Confessions time: there’s an elephant in the room!
Some things on my ‘to-do’ list are so old that I wrote them down for the first time in a Filofax. If you don’t understand that sentence then just know – they are really really really old. Reading Catch 22, learning to swim, sorting out my storage unit…..
You’ll have your own list, and they’ll be things that you still genuinely want to get done. Maybe you look at your list with a twinge of guilt or anger. Often we don’t know where or how to start - the task feels enormous, we overcomplicate it, we start - and then lose enthusiasm; or there’s something good on Netflix.
So how to turn these goals and aspirations into reality?
Well, the same way as you eat an elephant.
One. Bite. At. A. Time.
It’s a mindset familiar to many athletes. A marathon runner will simply aim for the next water stop rather than the finish line. A rowing cox might ask his crew to focus on the next 10 strokes in a particular way. A cyclist will devise a series of training blocks to hit his fitness goal. In each instance there’s an endgame, a bigger picture if you will – but by breaking the task up into manageable bites we’re simply acknowledging the fact that sometimes our endgame can just feel a step too far, especially when we’re having a ‘meh’ moment.
That elephant is pretty useful you know and can get you started on overwhelming work projects; or commit to learning new skills; or tackle those dullard domestic tasks. In my experience, relentless progress beats stop-start enthusiasm every time. Chip chip chip away and you’ll be surprised at how your efforts accumulate.
Now where did I put that Filofax…..