Are Your Goals Going To Kill You?

detecto scale

Have you read about Monica Riley?  She’s a successful model with 20,000 online followers. Men pay to watch her eat 8,000 calories a day. Often fed to her by her boyfriend. THROUGH A FUNNEL!

She’s already 700 lbs. and on track to meet her goal of 1000 lbs. She wants to become the “fattest woman in the world.”


Normally I would be thrilled for her or anyone with a clear goal. But in this case, well, c’mon, this is madness. She actually wants to become housebound and build a bed with a toilet in it. 

Monica wants to get so big she won’t be able to walk, then her boyfriend will have to feed her and wait on her hand and foot so she’ll feel like a queen.

“I won’t stop until I’m too fat to move.”

Yes, this proves that some people are completely nuts, and there isn’t anything some men won’t pay to watch.

But in her quest for success, Monica has something to teach us all. First, she’s embraced her gifts. She was lousy at losing weight, so she’s doing what she’s good at. And she’s using the SMART method of goal setting. Goals should be Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Relevant and Time Bound.

She has a specific goal (1000lbs), it’s easily measured by stepping (or being hoisted) onto a scale, and she clearly is well on her way to achieving it. It is relevant to her career on “Big Beautiful Women” websites, and though I didn’t see it in her interview, the time for completion should be easy to calculate based on her current regimen and past results.

But there’s an obvious issue with this path she’s on. Being driven to achieve a goal is great – as long as the goal gets you to a better place. Though this may help her in her current career, the reason she’s big  news (sorry) right now, is because her goal could actually kill her.

I’m sure your goal for your creative work is far more sensible than this. But Monica’s goal should cause us all to reexamine our goals.

What the SMART model doesn’t take into account, is the alignment of our goals to our values. Will accomplishing our goal create the life we want to have for ourselves and our families?

Here are a few things to consider about values when setting goals for yourself.

Family – will my goal (job, business, screenplay) allow me to be fully present for my family? Will it take me away from them or cause me to be emotionally unavailable?

Monica and her boyfriend want to have children. She says she’ll hire a nanny to handle the able-bodied tasks of parenting when she’s too fat to move. Hey, lots of successful people hire nannies to parent their kids. Nothing wrong with that. But maybe she won’t be the healthiest role model for children…

Lifestyle – will I be able to maintain my lifestyle while pursuing this goal (learning to play accordion or trombone)? Will my other interests, communities or friends suffer (accordion probably; trombone definitely) while I’m away? Will it hurt my budget, or cut into my TV watching too much? Hey, things to consider.

Health – how will this effort (reality show, air guitar championship) impact my health? Will I still get enough exercise, sleep, and good nutrition? Or will this cause me to stress eat to 1000 lbs?

Future – will this goal (beauty pageant, political run, building an ark) set me up for success in the future? Will the time and effort I put into this build skills, contacts or experiences I need in my life? Will I be able to look back and say, ‘I’m glad I invested my life’s energy into this work?’

All these things need to go into your decision to launch a creative project.

If you’d be sacrificing things that go against your values, think again. Find another way or another project.

But if striving for and achieving this goal makes your life better in all ways, then go for it full throttle. I’ll cheer you on.

Just don’t ask me to hold your funnel…




5 thoughts on “Are Your Goals Going To Kill You?”

  1. Wow, I am so glad you did NOT put a picture of her on this post. There is something about her quest that really shows how insane this culture has become. That there are so many people actually “feeding off of her” quest to weigh 1000 pounds is sad. What a perfect way to illustrate SMART goals. Thank you Aram. This is a super helpful article.

  2. Thanks Don. I was tempted to show a picture. It’s enthralling to me. But decided it was just too shocking to see it here…

  3. Your judgement to NOT post an image is appreciated by those of us (at least me) who have eaten within an hour of reading this post.

  4. Good post, Aram! I’m in the middle of setting a big goal that could reap many personal growth / impact benefits down the road (no guarantees, of course) but will separate me from friends, family, familiar life for many months… doesn’t quite fit into your “all ways” mantra which makes it very challenging but imj still worth considering… thoughts?

    1. David, your big goal is worthy, no doubt. The separation is the cost, but you can still be connected to your family and friends through other means. If the upside is worth the cost, by all means, charge into the fray and fight for your future self.

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