You’ve probably heard the old adage, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” It’s a great way to look at a giant goal and realize that you have to break it down into much smaller chunks.
Many of you followed my progress last semester as I went from Couch to 5K. Once I finished that program I set a goal for myself to run at least one 5K race per month for the rest of the year. And I’ve been doing that (with the exception of August due to scheduling challenges), with my most recent race being this past Sunday. And Sunday’s race was a game changer for me. It’s the first 5K race that I’ve run the whole way through. No walking breaks. Just slow and steady jogging from start to finish. That’s been a goal for me all summer. I feel like I just finished a chunk of my elephant. And now I can move forward to the next goal of increasing my distance so I can move on to a 10K next year. (And yes…my elephant is a 26.2 mile marathon. Someday.)
Many financial goals seem monumental at first. Repaying student loans. Repaying a car loan. Paying off a credit card debt. Saving up enough money for a down payment on a house. Saving for retirement. These are all really big goals. Elephant size. So it makes sense to break them down into smaller chunks. Set your sights on an intermediate goal, such as “I will pay off $1,000 of my credit card debt this year.” It’s not the whole elephant. But it’s a significant chunk. And when you achieve that intermediate goal, you feel good about yourself and want to work harder toward the next intermediate goal.
One bite at a time. Slow and steady. It’s the only way to get there.