Why It’s Still Worth Being Ambitious This Year: Using OKRs to Guarantee Progress

Setting ambitious goals for 2021 with the OKR

Why It’s Still Worth Being Ambitious This Year: Using OKRs to Guarantee Progress

Many of us likely made plans that did not come to pass, given how 2020 ended up playing out. In years past, we’d start a new year with new plans and goals to accomplish. However, with a 2020 full of disrupted careers, networking events canceled or pushed online, diminished closeness with colleagues, and the blurring of boundaries between work and home responsibilities, many ended up with mindsets that favored practicing resilience over planning ambitiously for the future.

However, it’s still worth being optimistic and setting ambitious goals for yourself despite past disruptions. Something to look forward to in 2021 is the vaccine rollout in many parts of the world, which will mean a world closer to normal.

Although 2020 was full of disruptions, it doesn’t mean that you should make your goals any less ambitious, at least when plotting them. However, should still approach our goal setting differently this year by being aware of milestones reached, so we can pivot and adapt, or keep going depending on our progress. We can use the OKR system to combine ambitious goals with progress measuring.

Why OKRs? The OKR system is used by many Silicon Valley startups that are famously disruptive, and are suited for setting resolutions in a year that may be as tumultuous as the last can be likened to using the OKR system of goal setting, in a swiftly changing, disrupted, and dynamic business landscape. OKRs encourage you to stretch, which is to say set goals that might use up the limit of your manpower, resources, and capabilities. Or in less organizational terms, may lie slightly beyond your reach. That’s no reason to be demotivated though. As Larry Page of Google has stated, ‘I’d rather have the objective be to go to Mars, and if we fall short, we’ll get to the moon.’

What makes the OKR system so much more than ambitions filled with hot air is the way it incorporates key results as milestones, to see if you’re on track, or if the goal is even feasible or not. If the concept of key results is too formal for the activities you seek to accomplish, then at the very least, keep track of everything you’ve done related to that goal in a physical journal, or in your phone’s note app.

We hope that these ideas will help you start the new year with fresh goals and the motivation to accomplish them. Happy 2021!

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