How Do You Eat an Elephant?

Posted on: Jan 30, 2014

Categories: Goal Setting

This is Caroline, Curtis’ marketing manager. As we examine the process of setting goals this month, I hope the following story inspires you to set manageable goals.

When we try to dream big, we want to achieve those big dreams right now, all at once. The problem with this is that as soon as you challenge myself to make a large commitment, set your bar high and your deadline soon, your fear of failure at such a huge task may keep you from ever starting.

Sometimes, setting really small, laughably achievable goals is the best way to make progress.

My college writing professor in was a published author, working on her second novel, and trying to balance her family life and her full-time teaching position. She had a lot on her plate.

In one of our classes, a student raised her hand and asked how she did it all. How did she have time to write? What kind of quota did she set for herself to keep her novel moving along?

“I write at least one word a day.”

Several of the students looked shocked. One word? That was it?

She went on to explain further, “I found that I needed to set a realistic goal for myself, otherwise I wouldn’t be motivated to write at all. So I made a commitment to write just one word a day. Even when I’m exhausted at the end of a long day, I’ll drag myself up to go write my one word, because I know I can always write at least one. Usually, that one word leads to ten more, sometimes a paragraph, sometimes a page. It all depends on the day. But I always write one word.”

Maybe you’ve never considered setting your goals so low, but sometimes the best way to reach your dreams is by accepting small challenges to work slowly and consistently towards your dream.

How do you eat an elephant? (Answer: One bite at a time.)

So what’s the elephant in your room that you need to begin taking one bite out of each day?

What goals have you failed to begin working on because you’ve set them too far beyond what you’re able to commit to at this point in your life? What goals do you need to break down into more manageable chunks? Take time to reflect on your progress, and look for areas in your life that are getting neglected. Rewrite that script today.


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