How Not to Choke on an Elephant!



“Whatever you are working on take small bites. The task will not be overwhelming if you can reduce it to its smallest component.”
– Richard Russo



Have you heard the joke about how to eat an elephant?

The punch line is: 'One bite at a time!'

Which is exactly the same way we are meant to manage our BIG GOALS…one bite at a time.

I have the honor of coaching many people to achieve their goals with greater velocity and ease. Usually, they hire me because they feel that their life – and everything that is on their plate – is overwhelming.

Perhaps you can relate to this feeling?

I can. I remember all too well the feeling of my mind being so jam-packed with thoughts and wishes and dreams and ‘to-do’s’ that it felt like a jumbled mess. I was literally choking on my thoughts.

I was unable digest even one idea fully and I became exhausted with the effort so nothing got done…and I felt like a failure.

So, I always share this experience with my clients and then I share with them how I got past the block and continue to easily make daily progress towards my goals.

What changed for me was hearing the joke about the elephant. I had been attempting to digest all of my goals and activities as one big bite.

I believe I did that because I had heard and took literally the phrase that it was important to take ‘a Big Bite out of Life.’ Perhaps you have heard that statement, too?

After hearing the joke, though, I realized that a bite is a bite…not the entire elephant!!

By definition, a goal appears as large as an elephant when it is first created.

A goal takes up all the space in our mind...and then some.

A goal literally is the 'pink elephant' in the room.

Attempting to manage the whole goal at the same time can feel overwhelming and beyond my strength and abilities.

It was at that moment I also realized the importance of sloooooooowing down and taking time to make a list of each and every step (or bite) that would be required in order to achieve each of my goals before ever taking any other actions towards them.

For example, if one of my goals was to create my website, there would be many steps towards the fulfillment of that goal --- researching designs, hiring a designer, writing copy, selecting photos, etc.

As I created the steps, it was much easier for me to focus on only the one step that had to be accomplished before the others. This was how I learned to take smaller bites that were easier for my mind to digest.

I invite you to take a moment to consider the largest goal you are intending to achieve.

What is the first intentional activity (the first small bite) you can accomplish today which will move you closer towards the achievement of your goal?

Once you have accomplished that activity, what's the next activity (perhaps a phone call, a meeting, an email, etc.) you can do to move even closer towards the achievement of your goal?

Then, after you have accomplished the second activity, what will be your 3rd intentional activity, and what will be your 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and so on?

And, that's the most attractive way to achieve our intentional activity at a time until the goal is fulfilled!

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Stacey Hall, L.S.H., C.N.T.C., C.A.C, C.R.T.S.
Success Coach, Speaker, Best-Selling Author
CEO, Chi-To-Be!, LLC and The Hall Institute of Intuitive Wellness

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Copyright 2010-2016 Stacey Hall and Chi-To-Be!, LLC


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  • This definitely helped me to schedule out my day with the activities that are moving me toward my goal. I used to think I had to do it all at once and now I schedule out my activities daily and it has made things move smoothly

  • Dawn Schaupert

    My biggest goal: To be a Royal Crown Diamond Member
    1.) To review my Strategic Attraction Plan several times a day.
    2.). Talk to Dana
    3.). When I have my Accountability calls, ask my Accountabiity person to share things that have worked for them in the past.
    4.) Add more people to my friends and family list.

  • Ronda Wheeler

    How perfect for me right now as I pack for a big Life Move from one state to another. I AM reminded that I can choose to be overwhelmed by all I have to do or I can Choose to take one bite at a time which allows me to complete the task with Grace and Ease, which means…….no choking! Thanks for this fabulous reminder.

  • In the past I was a perfectionist. Learning the process of Intentional Activities and appreciating the accomplishment of each activity has supported me in actually being able to start projects. In the past I wouldn’t start because I didn’t think I would be able to do them well enough or fast enough. Now I make my list of activities and start moving towards my goal!

  • Neha Shah

    “a bite is a bite…not the entire elephant!!” — SO true and SO useful to remember. I am writing it on a sticky note and pasting it on my computer screen!!!!

  • Cheryl Hope

    In the past fear has stopped me in my tracks. Being able to think with the end goal in mind and take tiny step back from the end goal until I get to where we are in the current time in order to get an idea of the Intentional Activities that will support me in moving forward with the project has been very helpful for me!

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