This is just a little update regarding my experiment with OKRs. I’ve been using the method for over six months now and it’s proved to be the best approach I’ve ever used for managing my health and fitness. So much so, that I’m planning to write a more long-form post about it in the near future.

In the meantime, I’m going to publish little posts like this one, covering various facets of the system, how I use it and how I’ve evolved it to suit my needs.

Today I want to discuss how it works with holidays, off days, etc. If you haven’t already it’s worth reading my original post on OKRs first to understand just what the heck I’m on about.

To explain why this is even an issue, let’s use the ever common example of the five portions of fruit and vegetables per day. In simplistic terms, if I eat all my five portions that gives me an OKR score of 1. If I only eat 1 portion, that’s a 0.2 score. These daily scores are tallied up into an average for the month.

All well and good, right? But what if I go on holiday? Or what if I just want a lazy weekend? Do I still track it, even though I’m unlikely to get anywhere near a 1 score? Am I overthinking it? Does it ever matter? Yes, because it skews the results.

The crucial element of OKRs is the feedback it gives. The goal is an high score obviously, but getting 1 every time means my targets are too easy. An average of 0.5 tells me the key result needs a rethink. Getting an average around 0.8 suggests I’m on the right track.

While logging scores during an holiday period is good motivation not to go completely off the rails and pig out on buffets, it can throw off my scores somewhat. So now if I have a genuine excuse like I’m in a different country then I won’t log the results. If I’m just feeling low or want an “off” day, that’s fine, I’m only human. But that’s when the motivational aspect of OKRs really comes into play.

Just don’t mention Christmas…