Set Goals the SMACKDOWN Way

blog Apr 10, 2023

When we lived in Brooklyn, New York, I remember going 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.” 

SMACKDOWN is a wrestling reference, and he teaches how to set goals SMACKDOWN way.  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. 

Here is your Roadmap to this blog:

It is important to know how to set and use goals

Let's explore the elements using SMACKDOWN

The difference between a WHY and a GOAL

Mistakes we are making

The cost of making these mistakes


This week's VFO (Valuable Free Offer)

Learn more in my books and course


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 is important. They 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. 

It’s important to know how to set and use goals along your Roadmap to Diet Success.

  • We often make the mistake of not understanding how to set and use goals to accomplish our dreams.
  • Here is how to successfully set goals the SMACK DOWN way:
  • Make your goals the SMACKDOWN way. Here is the way to work the word: 
    • S    Specific
    • M  Measurable
    • A   Achievable
    • C   Compatible
    • K   Keep it going
    • D   Do it
    • O   Own it
    • W  Write it down
    • N   NOW

Let's explore each element using SMACKDOWN

    • The way to work on a goal is to make it very specific. 
    • You might say: “My goal is to lose weight” or “My goal is to look good in clothes.” 
    • Both are admirable goals but will get you nowhere. 
    • Be specific: “My goal is to lose 50 pounds” or “My goal is to fit into my blue dress for the wedding.” 
    • Decide on the number of pounds to lose or the dress size you want to buy. 
    • It can also be something else unrelated to weight loss, such as how many steps you want to take or how many hours you want to aim to sleep each night. 
    • In this example, however, I am going to work with weight loss and dress size. 
    • Have the goal be measurable such as: “I have looked at the calendar and I know that at a healthy rate of two pounds a week, it is conceivable that I can lose 24 pounds in the three months for the wedding I am going to.” 
    • “If I lose 20 to 24 pounds, or even 15 pounds, in three months, I know I can fit into my size 16 dress for the wedding.”
    • Look at the calendar and then look at your lifestyle. 
    • See what can fit and what cannot fit. 
    • Fifty pounds in three months might be achievable if you barely eat and exercise all day, but is that likely to happen with the way you live your life? 
      • NO! 
    • To make it Achievable: Would 15 to 24 pounds be achievable if you (1) cut out snacks and night-time eating, (2) drink water instead of all that coffee and soda and (3) go walking on your lunch hour to make that goal achievable? 
      • YES! If you lost those 15 pounds, would fitting into a dress smaller by one to two sizes be achievable? YES!
    • As in the example above, look at the compatibility of your life with your goals. 
    • You may find it easy enough to cut out the snacking, drink more water and walk at lunch with the way you live your day, even with getting kids off to school in the morning, going to work, then coming home to homework, dinner and bedtime routines. 
      • Compatible? YES! 
    • Now let’s look at that dress for another layer of compatibility. 
    • You have a dress that you love in your closet that is two sizes too small. 
    • Is it achievable that you drop those two dress sizes in three months? 
    • Yes… BUT: you bought this dress five years ago before you had and breastfed two children and although you can go into a store and buy that size, is your bustline still compatible with those buttons? 

Okay, we can laugh, but compatibility takes on many forms and you need to be open to the fact that sometimes a goal is just not compatible in some way, shape or form. 

