Once upon a time, a boy and his dad were spending some quality time together, when the boy suddenly blurred out, “dad I am so hungry I could eat an elephant!” In response to this hyperbole, the father asked, “son, how in the world would you do that?” “One bite at a time dad, one bite at a time,” the son remarked. Aside from the boys exaggeration, this is a perfect illustration, on how to eat an elephant, as it relates to achieving your set goals.

Set Goals
By now you may have realized that having goals in life is a necessity for success. Of course, without a target, their is nothing to pursue. As motivational speaker Zig Ziglar once said, “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” When setting goals divide them into long term or stretch goals and short-term goals. Your stretch goal is the big elephant here. Though your goal should be realistic it should also be big enough to scare and stretch you.

Once you have set your long term goal, say for the next 2-3 years, decide on those smaller goals that when achieved will take you closer to achieving your stretch goal. So if you want to build a wall in the next three months, just focus on laying one brick at a time. If you want to pay off your debt, just begin by paying down a portion of the debt each month.

Identify Challenges
Having decided on what your goal is, identify the possible challenges you may encounter in achieving the goal. Will it be procrastination? Will it be sleeping in too late? Will it be the temptation of paying that portion towards your debt? Whatever it is, identify it and then put systems in place as a way of navigating and negotiating these challenges.

This may mean getting an accountability partner, a coach or a mentor, who can keep you on track. It may also mean having your financial institution automatically deducting the monthly payment for your debt reduction plan.

Get to Work
Having gained clarity on your long-term and short-term goals, it’s time to take action. No plan will work, until you work. As you get to work remember not to focus on the entire elephant. Though you may want to take momentary glances at where you want to be, as a way of staying focus, remember that the best way to eat an elephant, is by taking one bite at a time.

So what’s your elephant? By when do you plan to eat it? What action will you take today to get you closer to achieving your goal. Make it a habit of doing at least one thing each day as a way of eating your elephant. Good luck!