Before you get too alarmed, the real elephants are safe.
But you metaphorical elephants, watch out! I know how to eat you…and I’m willing to share how.
Being as it is the start of a new year, many of us are focused on dreaming big. So we create to-do lists of resolutions and goals and pronounce that this year we will get them done. The best way to accomplish them, of course, is to stop listing and talking and just get after them.
Some of you may be familiar with Brian Tracy’s book “Eat that Frog” which focuses on productivity. The phrase refers to a saying attributed to Mark Twain about getting things done. As Mark Twain instructs, if your job every day is to eat a frog it is best do it first thing in the morning. In other words, do not put off the difficult tasks. If you get them done early you will feel successful and they won’t be stressing you out on your to-do list.
But what if your dream is really big or the task extremely challenging? What if it is something that cannot be accomplished in a single day? Don’t lose heart because it seems overwhelming. Think of it like this – all that’s happened is you’ve graduated from a frog to something bigger…an elephant!
But wait…how in the heck do you eat one of those?
Same way you eat a frog. One bite at a time.
When you break a larger project down into smaller parts, it is much easier to accomplish. Ever build a lego set? Yes, those ginormous Star Wars 1000+ pieces sets? You can’t put that together in an hour by just looking at the picture on the outside of the box. You have to use the (thick) instruction manual that breaks down the steps. Sometimes really granularly. But that helps you keep going, and be able to take a break without losing your spot.
That said, as the year goes on your patience will be challenged and doubt will creep in. Don’t worry, you will be successful. Know why? Because you’ve done it before. You have not gotten this far in life by accident. Think back to a big project you completed or remember other great accomplishments. Think back to where you were this time last year or the year before that. Take stock in how far you’ve come. Remember, it didn’t all happen overnight. It took time and persistence.
So continue to take one bite at a time of that elephant. Pretty soon you’ll have a clean plate.
Here’s to your success!
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Kevin Snyder is a husband, father, and an Orange County estate planning attorney and elder law attorney. He is all about family and has a passion for educating his community. He enjoys helping people protect what matters most and inspiring them to be the best versions of themselves they can be.