Eat an Elephant? I prefer chocolate.
I’ve set myself a task; to write the ‘skeleton’ (no pun intended!) of a blog. Do you ever get an idea of something you want to do, but don’t know how to start? So, you don’t? Well, that can be me. Especially with blog writing. A friend asked for some advice on how to write one. Well, I’m certainly no expert and most of my thoughts stay just that. I never write the first line.
Recently I’ve been finding ways of diving in feet first and getting started, with writing. This is partly due to some work deadlines; I’ve not got the luxury of procrastinating! If I push to one side the ‘what if?’ and ‘can I?’ voice, I realise I’m often more ‘ready’ than I thought.
So, what has all of this got to do with eating an elephant? Well, the age-old saying revolves around the idea if you are daunted by something, chunk it down.
While I like the concept, I’m not keen on the metaphor. Who wants to eat a bit of an elephant? I’m not even sure it I could do it for a reality TV show. Maybe, just maybe, if my life depended upon it and even then, I’d start with just a toenail. That’s barely getting started. Now ask me how I would eat an elephant-sized bar of chocolate, that is more appealing!
What are you thinking of starting but haven’t yet, even though you want or need to? Here are a few tips:
- Define what it is you want to achieve. There are different ways of doing this - this blog on goal setting contains ideas. What is it that excites you? While it might be scary too, tapping into your passion for something can help you start. Even if a whole project doesn’t appeal, there might be parts that do.
- Break your goal down into chunks - like breaking chocolate into pieces (yum!). There are different ways of doing it and some good tools available to help. Trello and OneNote, for example, can help with project planning. Once you start planning there might be no stopping you! You will need to stop of course though, no planning for planning’s sake (even if you do love colour coding spreadsheets).
- Don’t worry about creating ‘perfection’. This can be a good excuse for not starting. Whatever your project or goal is, you can build time into your plan to make refinements. Much better you make a start than never dip your toe in the chocolate, sorry, I mean water! Besides, who says it has to be ‘perfect’?
- Identify your support team, who are your cheerleaders? Who will support you in achieving your goal and celebrate when you do? This might be a family member, friend or work colleague, for example. Share your plans and don’t be afraid to ask for help if needed, even if just moral support.
- Give yourself rewards when you meet milestones and make progress. OK, I think you know I like chocolate, so no prizes for guessing what mine are!
- Try not to look ahead too much if it seems overwhelming. Even I admit that eating a chocolate bar the size of a house, could seem daunting. Just look ahead to the next step, but keep the end goal in mind.
I look forward to seeing my friend’s blog (you know who you are); you have no excuses now. You are more than ready!
I’m off to find some chocolate.