How to Eat an Elephant and Other Ways to Smash Big Goals.

Elephants are large and so are some of the goals we set. A client once told me “my goals are too big and they scare me, so I scale them down so I feel more settled” This is  a feeling that I am sure most of us have had, that mighty “why bother” when we think of places we ought to go and the kind of people we hope to be. Dreaming small enough so we don’t scare ourselves from trying.  I am a big proponent of setting realistic, attainable goals, but I have come to realize that while great goals are scary; if I set a goal and set it right, it pushes me to new places.  Humanity would not have made the strides it has made today if people let their limitations decide their goals, we won’t be flying today if a person didn’t look at the sky and the birds in it and think, why can’t I do that? That’s a place I ought to explore.

The good news is that our scary goals can be explored, they can be achieved we won’t need sorcery all we need is a plan and the willingness to execute.


Here are 4 tried and tested ways to eat that elephant:


  1. Know your destination clearly: Here your destination is to have consumed the whole elephant; feet and toenails included. Getting to a location you don’t know is literarily mission impossible so clarity is a key aspect of achieving any big goal, whether it’s learning a new language, losing weight or having a profitable business. When you are clear on what the whole point is, you can draw on that even when times are hard and motivation is low.


  1. Think SMART: Smart goal setting is not a new idea and it’s being used in different places even in managing projects to help us attain the outcome we hope to see.

S: Specific; Skip the generalisations.  Your goals have to be clear

M: Measurable: How will you track your progress

A: Attainable: Can the goals be attained, harnessing all the resources available and your network, is this something you can attain?

R: Relevant: How does this goal tie into the grand scheme of things, does it bring you closer to eating the full elephant?

T: Time Bound: Set a time target a time when your goal has to be achieved by.

Keeping goals SMART keeps us in check and helps us remain accountable. Download our free goal setting template for your business to help you on your way to smarter goal setting and a Super 2019.


  1. A little at a time: No matter how big the elephant (your dream) as long as you deal in incremental stages, it is totally possible to consume the whole thing. Like my favourite, Confucius saying goes: (Insert Instagram Image) the man who moves the mountain, begins by carrying away small stones.


  1. Remain Accountable: Get yourself into a group or with a friend or with a business partner, who can keep you accountable to these goals. Someone you respect and can answer to and be honest with. Most of our goals fail or are derailed because we try to do this on our own. The power is in your community and in your network. Harness it.


Bonus Point: Celebrate the small wins: Especially when a goal may seem way off getting a little bit done at a time may seem like it’s taking forever. So, make it a habit to give yourself a pat on the back for incremental progress. It let’s you appreciate how far you have come and gives you a reason to keep pushing on.


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