06/19/2014 05:24 pm ET Updated Aug 19, 2014

5 Steps to Eating the Elephant on Your Plate


Are you ready to eat your elephant?

When you are hungry enough to go after what you want, tired enough of doing the same routine, pushed far enough in the corner, then and only then, will you stop procrastinating and do something about the elephant on your plate.

Trust me, it is not as bad as it seems. The elephant on your table may reflect a business you want to start, a book you want to write, a relationship you want to turn into a marriage, a new position you have been contemplating, credit that you need restored or a relationship that needs mending.

The elephant on your table can represent a lot of things that you have ignored and brushed off, just to watch it grow bigger and bigger. The elephant is not going to go away. It is going to be there when you wake up and when you go to sleep.

If it's your book, put together a writing schedule and stick to it. Invest in a hotel for a few nights and just work on your manuscript. If it's mending a relationship, set some time aside to have that difficult conversation you have been avoiding.

The most important thing to do when you have an elephant on your plate is to address the elephant. By addressing the elephant you will begin to set priorities. You'll begin to create order in your life and give yourself permission to make choices that align with your values. Some people have more than one elephant. You know it's there, and you know it's not going to go away. You may even know what you need to do, but refuse to do it.

Here are some tips to help you to start chipping away at the elephant head first.

A simple five-step process for you to try:

1. Name your "elephants."
2. Select one and break it down into bite-size pieces.
3. Write these steps down in the order in which they need to be completed.
4. Assign start and completion dates for each item on your task list.
5. Enter these dates into your calendar so you remember when it's time to do them.

Bonus: Tell someone to hold you accountable. If you are really bold, make a bold declaration on social media.

As you focus on one bite at a time, you'll be amazed at how remunerative and gratifying this process can be. You will begin to do things you've never done before but always wanted to do. When you put these steps into action, you actively determine the way you will live your life rather than just allowing life to happen to you.

If you need help with coming up with an elephant eating plan, contact me at

Book recommendation: A Rose Can't Grow In A Garden Of Weeds by Tanisha A. Cunningham