The Elephant in the Room and Your Goals Action Plan

I’m currently in “nesting mode” and getting my space cleaned up and organized so I can end the year with a bang.

This fall I have some pretty big goals for myself (as I’m sure you do too).

  • Release 2 new digital guides. Stay tuned!
  • Put up a gallery wall in my office with all the cute prints I’ve been collecting.
  • Get in shape before Christmas cookie season…or not…

I hear a lot of people say they make goals for themselves, and maybe even buy a bunch of supplies, but for whatever reason, they can’t seem to chip away at what they want.

What’s going on? Well, it has to do with the elephant in the room…the one you’re scared to look at.

It happens for folks with all kinds of goals: weight loss, starting a business, finding a new job, cleaning the house, reconnecting with loved ones, and a million other things.

Because I love cheesy jokes (and you do too or else why would you be reading my blog?), I’ll share one of my faves:

Question: How do you eat an elephant?

Answer: One bite at a time.

Har har har! Putting aside the fact that I’m a vegan and the very idea of eating an elephant or any other animal repulses me, this joke contains a nugget of truth.

Most people stare at the lumbering form of a 2-ton elephant (ie, their goals) and wonder where the heck they should start. Personally, I’d start with the ears just like when you eat a chocolate Easter bunny.

These “elephants” are just too damn big to swallow whole. But taken one bite at a time, you can make slow and steady progress, and eventually finish it off.

My goal of creating a digital guide is too big for me to complete in one sitting, so I need to break it down into manageable bite-sized pieces. That means drafting the outline, writing the chapters, editing the photos, editing the content, designing the cover, putting up the sales page, etc.

This past week my schedule’s been packed with Life Editing Goals Calls, and I figured I should share the tool we’re using to map out my clients’ goals for the rest of the year.

This 3-Month Goals Action Plan will help you take tiny bites out of your elephant-sized goals.

Enter your name and email below to download the free worksheet. Part of the Editor’s Toolkit.

The 3-Month Goals Action Plan is one of dozens of free worksheets, ebooks, videos, and other resources in the Editor’s Toolkit.

In the first box, write down all your enormous elephant goals that you want to tackle in the next 3 months. Don’t worry if they seem huge and frightening because they won’t stay that way for long.

Next, think about the smaller goals that lead up to the big ones. For example, if you want to lose 30 pounds, you’ll first need to lose 10 pounds. Write these smaller goals in the boxes for the appropriate months. In this example, “lose 10 pounds” goes in the boxes for months 1, 2, and 3, which all lead up to the ultimate goal of losing 30 pounds.

Finally, break down your monthly goals into the smallest possible actions you can think of and write them in the mini task boxes for each month. Going back to the weight loss example, some mini tasks might be to download a calorie-tracking app, join a gym, or buy a healthy cookbook.

If you find yourself procrastinating and not making any progress on your goals, 9 times out of 10 it means that the task you’re working on is too large.

Break down that task into the teeniest, tiniest steps you can think of. That might be something as simple as return a phone call, throw away 1 piece of trash, or write a rough draft of an email.

What are your 3-month goals?

In the comments below, share your “elephants” and the bite-sized tasks you plan to do to finish them off.

This post focuses on Step 3 of the Life Editing Process, Add Good Habits and Routines. For more about life editing and what it can do for you, click here.

How to Double Your Income In 12 Weeks

How to make BIG money with your business faster than you ever thought possible.


  1. Nela on November 29, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    I’m printing several copies and bringing with me to my next mastermind meet-up! 🙂

  2. Lori on October 5, 2014 at 6:23 am

    My big 3-month (or maybe even 6-month goal) is to start my calligraphy business on etsy. I want to begin selling art prints that are done with my calligraphy. But honestly, I don’t even know where to begin so I haven’t even started! This elephant is not only too big but it’s also kind of scary!!

    • Sage Grayson on October 5, 2014 at 11:16 am

      That would be so cool, Lori! Try to think of the tiniest step you need to take. Maybe it’s doing some research?

  3. Dapoppins on October 1, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    What an awesome resource! Thank you!!!!

    • Sage Grayson on October 5, 2014 at 11:15 am

      You’re so welcome! 🙂

  4. Wayfaring Wanderer on September 30, 2014 at 9:11 am

    Since you’re my coach you know what my 3-month goals are but I’m still going to share:

    1.) Make $6k before the end of December (I’m already half way there!)
    2.) Launch the Boone Bride Guide: a website to help the wedding planning process less stressful and more awesome (this will help me reach my goal of booking 6 weddings for 2015 before the end of 2014)
    3.) Announce new offering for Fall/Holiday sessions and book 20 spaces between Oct-Nov.

    Just downloaded the worksheet so that I can plan out the next few months better so I can really kick ass! 🙂

    • Sage Grayson on September 30, 2014 at 1:42 pm

      I love it that you’re making your goals public, Jessica. You can do it! I’m so proud of all the work you’ve done this year to grow your business. 🙂