How Do You Eat An Elephant

How Do You Eat An Elephant

Have you ever heard the saying "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time."? This might sound bizarre but this saying applies to various aspects of life. It means that if you have a daunting task in front of you, you need to break it down into smaller, manageable pieces to achieve your end goal.

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  1. The Importance of Taking Small Steps
  2. How to Break Down a Big Goal
    1. Start by Defining the Ultimate Goal
    2. Create Milestones
    3. Develop a Plan
  3. How to Stay Focused and Motivated
    1. Set Reminders
    2. Celebrate Your Accomplishments
    3. Stay Accountable
  4. Conclusion

The Importance of Taking Small Steps

Whether it's a work project, personal goals, or even struggling with mental health, it is essential to take small steps. It's easy to feel overwhelmed when facing a mammoth task, but you can't let that stop you from achieving your objectives. By taking small steps, you can make significant progress towards your goal without feeling exhausted and burnt out.

How to Break Down a Big Goal

Breaking down a big goal into smaller tasks is an effective way to accomplish it. Here's how to do it:

Start by Defining the Ultimate Goal

The first step to breaking down big goals is determining the end goal. What do you want to achieve? What is the primary purpose of the task? Defining what you want to achieve is a crucial step in breaking down a big goal.

Create Milestones

Once you have identified the ultimate goal, the next step is outlining a series of milestones to help you achieve it. Milestones are significant accomplishments that help you track your progress towards the final goal.

For instance, if you are writing a book, your milestones could include creating an outline, writing a set number of chapters or pages, and editing the book. Each of these milestones gets you closer to the ultimate goal of finishing the book.

Develop a Plan

Create a plan on how to complete each milestone. Don't worry about every detail at the start, but come up with a general plan of action. This plan will give you a clear roadmap to work towards your target.

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For example, if your goal is to run a marathon, creating a plan could include daily runs of varying distances, scheduled rest days, and an overall timeline of when you'll increase your mileage.

How to Stay Focused and Motivated

Breaking down a big goal is easier said than done, especially when it comes to staying motivated throughout the process. Here are a few tips to help you remain focused:

Set Reminders

Set reminders to help you track your progress or remind you to work on specific tasks. You can use calendar alerts, apps, or sticky notes as reminders to keep yourself on track.

Celebrate Your Accomplishments

Celebrate every significant accomplishment towards your ultimate goal. This could be something as simple as treating yourself to your favorite meal or taking a day off to relax. Recognizing your progress boosts your motivation and helps you remain focused.

Stay Accountable

Find someone or a group of people who will keep you accountable throughout the process. Staying accountable keeps you motivated by reminding you of your goals and milestones.


The idea of "How do you eat an elephant?" applies to achieving any goal or task, no matter how big or small. Breaking it down into smaller, more manageable portions, setting up milestones and developing a plan, will help you achieve your end goal with ease. Remember, it's not about the speed at which you accomplish your goals. Instead, it is the persistence and determination towards your aspirations that matter. So, take small steps forward every day, and you'll eventually get there.

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