2022 Personal OKRs

Bill Johnson
6 min readJan 3, 2022


in 2021 I attempted to set (and meet) a collection of personal Objectives and Key Results (OKRs). This was an exercise in both getting more comfortable using the OKR framework as well as identifying areas in my personal life that I wanted to focus on changing. There were some missteps and poor planning but also some successes (You can see the results yourself) and overall, I felt it was a useful exercise for the year. I’m going to try this again in 2022 and have set the following as my OKRs:

Objective: Focus on Focusing

I set an objective last time of “Be more focused” and want to try to build off the relative success from that as well as get more targeted and challenging in how I apply my focus to combat the amount of context switching I do at work and in my personal life.

Key Result: Complete 10 books and summary/takeaway write-ups this calendar year
Copy-pasted from last years as I felt this was a good goal to continue forward. Reading books forces me to stay focused for longer than a tweet or random web article. The note-taking and summary write-ups have been good to better synthesize the content and give me a reference to look back on once my memory of it inevitably fades.

Key Result: Work less than 5 days during 26 weeks of the year
My attempt at creating more focus at work through scarcity of time while also forcing myself to step away more often. There are 8 calendar weeks that have company holidays and I’m giving myself those as “freebies” so really need to find 18 other weeks to have at least a 1/2 day off. I track my time and meeting types at work quite closely so I can fold this analysis into those established practices. Using this to encourage myself to take single or 1/2 days off as a small break and recovery instead of banking all my PTO for a big trips and powering through week after week.

Key Result: Keep daily phone screen time under 4 hrs
The reality of working in “tech” is that you use a lot of screens and use screens a lot (A LOT). I’m typically between 4 and 5 hours of phone screen time per day and can get over 7 on the higher end so this should be achievable but will take focus to get there. Of note, laptops, TVs, and tablet’s are not part of this calculation which is good because I typically read my books on my tablet.

Objective: Be A Better Citizen of the Planet

I want the planet to get better and am taking an active part in that both personally and professionally through many different avenues. This objective is focusing on my own accountability to the planet and ensuring that I am minimizing my impact or at least understanding what it is so that I can take specific steps to reduce it.

Key Result: Visit 3 National Parks
Copying this from last year as well since I did not meet the target and I think that exploring and appreciating nature is a big part of being a better overall citizen of the planet. If we don’t appreciate what we have and how rare and fortunate it is, then we aren’t incentivized to save it. For me, National Parks embody that and are intentional steps to allow people to gain that appreciation for truly magnificent things that only exist in a handful of other places in the world (if at all!)

Key Result: Keep Median Monthly Energy Usage for My Household Under 620kWh
In June I installed a Sense energy monitor for my home and have been fascinated with the data and insight it provides. This is an easy KR to measure now but will be a hard one to impact. I set 620 kWh as the target based on the previous 6 months of data I have so it is sort of a shot in the dark on how reasonable it is for the first 6 months. I’m using this KR to set a baseline for the household as well as put some data around when and why I should start doing upgrades like a heat pump, electric water tank, battery storage, or even solar panels (tall trees around us make it difficult to get a benefit from these). Having the baseline will also show the improvement these changes are directly responsible for.

Key Result: Offset 16x My 2021 Carbon Footprint
I estimated my 2021 carbon footprint to be 117,649 lbs of CO2 equivalent, or about 58.8 tons, which is 2–3x higher than the typical American. This is very much due to the amount of air travel I did in 2021. The real goal for the planet is reduction of emissions, not offsetting, but I wanted to make sure I am also accounting for my own emissions while looking to reduce. There are various ways to do offsets, Ecologi is a personal favorite, so I’m setting a sub-goal here of no more than 50% of the total can be used through a single offset system. I picked 16x because I my direct family, in-laws, and niece’s & nephews total 16 people. I’m looking to offset my equivalent CO2 as well as those closest to me.

Objective: Change Up My Historical Patterns and Tendencies

I really like this objective as it has the potential for the most growth and was the hardest to trim down to just 3 KRs. I am typically a creature of habit, but even more so during this global pandemic while I use familiarity for comfort and peace of mind. These are all somewhat smaller steps, but representative of large themes and I am hoping to use them as catalysts towards larger change going forward.

Key Result: Read 5 fiction books
I have actively stayed away from fiction books because I thought they provided lesser value overall for the effort. If I was going to spend the time reading, I wanted to learn about something new and real that I could use instead of a made-up story, world, or premise. I’ve dropped a couple fiction books into my lists recently and have found that I actually enjoy the possibilities and unknown of fiction stories and worlds that non-fiction can’t quite copy. It taps into my artistic side that I feel has fallen off in the recent years and want to try to re-activate it again. Feel free to send any good recommendations my way!

Key Result: Run with Other People (Non-races) 20 times
I love to run, and do a lot of it, but I seldom run with other people when I’m not coaching or in a race. This is because running is my quiet reflection time where I can get away from distractions and be alone with my thoughts — That has been a huge benefit during the last 2 years especially. In the name of breaking tendencies and also taking advantage of the excellent community's runners tend to build, I want to expand this out more and try sharing these runs with others. I have a lot of friends that run and a lot of runners I am “Strava-friends” with so sharing the roads and trails with these two groups is my ultimate goal. I set the number at 20 for the challenge of running more than once a month with people. Once seemed too easily and convenient to arrange and twice a month seemed a bit too difficult at this point with my schedule and calendar. I feel like this is either going to become the new normal for me or my effort will flame out after a month or two. Let’s see what happens!

Key Result: Initiate Contact with 6 Family Members or Friends Each Month
I ran into trouble in last year’s OKRs on just “connecting” with family and friends — there was no great way to measure it and have accountability on hitting the target. I am typically good about replying to texts, emails, and phone calls but am notoriously bad at being the one to reach out. It’s something I don’t like about myself but has become a hard-to-break habit for many reasons. I’m putting the accountability on myself this year to be the initiator so that I can better measure this but also to challenge myself to change one of my least favorite qualities about myself.

Happy New Year everyone! Let’s see how well I can make these happen in 2022. Feel free to keep track with me on GitHub!



Bill Johnson

Principal Engineering Manager for Azure by day, run coach for @teamchallengenw by night