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Goal Setting is Like Eating an Elephant, but it Doesn’t Have to be that Way


Goal setting is like eating an elephant, but it doesn’t have to be that way. This may not sound politically correct, but the metaphor gives you a great visual. In front of you stands this BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal). This applies to the personal and/or business areas of your life. This BHAG may look like an elephant or some other large mass that makes you feel defeated before you even start.

When it comes to setting goals, procrastination usually sets in. The goal seems so big. Here are 3 steps to show you that, goal setting is like eating an elephant, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Step 1: End In Mind

Take a step back for a minute and look at what’s in front of you. Take a deep breath, quiet yourself and ask these questions.

  • What does this “elephant” look like?
  • Know your goal but break it down into general categories.
  • Why is this important to you?
  • How will you feel when you have arrived there?
  • Timing – map out your timeline and be realistic.

Step 2: First Bite

You’ve heard it said, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” This also applies to setting goals.

  • Make a list of tasks needed to get to your goal.
  • Identify your resources, make a list of essentials, but don’t let that stop you!
  • Look for a “coach” – there is always someone you can contact in your real and social network circle.
  • Or, utilize a professional therapist – we do have a coach that will work with you!
  • What is the clear time frame you need to be successful in this first step? 1 day, 1 week, 1 month?

Step 3: Celebration

It is easy to get so caught up in the plan of getting to our goal, that we often forget to look at our “wins.” Clarify what a “win” looks like… don’t assume you know it. Write it down.

  • Look at how you feel – let yourself feel.
  • Where would you go and what would you do?
  • Do you have a friend or partner with you? Write down why you want them with you at your celebration.
  • How does your celebration relate to your goal? Example: if you want to lose 10 pounds, will food be a part of your celebration?

Again, we all know that Goal Setting is Like Eating an Elephant. But…the best Ways to Eat an Elephant is one bite at a time. It may take awhile to get there, but with wins along the way and celebrations to enjoy, the goals you make are almost accomplished! Now it’s up to you to get started.  Ready…set…go!

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