The Ultimate Goal Setting Blog Post!

Your One Stop Shop to Frame Out Health and Fitness Goals!

This blog post is designed to help you explore resources, and programs which will help you develop, and follow through on Health and Fitness Goals! Included in this post will be:

  1. Overview of “CoJourn” personal development program, and some sharing of my experience with the program.
  2. Video interview with Dr. Molly Keehn, Co-Founder of the CoJourn program.
  3. What a Personal Mission statement is, and how mission/purpose may be helpful in development of goals.
  4. Helpful tips to find the time you need to develop and accomplish goals!
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What is CoJourn?

In my own words, CoJourn is a personal development program, which combines goal setting and accountability with human connection. Please take a look at the CoJourn website for a more detailed breakdown in the words of the founders, and helpful resources, and contact information.

One key piece of research that backs up the accountability piece of CoJourn, when you write down a goal, you are 76% likely to follow through (compared to 35% when you don’t). If you tell someone your goals, you generate what the program calls “interpersonal accountability”, which can have an even more enhanced effect than personal accountability to yourself.

The very basics of the program in my own words are:

  1. Find a partner who will agree to meet with you (in person, phone, or video chat) once per week.
  2. Decide with your partner the length of time you will work together (3 months to a year, typically), develop a contract/agreement, and both of you sign it.
  3. Work with your partner and each of you develop your own “Guiding Theme” for the program, which is one broad focus area written in your own words that gets you excited to learn and improve.
  4. During your weekly meetings with your partner, develop goals (called “milestones”) which work towards your guiding theme, write these down, and track them.
  5. Celebrate your successes with your partner!
  6. Practice self compassion, if you don’t follow through on a goal when life happens, be kind to yourself and find something that is realistic for you at that time.
  7. Complete a reflection meeting with your partner at the end of your established time together, celebrate all of your goals accomplished and wins!

Interview with Dr. Molly Keehn, Co-Founder of CoJourn

Interview with Dr. Molly Keehn

CoJourn Interview Highlights

During our interview, Molly and I explore the foundations and structure of the CoJourn program. Molly also asks me some questions about personal experience with the program.

Why a Guiding Theme?

Molly explains that a Guiding theme is part of CoJourn to help us narrow our focus to a single area of improvement, rather than making many, individual, unrelated goals and trying to accomplish them all at once. I gave the example of having a new years resolution to fix many aspects of one’s life, and falling short of many of these goals. Molly references the proverb “chase two rabbits, and catch neither” to strengthen the case for a guiding theme during our interview.

Some examples of guiding themes related to Health and Fitness:

  • Turning my body into a healthy, high performing machine!
  • Becoming stronger and healthier, everyday (mine for 2020)
  • Focus on healthy living

Molly points out that Guiding Themes can designed to be very broad, or narrow, to fit your individual needs (that is why you create it).

The guiding theme in CoJourn is intended to help you find your own “why” for all of your smaller goals and milestones. The example that Molly shares in the interview when I ask her how a goal to lose 20 pounds fits into CoJourn, Molly suggests it is important to find out why someone wants to lose 20 pounds. Once we all do some work and discover why we want to make a change, we can use this to develop a memorable, empowering guiding theme.

What Are Path Maintenance Goals?

Molly and I also discuss path maintenance goals during our interview, and how they fit into CoJourn. Think of path maintenance goals as everyday, task related items, that may not be related to your guiding theme. If you need to trim your hedges or clean up your yard and keep blowing it off, that task is occupying time and mental space that could be utilized focusing on your guiding theme and milestones. Molly suggested using the weekly meetings and accountability structure of CoJourn to help accomplish important tasks which may be lurking on your to-do list, like taxes.

Weekly Milestones

Weekly milestones can be developed with your partner, for example “this week, I will wake up at 5 am on Friday to exercise.” You want to make sure that the majority of your milestones are SMART goals, please check out this previous blog post I created if you need any additional information on what SMART goals are and how to develop them.

One approach Molly discusses in the interview, is using weekly milestones to break larger goals down into more manageable steps. For example, if you want to make a lifestyle change like giving up added/processes sugar, use your weekly meetings to make a plan and give yourself gradual steps to accomplish this goal/lifestyle change. For example, “this week, I will drink a glass of water with lemon instead of a soda every time I crave a soda.”

My approach to CoJourn has been to create sustainable lifestyle changes that I can adopt within the accountability structure of my year long experience for 2020, and make them part of my routine moving forward.

For example, due to my Health focused guiding theme, I now have adopted the lifestyle change of grinding my own coffee beans. One of my other lifestyle changes (listening to educational podcasts) tuned me in to the importance of the freshness of coffee beans, and quality of the water used to brew. The podcast explained that once you grind a coffee bean, it starts the process of spoiling (unless preservatives are added).

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Develop Your Mission and Purpose

Another way to think about your purpose, is development of a personal Mission Statement. Most successful Companies have a Mission Statement, which guides all of the work performed, customer service, and corporate social responsibility. At a previous job, my executive director would tell employees at every level that they should be able to articulate how every job responsibility they perform in some way upholds the Mission; he would add that if anyone found this not to be the case, please contact him so that the responsibility in question could be reviewed.

A Personal Mission Statement applies the same principles that Companies use to your own life purpose. I wrote a guest blog post for the personal development blog It’s All About You Boo. If you are interested in looking into a personal Mission Statement and if it may be helpful for you, please take a look at my guest post!

Finding the Time

One thing I have learned over the years, and especially through my experience with CoJourn, is we all must make the time to prioritize our goals and development. CoJourn creates built in time, once per week, in which you are committed to sitting down with your partner and reviewing your progress. For me, this built in check in time motivates me to make time in my week to focus on and accomplish my goals.

Finding time for goals, or any personal priorities can be challenging with all of the demands on our day to day lives. I created a Blog Post which is written to help people take inventory on how we currently spend our time, and potential opportunities to improve time management, and finding time for what matters to us. The post is about finding time to exercise and meal prep etc, but can absolutely be applied to finding the time to prioritize goals, family time, and anything else we find important.

Go Get Your Goals!

This post was created to provide content and information to give you a set of resources that you can explore now, or later. I am committed to more blog posts about my CoJourn process during 2020, and I am excited to share out all of the progress I continue to make. Don’t wait until the New Year to start prioritize your goals and personal development, there is no time like now!