Nourish and Nurture

Setting Goals that Work

February 22, 2024 Season 4 Episode 90
Nourish and Nurture
Setting Goals that Work
Show Notes Transcript

Episode #90: Setting Goals That Work

This episode covers how to successfully set goals suggesting either the SMACKDOWN way or the SMART way. Learn about what Forbes magazine says is the successful way to work on your goals, and also the difference between operational goals, performance goals, and outcome goals. Discover what you can do to make your walking goal achievable - and it might just start with a pair of socks!

Miriam shares her own 2024 goal, starting with entering the 2024 UNSTOPPABLE CHALLENGE. Be sure to watch the videos below to see what has inspired her, and also visit the DDPY website (link also below) to see if this might be a path you want to explore for yourself.

Arthur Boorman Video
Jared Mollenkopf Video

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Episode #90  Setting Goals That Work!

You’re Listening to the Nourish and Nurture Podcast, Episode #90, Setting Goals That Work!


Did you know that you don't have to spend money on a diet program or even weigh, measure and track your food unless you want to? What if you could learn to have success by learning how to change your mindset so that you can believe in yourself, which is the cornerstone to weight loss success? What if you could learn about what foods work best in your body for weight loss and why they work? Join me, Miriam Hatoum, health coach, course creator and author, as I give you actionable coaching advice that is sure to empower you so that you will finally find peace with food and learn to trust your body’s signals. You’ve got this, girl.

I am celebrating Season 4 with a brand-new party dress, Nourish and Nurture. The title has changed but not the insightful advice and tips that you enjoy and look forward to. And now, you can get all my free guides that are designed to help you in your journey, in one place, at

Oh, and before we start, I want to let you know that the primary purpose of this podcast is to educate and does not constitute medical advice or services. And please know that I’m keeping up with the science as fast as I can so I can share with you the latest breaking research in this area to help you achieve your dreams!

Before I go on to the episode, I want to mention that there is a whole new look and feel to, and I would love you to go over and take a look. If you go to freebies, you will get all 9-bonus guides that I have given out over the course of this podcast, and now they are all in one place. Sign up for the newsletter and get an instant link!

 Now on to the Episode…

I have spoken in past episodes about how when we lived in Brooklyn, New York, I went to Madison Square Garden to see wrestling. Wrestlers were usually on our television a half dozen times a week and I knew them all. 

In the 1990s there was an up-and-coming wrestler, Diamond Dallas Page. He is the founder of a wonderful program called DDPY (Diamond Dallas Page Yoga) that started as “Yoga for Regular Guys” or “Not your Mama’s Yoga.” 

He has a great goal-setting technique that he refers to as SMACK DOWN (which is a wrestling reference). Also, while I am talking about Diamond Dallas Page here, I want to give a shout out to his book: Unstoppable.He is truly a remarkable man with a remarkable story. Not all diet inspiration comes from dieting stories. I suggest that you read this book somewhere along your journey. Stay tuned through the episode because I will share with you my life-changing experience because of this guy.

I have visited the topic of setting goals in past episodes, and indeed will do so again with this one, and so many people have asked for another goal-setting episode with a few new pointers, that here it is.

There is a saying that “All the wind in the world cannot help a sailor who has no destination.” Having some goals, even if they change constantly. Will help you get some direction with the wind in your sails. The goals you set will grow and develop as you grow and develop. They are not meant to be static.

And if you indulge me in another saying there is one by Maya Angelou that I am sure most of you have heard: “When you know better, you do better.”  

As you continue with your journey you will have more and more knowledge that will help you know, and thus do, better. 

 ·       We often make the mistake of not understanding how to set and use goals to accomplish our dreams.

·       Here is the SMACK DOWN method for setting goals:

·       To make your goals the SMACKDOWN way, here is the way to work the word: 

o   S    Specific

o   M  Measurable

o   A   Achievable

o   C   Compatible

o   K   Keep it going

o   D   Do it

o   O   Own it

o   W  Write it down

o   N   NOW

·       There are a few mistakes that people make with setting goals:

o   First of all, we neglect to make them specific and measurable enough. 

o   Second, we don’t realize that, just as the WHY is an umbrella for GOALS, a goal is its own umbrella for action items.

o   For instance, maybe a goal is to walk more. Fine and dandy but you could be thwarted for days with excuses until you break that down even further:

§  Lay out clothes the night before.

§  Check the weather report.

§  Get new sneakers.

§  Make time to get to the store to buy new sneakers.

§   Bring the right socks when I try on the sneakers, etc.

o   You could do all that except for the last step and then have to start all over again. 

o   The mistake in setting goals is making them too lofty or not breaking them into manageable chunks.

