For this Ben Franklin Circle Host Forum, we interviewed BFC Host, Ryan Cooke to discuss the virtues and making commitments.

For review, the basic structure of a Ben Franklin Circle meeting is as follows:


  • Welcome/ review group guidelines
  • Discuss virtue
  • Make commitments


Virtues are aspirational and are not easily defined. We may never fully reach our aspirations towards these virtues which give us something to continuously work on.


After each meeting, Ryan sends a recap of the discussion and the commitments made. Halfway between meetings, he sends a reminder of the commitments to check in with the group as well as a preview of next virtue.


Here are some of the best practices we discussed for making 30-day commitments around the virtues:


  1. Make them SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic/Relatable, Time-Bound)

  2. Take inspiration from other hosts and the sample commitments provided in the Meeting Guides

  3. Start small by making micro commitments. Check out for inspiration.

  4. Track your progress. Use a paper calendar or an app track Streaks, like Jerry Seinfeld’s one joke a day habit

  5. Make the commitment appropriate to your readiness for change (see Stages of Change model)

  6. Work with others who can provide accountability

  7. Consider shared group commitments to work on together