One bite at a time.
I have no interest in eating an elephant, but I understand the metaphor.
If you're trying to accomplish a sizable goal, you need to chunk it into smaller, more palatable, achievable steps.
Tis the season for goal making, and many of us are ambitious and have the best intentions, but the key to success, experts say, is in starting small.
For example, you may have a 2015 goal of running a marathon, but you need to be able to run a 5K first.
You may want to lose 50 pounds, but how about starting with 5 pounds, and then another...
You have to make small changes, different from what you've already been doing, that advance you toward your goal.
Regardless of your goal or intentions for 2015, there are simple changes you can make that can have huge payoffs in the coming year.
Here are some ideas.
1. Before your morning coffee, start with a tall glass of water.
Experts recommend that we drink half of our body weight in water ounces every day. Starting the day with a glass of cold water may rehydrate your body after sleeping and fire up your metabolism for the day. With more water, your skin may look and feel better and you may have more clarity in your thinking, given that your brain is about 75% water. And who wants a dehydrated brain?
2. Wake up a half hour or an hour early. What could you do with that time that will get you closer to your goals?
3. Before going to sleep, read a chapter in a paper book. Avoid the e-screen health issues that are abuzz in the news today.
4. Before getting out of bed in the morning, stretch; and then again when you first rise.
5. Put your phone on "Do Not Disturb" after 7 or 8 at night and enjoy the peace and quiet of an unconnected life.
6. Take the stairs.
7. Park farther away.
8. Start and end your day in a spirit of gratitude. Try a gratitude journal or jar.
9. Swap out a coffee or diet soda for a cold glass of water.
10. Having a sweet craving? Chew a piece of gum. Some people like the dessert flavors; others prefer mint flavors. Whatever works for you becomes your craving buster.
11. Tackle one drawer or chore you have been meaning to tackle. One drawer is less overwhelming than a total house overhaul.
12. Organize your closet. 4 piles...save, sell, donate, discard. And then bring the donate pile to the car right away. And throw out the discard pile. Don't leave it in piles for another day.
13. Going through the Starbucks drive-through? Make someone's day; pay for the person behind you.
14. Losing weight? Donate one food item or pound of food for every pound lost to a local food bank.
15. Say thank you to someone for whom you are grateful to have in your life.
Small changes can make a big difference. There will always be goal-related changes that will help you eat that elephant, but small changes, like these, can make a huge difference in how you feel and how you move onto bigger challenges.
What small changes will you make in 2015?