks down to having a small number of objectives that can be broad like the “standard” resolutions. Each of these objectives then has roughly four key results that are quantifiable. You set a period of time for the goals, in my case this academic term, and then at the end of that period you give a score between 0 and 1 for each key result and then average the score.

What I really like about this system is that it is designed so that you set goals such that it will be very difficult to attain 1 on each. You want to aim high and then hopefully attain roughly 70% of those lofty goals. Another important aspect for Google is that everyone’s OKRs are public (within the company) so that anyone can see what their co-workers are focusing on.

To give readers an idea what this looks like, and to make myself publicly accountable for my goals, below is a draft version of my OKR with a few omissions. I made the grade goals slightly less specific for posting on here but otherwise everything is exactly as written. I’ll make another post at the end of the term tallying up my score.

Objective: Maintain strong academic achievement

Key Results:

  • 8X% in STAT 302

  • 9X% in MATH 221

  • 9X% in CPSC 210

  • 8X% in COMM 486a


Objective: Gain experience through personal projects and self-direct learning

Key Results:

  • Complete two non-trivial Android apps

  • Successfully complete two hackathon events

  • Complete one Udacity data science course

  • Average one blog post a week


Objective: Improve health and fitness

Key Results:

  • Average four 20+ minute fitness sessions a week

  • Walk 5km+ every day

  • Deadlift 220lbs, Squat 190lbs, Benchpress 180lbs

  • Placeholder (waiting to figure out a baseline for another measurable health goal)

2 thoughts on “Personal Goals

  1. Pingback: Scoring my 2014 Winter/Spring Goals | Daniel's Blog

  2. Pingback: Summer Goals | Daniel's Blog

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