Eating the Elephant


I am a huge fan of big, bold and aggressive goals.

I think goals need to be inspirational in nature, so they need to be pushing the boundaries, hence my love of audacious goal.

However, once these goals have been set, then they need to be met.

I always find its important to remember the old adage, “if your going to try eat an Elephant, then eat it one slice at time”.

This is true of big audacious goals too.  We need to have a clear step by set approach for how we are going to acheive it.

Usually for big audacious goals we have a timeframe that we are working towards and if the target is big enough then usually it won’t be against a too aggressive timescale.

For my goal, of running a Marathon, I have given myself 12 months to prepare and complete it, which is still an aggressive goal for a non runner, who is way out of shape.

At work I have set ambitious goals too, such as increasing on-time delivery from 26% to 80% over a 12 month period too, reducing outages by 90% within a 12 month period, etc.

These were all big, bold, ambitious goals.

We need to ensure that every day we make progress, even if its only small amount of progress, in order to build both confidence and momentum.

With my marathon training, my first training run was barely 15 minutes, which is nothing when you consider that I will probably need to run for 5 hours to complete the full distance. But it was a start and something that I could achieve, and it was progress

Remember every journey, even one of thousand miles, start with a single step.

We need to create interim goals and continue forward on a daily basis, only focusing on the next goal, and ensuring that we are meeting it on schedule.

Remember to recognize each interim goal you complete, as these are small success on the road to the bigger success and will increase motivation, and a sense of accomplishment.

Don’t think too much about eating the entire Elephant, just focus on the next mouthful, otherwise you may become daunted by the prospect, lose confidence and motivation.

We do need to keep the big goal in mind, but we need to focus on the next step, the next goal, the next 1% that we need to complete.

If you complete 1% of the journey towards the target on a regular basis, then all you need is time and determination, in order to meet your big bold goal.

Don’t try to eat the Elephant all in one go, just eat it one slice at a time, and you might just finish it.

Gordon Tredgold