    • Pick a goal that you can sustain. 
    • If you have made your goal achievable and compatible, chances are you can see it through, but life happens and sometimes you can’t get out for those walks or cook dinner. 
    • For now, leave the Land of Perfection and enter the Land of Good Enough using the GBB (Good-Better-Best) method (which I have given to you in a download in an earlier episode or it is directly available at 
    • When we set ourselves up to work only in the Land of Perfection where only the BEST is acceptable, we jeopardize our chances of keeping the path to our goals open and clear. 
    • If you need to do fast food, order a salad and cut up a burger without the bun (or a grilled chicken) to put on top, go ahead and do that. 
    • If you can’t drink all your water one day, just do your best to be hydrated with non-sugar beverages.
    • If you are flat-out busy or exhausted and cannot go walking, do some ankle pumps and ankle circles to get the circulation going in your legs or just drop your head and try to reach the floor so you get a good stretch in. 
    • When you can do better, you will do better. 
    • But if you give up, then nothing gets done. 
  • DO IT
    • Come on, just pick a day and start. 
    • It doesn’t have to be a new week or a new month or even a new year.
    • A fresh start can start with your next meal or the next choice you make between soda and water. 
      • Do it! 
  • OWN IT 
    • Don’t do something because you want to please someone else. 
    • Do it because it’s right for you and will make you happy and healthy. 
    • Make this your journey with your decisions and your actions. 
      • Own it!
    • Don’t have your goals dance around like little sugar plum fairies in your head.
    • If you do that, then your goals will only be fairy tales and wishes. 
    • Work out your goal worksheet and pull out a calendar. 
      • Write it down!
  • NOW 
    • Not tomorrow, not next week, not next year. 
    • You might have a delay on the start (you need to get those walking shoes and go grocery shopping for healthy food), 
    • But you do not have to delay thinking about, writing out and planning your goals. 
      • Take out a piece of paper and do it Now!

The difference between a WHY and a GOAL

  • WHY is a general reason for doing something. 
  • My first WHY was to bring down my blood sugar so that I would not get diabetes and have to take medication. 
  • My first GOAL in order to accomplish that WHY was to eat in a way where my blood sugar at night before bed would be no higher than 110.
    • I further broke that goal down to things such as learn to use a nutrition tracker until I understood, just by looking at the food, how to divide 20 total carbohydrates between three meals and how to add fat to meals so would not be constantly hungry.
    • The WHY was general and more of an umbrella to the goals: I didn’t want to get diabetes.
    • The GOALS were specific to accomplish the WHY: Do what I need to do to eat in a way that lowers blood sugar such as counting carbohydrates. Move more because that also lowers blood sugar.
    • Each GOAL was Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Compatible, and I could Keep the behaviors necessary to keep it going.

There are a few mistakes that people make with setting goals when they don't set goals the SMACKDOWN way

  • First of all, we neglect to make them specific and measurable enough. 
  • Second, we don’t realize that, just as the WHY is an umbrella for GOALS, a goal is its own umbrella for action items.
  • 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.
  • You could do all that except for the last step and then have to start all over again. 
  • The mistake in setting goals is making them too lofty or not breaking them into manageable chunks.

The cost of making the mistakes is that you never get going

  • You might have every intention of bringing your lunch to work or going for a walk, but if you don’t really break these things down into bite-sized chunks, you might not even get started, let alone follow through. 
  • The bigger cost, once again, is that negative self-talk is loud and clear:
    • I’ll never get this right.
    • I can’t resist the pizza at lunch.
    • I will never get out for a walk.
    • I don’t know why I decide to do something and then can’t do it. What’s wrong with me?
    • This will never work.


  • 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 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:

    • S          Specific
    • M        Measurable
    • A         Achievable
    • C         Compatible
    • K         Keep it going
  • Are all criteria met so that the goal is workable and achievable? 
  • NOW write down:

    • D         Do it (when?)
    • O         Own it (am I doing this for ME?)
    • W        Write it down (come on, don’t just think it – ink it!)
    • N         NOW 
  • Then write down the steps you need to do to get to the goal.

    • Do you need to get some portable take-out containers to bring lunch to work?
    • Do you need to find your sneakers?
    • 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. 

This Week's VFO (Valuable Free Offer)

I would like to give you the worksheet to set goals the SMACKDOWN way that I have in my book, Breaking Free From Diet Prison and use in my course. There is a direct link to this below.

Learn more about this with my book and course

Book Breaking Free From Diet Prison: Common Sense Keto and Low Carb 

Course Keto and Low Carb Success

Goal-Setting the SMACKDOWN way

If you have enjoyed this blog and would like to listen to it as a podcast, it is at Keto and Low Carb Success Episode 5.  

Tips for Keeping a Food Journal - Part 1

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