Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could lose 50 pounds in a week? Or write a 40,000 word book in a day?
I’m still waiting for The Cat in the Hat to barge in with the Thinga-ma-jigger and declutter my house in an hour. How about you?
We all know time doesn’t work that way. Our elephants will take a long time to eat and we might as well accept that in the very beginning.
But here is the thing about time: It stretches out like a vast ocean when it is in front of you, but is a drop from the faucet when it is behind you.
Don’t believe me? Think about last Thanksgiving, when you were carving the golden brown turkey and piling Grandma’s secret family recipe pumpkin pie on your overloaded dessert plate. (By “secret family recipe”, we mean the one on the back of the Libby’s can, amen?)
It feels like yesterday to me, but, friends. THAT WAS MONTHS AGO!!!
My point is this. While it may be frustrating to think about how long it will to take to eat your elephant, that’s no reason not to start. When you get to the end, it will seem like it was no time at all! Let’s talk about how to get over the time elephant as you get started:
- Be prepared mentally and emotionally. This can be the hardest part, but it is also the most freeing part. Once you have convinced yourself this is going to take weeks or months or even years, the “urgent” beast can be silenced. The stress of feeling like you must do everything now is gone, freeing you to be more creative and purposeful in eating your elephant.
- Be specific. Somebody smart once said, “A goal without a deadline is just a dream.” I’m a big believer in dreams. But dreams are also fuzzy, and not defined — up there in the air somewhere. Giving yourself a specific deadline gives your dream some bones. Now you can start making plans that stick.
- Be realistic, but also be generous. Do a little research; set a realistic time frame to reach your dream-turned-into-a-goal. And then add a little extra. Life happens. So give yourself some lagniappe (that’s what we call “a little extra” here in south Louisiana) and it will be easier to stay on track when things don’t go as planned.
So, have you thought about how long it will take to eat your elephant? Some of you have shared your elephants in our comments and most of them will take longer than a month. Have you prepared yourself for that? Share here and let’s work on our elephants together!
Find all of the Eating Elephants posts here!
This week I am linking up with Kelly Balarie at #RaRaLinkup, Holly Barrett at #TestimonyTuesday, Crystal Storms at #IntentionalTuesday, Holley Gerth at #CoffeeForYourHeart, Kelly Balarie at #RaRaLinkup, with Holley Gerth at Coffee for Your Heart with Crystal Storms at #HeartEncouragement, with Susan B. Mead at #DanceWithJesus, with Arabah Joy at Grace & Truth