Before you set a goal, take a closer look at what you’re trying to achieve and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is it specific enough so I know where I'm going with it?
  • Is this goal something I truly want?
  • Is it important enough to pour hours of time and effort into it?
  • If you’re not willing to put in the time, it may not be worth pursuing.
  • If you create a long list of goals to pursue all at the same time, you may have a difficult time achieving any of them.
  • Instead, use the questions to determine which goals matter the most to you right now, and then focus on those few (or one).
  • Again: 
    • Is it specific enough so I know where I'm going with it?
    • Is this goal something I truly want?
    • Is it important enough to pour hours of time and effort into it?

Another popular acronym for setting goals is to set them the SMART way.

  • S  Specific
  • M  Measurable
  • A  Attainable
  • R  Realistic
  • T  Time-bound

With whatever acronym you choose, it is time to create an action plan.

Many people decide on a goal but never create an action plan to determine how exactly they will meet that goal.

Your action plan should include the overall goal you’re trying to meet and all the steps you need to take to get there - remember if you need new shoes, remember to bring your socks while shopping!

Don’t be afraid to get creative and inspirational with your action plan

  • Go back to your elementary school days, and get creative.
  • Who doesn't love shopping at Staples or the Dollar Store?
  • Write out your goal using crayons, markers, or colored pencils, for example.
  • According to Forbes, creating an action plan this way activates a different part of your brain and cements the goals in your mind.
  • Another Forbes article says: "The action plan needs to be inspirational rather than perceived as an assessment tool."

Another part of your action plan, that you might find useful is to use a timeline to help visualize tasks, milestones and deadlines to achieve your goal.

  • Once you’ve set those dates, try to stick to them as closely as possible.
  • A timeline creates a sense of urgency, which in turn motivates you to stay on schedule and finish your goal.
  • Re-evaluate and assess your progress
  • Consider a weekly evaluation and see how you are coming closer to the finish line.
  • Personally, this does not work for me because it adds to my anxiety which adds to the likelihood that I am not going to stick with something.
  • For me, I like to take the tortoise lane and just go where I am going, one slow step at a time.
  • But, make realistic adjustments that work for you.

State each goal as a positive statement – Express your goals positively – "I will work on losing a pound this week" is a much better goal than "Don't make stupid mistakes."

When you work out your SMACKDOWN or SMART map, be precise – Set precise goals, putting in dates, times and amounts so that you can measure achievement.

Set priorities – When you have several goals, give each a priority.

  • This helps you to avoid feeling overwhelmed by having too many goals, and helps to direct your attention to the most important ones.
  • Keep operational goals small and incremental.
  • Keep the low-level goals that you're working towards small and achievable.
  • If a goal is too large, then it can seem that you are not making progress towards it.
  • This means an ultimate goal might be to lose 50 pounds, but your "operational" goal will be to lose 1-2 pounds a week.

Set performance goals, not outcome goals.

  • You should take care to set goals over which you have as much control as possible.
  • In weight loss terms, I always said that if did the "right" things the weight would take care of itself.
  • So for me, I took those "operational" goals and brought them down to an achievable performance level (drinking water, for instance).
  • If you base your goals on actions you take, then you can keep control over the achievement of your goals, and draw satisfaction from them.
  • For example, an action goal might be to drink a glass of water before I have my coffee in the morning. I can take a lot of satisfaction from achieving that small goal.

Find your wins wherever and whenever you can.

  • The small things are important and add up in the long run.
  • Would I ever get to a fully hydrated day if I didn't establish having the full glass of water in the morning?
  • It is important to remember that failing to meet goals does not matter much, just as long as you learn from the experience.
  • You didn't meet your target weight loss this week? What did you learn?
  • Do you need to adjust the quantity of food you are eating?
  • Or the quality?
  • That you need to be patient?
  • That you have to re-assess to more realistic goals and actions?

After the actionable coaching advice for the week that I am going to give you next, I am going to talk about my own goals for this year, and what they have to do with Diamond Dallas’s UNSTOPPABLE attitude. 


·       Write a goal. Any goal. Immediate or something that might take a while to accomplish. You may have dozens of goals or you might have a burning goal that you want to tackle immediately. 

·       Put the  first one that comes to mind (it doesn’t have to be weight loss!) at the top of a sheet of paper. 

·       Write it out and answer:  WHAT IS MY GOAL?

·       Then follow with SMACKDOWN, each letter on a separate line:

o   S          Specific

o   M        Measurable

o   A         Achievable

o   C         Compatible

o   K         Keep it going 

·       Are all criteria met so that the goal is workable and achievable? 

·       NOW write down:

o   D         Do it (when?)

o   O         Own it (am I doing this for ME?)

o   W        Write it down (come on, don’t just think it – ink it!)

o   N         NOW 

·       Then write down the steps you need to do to get to the goal.

o   Do you need to get some portable take-out containers to bring lunch to work?

o   Do you need to find your sneakers?

o   Do you need new socks? 

·       Remember you can change your direction any time – changing your WHY from losing weight to get into a special dress to wanting to run a half-marathon. 

