I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions, but I do like to experiment with different personal challenges outside of work. So, this year I framed my challenges using the objectives and key results (OKRs) framework, which was originally developed at Intel when Andy Grove was CEO in the 1970s. If you are new to OKRs, watch the video on how Google uses the framework.

Since OKRs should be ambitious and public for everyone to see, here are my personal objectives for the year with the respective key results. Note that I like to write the key results in past tense, as if we were at the end of the period doing a retrospective. That way it helps me better visualize and decide on the expected (important) results.

Intellectual OKRs

Learn about nutrition science and improve cooking along with coding skills

I want to get an in-depth understanding of the current state of nutrition science and its impact on human health. Cooking and coding along the way would be a fun way to share what I learn.

It is a pity that we don’t teach nutrition in schools, not to mention the school lunch we provide to children. Though, if we are to help children have a healthy start at life we ought to also help all parents learn about nutrition and its impact on children's health.

Physical OKRs

Lose weight and get back in shape

  • Ran 1,000 kilometers (621 miles)
  • Weight has dropped from 86 kg (190 lbs) to 77 kg (170 lbs) by July and remains between 75-77 kg through December

I'm 180 cm (5.9 ft) tall and my weight has fluctuated between 75 and 85 kg over the last 10 years. I have noticed that I feel great and have the most energy when I weigh around 77 kg, so once I hit my target weight I plan to maintain it for the years to come with proper nutrition and exercise such as running. I was astonished to see the impact of exercise on my resting heart rate this past year as illustrated on the following two images.

Note that the intellectual and physical objectives complement each other to help me sustain their key results for a lifetime.

Social OKRs

Expand professional network in the Boston area

  • Attended 10 local events with a technology, software, healthcare or education theme
  • Made 30 good new contacts and got to know well 5 people with whom I would be excited to work with should an opportunity present itself (needless to say this goes both ways)

I moved to Boston, MA in January 2012 and it has been a great journey so far, but I really didn’t have the time or opportunity to meet like-minded professionals outside of work, so this year I will make it a priority.

Financial OKRs

Increase value of assets and experiment with options trading

  • Made 20% return on investments
  • Lost less than 50% from the allocated capital to options trading and learned a ton

I started trading stocks when I was in college and managed to lose the money I had saved for my last semester’s tuition, so I ended up taking another student loan to cover for it. But that was just the price I had to pay for the experience and I couldn’t have picked a “better time” to start buying long positions in stocks. It was the beginning of the 2008 financial crisis.

I started trading stocks again a few years ago using a simple strategy. Pick just a few stocks that are undervalued and I expect them to gain 20% or more in value after one year, though I look at a five year horizon when making my stock pick. I sell the stocks when they hit my target price, fall below 20% from the purchase price or one year has passed and I don’t expect the stock to exponentially grow in the next year. I managed to beat the market (S&P 500) in the last two years and I’m excited to experiment with options and see how 2017 goes.

I plan to share quarterly updates on my OKRs. Happy New Year and good luck with your goals.