You know how you eat an elephant?
One bite at a time.
Ok. Fine. But it is still a pretty big job. It's still overwhelming.
Do you need to know how to start eating an elephant? And what if you don't really want to eat that elephant? I mean, who likes elephant meat?
Take the smallest bite you possibly can. And that is all.
I first read about this idea in a column by Martha Beck in O magazine.
I think Beck's example was cleaning out a closet. Take the smallest possible action, she advised. Like, open the door. That's it. Pat yourself on the back. You have got this project started!
Sometimes, that's all you need to do to get going. I was feeling utterly overwhelmed by everything I needed to do today. My front entry way has been bothering me for the past couple of days.
I decided that the smallest possible action I could take was to clean off the shelf.
So I did.
Those papers still on the shelf are our auto insurance cards and need to be put in our wallets. This is their "home" until then.
That's the bite.
The great thing about the bite is: it's enough. Really it is.
The other great thing about the bite is that sometimes, sometimes, you feel like continuing.
Like I did.
It's too bad the mirror reflects all that mess in the kitchen!
If you're having one of those days where you just need to throw the ignition switch, just begin. Take the tiniest bite out of that overwhelming monster.
Pay yourself on the back.
That is all.
(But should you feel like continuing, if the motivation hits after you have taken the action, (as it will, sometimes) then by all means....)
Curious: What's the strangest meat you have ever eaten?
ETA: You can catch all the posts in the series here.