Eating an Elephant


Getting started is the hardest part to making a change.  The first step is always the toughest because it is easy to get overwhelmed by the entire journey ahead and because you don’t have any positive momentum yet.  Let’s address how you can overcome both of those issues to make a bold first step towards your body transformation.

Proper Focus

“The best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.”

I always say that a body transformation is preceded by a lifestyle transformation.  It is totally understandable that the idea of changing your lifestyle can be overwhelming and even scary.  When the thought of change is scarier than the thought of staying the same, people will always stay the same. 

The key is to break the big vision of a body transformation down into smaller steps that are easier to wrap your head around.  What I like to do is to focus on each individual step of a big undertaking as if it is a unique project all by itself.  I find that this allows me to stay present, keeps me from getting overwhelmed and keeps my energy levels high throughout the entire project because I have a beginner’s excitement for each step.

From a rational perspective the only way anything is every accomplished is one step at-a-time. Worrying about the tenth step when you haven’t even taken the first step is a waste of energy, not to mention totally impractical.  Keep in mind that success on the final step is dependent on success of each previous step.    Each step of the journey will require you to be in the present moment.  Devote all of your energy to the task at hand so that you ensure your success on this step, which will give you the opportunity to have success in the future.


The laws of physics tell us that an object at rest tends to stay at rest.  The first step of any project is always the hardest because there is no momentum working in our favor.  Ask any lifter and he will tell you that the first rep of a Deadlift set is always the toughest.  Writers that are having trouble getting started on a project call it the 10,000 pound pen.

The following are some ideas for making that first step a little easier to take so that you can get momentum on your side from the start:

  1. Start easier than what you think you are capable of starting with.  If, for example, you are thinking that you want to start exercising for an hour three times a week, start instead with 30 minutes of exercise three times a week.
  2. Get started and figure out the details later.  Don’t wait for the perfect plan to get started.  Creating a perfect plan usually results in nothing happening because the perfect plan is impossible to create.  A good plan will do just fine.  In fact massive action without a plan is still better than no action.
  3. Take sudden and immediate action.  If you are considering joining a gym or starting a bootcamp do a google search as soon as you finish reading this and make an appointment to check it out tomorrow.
  4. Schedule it.  Whatever your first step is must be put in your schedule.  I live and die by my iCal.  If something doesn’t go in my iCal it doesn’t get done.  On the other hand anything that gets put in my iCal always gets done.
  5. Start your transformation by eliminating bad habits rather than adding new things to your life.  This is best for someone that is really busy.  Rather than worry about adding to your already busy life, try addition by subtraction (Hint: Television is a great start).  After you have subtracted for awhile you will magically find that you have time to begin adding positive habits.  This works great for nutrition too.  Take bad choices like soda, sweets, baked goods and fried food out of your diet before you concern yourself with cooking new foods that you aren’t familiar with.