Note from our Executive Director: Nicole Hodson 

Have you heard this old saying?

“How do you eat an elephant?”

“One bite at a time.”  (LOL!)

I love this saying for times when you have a big obstacle to overcome. “One bite at a time" is pretty wonderful advice!

What if You Don't Know Where to Start?

From where do you take that first bite? How do you know it’s the right first bite?
A colleague and I ran into this dilemma a few weeks ago. 

A little background – we’re embarking on a HUGE project. We have some of the basics down. But our idea is SO big that we’re struggling with drilling down to the core: that precise promise of what we will deliver.

Enter Kariman Pierce.

Kariman is NANP’s Board of Directors Secretary. Over the past couple of years, Kariman has been taking some in-depth leadership courses that have transformed her business and her vision of how she will contribute to our industry.

When she found out about our BIG project, she kindly offered to walk me and my colleague through a “Desired End State” exercise.

Sounds cool, right? Well, it was more than cool. It was educational and incredibly valuable.

A Desired End State

A Desired End State is a description of the desirable future environment upon successful completion of a plan.

This does not describe how you will create that future situation. It describes the environment that exists upon successful completion of the plan.

Kariman led us through a series of targeted questions:

  • “What problem will our project solve?”
  • “What obligation will we stand by?”
  • “What environments have created the problem?”
  • “What is the urgency of this project?”

Good questions. No doubt.

Here's the Kicker

The hardest part was looking at a negative Desired End State.

Yes, I said it… NE-GA-TIVE.

I know we try to steer completely clear of this word, but its importance in this process can’t be overstated.  

A negative Desired End State is a description of the un-desirable future environment if you should fail.

What a concept!

We had to consider what will happen if we don’t fulfill our obligation, if we don’t complete our plan. What are the potential ramifications if we don’t succeed in delivering on our promise?

This was the GOLD of the Desired End State process.

At the end of the process, we came away with a clear statement of what we are setting out to accomplish. And yes, even worse, we explored what happens if we don’t succeed.

Thanks to seeing both sides of the coin, we were able to get to the heart of our promise.

Can you relate? 

...For some of you, this may be drilling down to your niche.

...Or it may be that you want to put a program together, but don’t have a clear vision for it yet.

...Or maybe you want to write a book, but you can’t get to the essence of what you want to impart.

Whatever has stopped you from moving forward, Desired End State process might just be the help you need to get the gears in motion again.

We all want to leave our mark and make the world a healthier place. We can’t do that if we’re stumped on what to do next.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You might be surprised at how a clearer vision can move you closer to your dream of changing the world with nutrition.

Can you imagine a future if you don’t achieve your dream? 

Me either. 


Nicole Hodson, NC, BCHNTM
Executive Director, NANP

P.S.  If you’re stuck, please get ahold of Kariman. I’ve had the pleasure of working with her on a few projects. And, I am confident in her abilities and trust her implicitly. To reach Kariman, go to her website at and tell her Nicole sent you.