From Whole To Bite Sized


You guys! This weekend I helped my husband tackle a huge elephant he had been dealing with.

It so perfectly illustrated the goal for this series that I have to share.

So my sweet husband had been getting frustrated with all of the piles in our bedroom and all of the “things” that were making up those piles. He was especially frustrated because they were his piles. And things came to a head when he declared on Saturday that he was ready to do something about it.

It seemed like a big project. He basically needed to clear off all of the surfaces in the bedroom; his dresser, nightstand and closet. And then he had to toss whatever he didn’t need to keep and figure out what to do with the rest. The goal was to have a place for everything and everything in a place.

Basically, he got several large paper bags and sorted the contents from all of the surfaces into several categories; personal, reference, work, etc.

I’m not sure I would have used his system but hey, it worked for him.

I was mostly around for moral support, offered a few tips and provided organization supplies. (Because really living with me is like having your own Office Depot) 🙂

Once he got started, he was on a roll. And by Sunday had completed the project. Yay!

Total eating elephants success story.

Friends, the thing whatever your big elephant thing is. It’s big, I know.

But here’s THE thing. It’s not getting any smaller.  When we just stare and freeze at the enormity of the task at hand, nothing changes.

If my husband had not acted, the piles would have just kept growing.

What we need to do is make a move.

Because movement creates momentum, even little progress creates flow and that’s what it takes to get started.

We need to stop staring at the “elephant” and start moving towards breaking it down into manageable, digestible bites.

How do we do that?

Well the number of bites will depend on your specific elephant. But let’s be general for a minute. Consider an actual elephant. It’s big, yes but it is made up of four legs, a big trunk, ears, etc. It’s made up of parts.

Likewise, you’re big scary thing is made up of bites, whether it’s:

  • Organizing your closets using the Kon Mari method
  • Losing weight
  • Scheduling weekly date nights
  • Raising a child
  • Starting a new business
  • Writing a book
  • Launching a blog

All of these big goals are made up of smaller pieces, right?

We need to start identifying the pieces that make up our own big, huge, scary “elephants”.

But let’s back up for a minute and talk about motivation real quick. Because the first real step in eating an elephant is being hungry enough.

So let’s first let’s look at the “why”. Before putting in the time to work towards and accomplishing this goal, I want you consider the motivation behind it. Why is this worthy use of your time?

In my husband’s example, he was tired of staring at the piles and not being able to find things. These are good motivation but an even greater reason was that piles accumulate dust and the dust aggravates my hubby’s allergies which can make him feel pretty miserable. So ultimately preventing allergy attacks was a pretty good motivator.

If there’s no good reason. Let it go and move on to another goal.

But if there is then tap into that and use it to motivate you to break down the “elephant.”

Some Possible whys:

  • health reasons
  • spending time with loved ones
  • feeling called to do something new
  • time for career change
  • have a message you need to share
  • want to learn a new skill

Today consider your own “why”, the motivation behind wanting to tackle your elephants. And then begin considering a “bite list”, what is your elephant made up of and what will it take for you to break it down into manageable pieces?

Join Christa tomorrow on her blog as she shares more tips and strategies for shifting our perspective from whole elephant to bite sized pieces.

And if you want accountability, support and extra resources for your own goals/projects/dreams?  Join us in the 31 Days of Eating Elephants Facebook group for all that and more!

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  1. The Kon Mari method is really fascinating to me. I already do a lot of her things just naturally. Maybe that needs to go on my Elephant List!

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