·       But your goals are the winds in those sails to get you anywhere at all.

So let me tell you about the wind in MY sails.

I have been dabbling in DDPY – which is Diamond Dallas Page Yoga – for 7 or 8 years. I have always come back to it, but I never stuck with it. However, I could never let it go. I knew from the day I discovered it, that it would be the lifelong program for me after watching Arthur Boorman’s video and then Jared Mollenkopf’s videos. I will put a link to both of them in the show notes and transcript because they are two success stories that you should not miss. This, however, is the year I am sticking with it. I joined the 2024 Positively Unstoppable Challenge, bought myself a heart monitor, hired a coach, and I have gone further in the past couple of months than I ever have in a lifetime of anything else. 

I had been trying to set my own SMACKDOWN goals but was having such a hard time with them. And here is the thing that my coach said to me that has made all the difference in the world. It is like a switch was thrown from dark into light, and I am now dedicated 100% to this challenge. I was watching other people’s posts and realized that I was having a hard time committing and making goals because I had no rock bottom that was spurring me on to move up and accomplish what I needed to in order to become successful in the challenge.

Sure, I would like to lose weight – who wouldn’t? But a long time ago I cut the connection between the number on the scale and how I felt about myself so, regardless of my weight, I feel good about myself. Sure it would be nice to be a couple of sizes smaller – and truth be told, I have a wardrobe that spans several sizes – but I have beautiful stylish clothes that I feel good wearing and always get compliments when I do. I am on no medication (other than something for my thyroid) and new doctors are always amazed when they ask what medication I take, and I pull out the one bottle. They expect diabetes medication, high blood pressure medication, etc., and are often startled that I am in such excellent health for my age and weight. Sure it would be nice to be more flexible, but you can’t hang your hat on that. I have grandkids that I have no trouble keeping up with, a husband who adores me just as I am, and a life – and actually health – that is lacking for nothing.

So this is where what my coach said to me flipped a switch. She said there is a difference between a PULL GOAL and a PUSH GOAL. A push goal is when you have bottomed out – whether it is your entire life or just an aspect of it, like not having clothes that fit or having grandkids that you can’t keep up with. I realized that I have no PUSH GOAL. AHA! But the other goal is a PULL GOAL. And that is where you are not being pushed, but you are being pulled toward things that you would like to have or be. EUREKA! I DO have pull goals:

 I want to be able to walk to and from the beach this summer, carrying a beach chair. No car, no cane, no nothing but my feet and a chair. I do want to be able to access those smaller clothes in my closet. I do want to increase my balance and flexibility which are so important as we age. I was able to see my future with PULL GOALS. NO, I don’t NEED to walk to the beach, get into smaller clothes or touch my toes, but the PULL of wanting these things is strong enough to get me into motion.

And just speaking of walking to the beach – what makes it difficult (now) is not the distance – it is a mile each way, but there is no way to get home from any direction, without climbing a huge hill. I looked up the elevation for my house and from sea level to my house is .2% of the way up Mt. Everest. That means if I walk that hill 500 times I will have climbed that mountain – in more ways than one. 

So this is my 2024 goal – to complete the Unstoppable Challenge (link in the show notes and transcript), which will filter out into all the things that I want for myself this year.  

 Coming up next week

Coming up in the next episode I will doing a very special episode! As I had told you I have new changes in 2024 – not just the name of the podcast! I have launched a brand new website. I am so proud of it, and it is beautiful and easy to navigate, if I do say so myself. The domain name is still and you can still get all the free bonus guides at, but the big news is that now I have three new courses. One is a revamp of my Keto and Low Carb Success course, and one is Understanding the Impact of the Food We Eat, which is basically what I cover in this podcast – things like getting rid of stubborn belly fat, understanding grains and legumes and their connection to inflammation and gluten intolerance, and the emotional and physical pull of sugar, along with other popular and interesting topics. 

But the BIG NEWS, and what I will talk about next week, is the third course which is brand new. It is “8 Strategies to Lose Weight Without Losing Your Mind.” This is where the “Nurture” side of the “Nourish and Nurture Podcast” comes from. It takes the frantic and craziness and hustle out of losing weight and instead nurtures you with calming strategies – some of which I have talked about in this podcast, including this week’s topic, Setting Goals that Work. Join me next week to hear all about it.

Please share the new Nourish and Nurture Podcast with your friends, and invite them to tune in with you and learn how to become free from diet prison. Please leave a review wherever you listen to your podcast. It helps other people find it by bringing it up in the various directories. Also, don’t be a stranger. Like or join my Facebook page, Breaking Free From Diet Prison, and let me know if there is anything you would like to hear on the show, and let me know you are a podcast listener. 

Until then, go live free from diet worry — I’ll see you back here next time. 

Arthur Boorman Video
Jared Mollenkopf Video