19/04/2012 13:23 BST | Updated 19/06/2012 06:12 BST

How Do You Eat an Elephant? Achieving More in Your Life, One Bite at a Time

"So how do you eat an elephant?" Well of course the answer is "One bite at a time".

What is your elephant right now? Perhaps it's a work deadline, an exam, a job application or a weight loss goal - something that you feel to be really big and daunting and that you just can't seem to get started on.

The trouble is that having big elephants around can be a major cause of stress. For many people, the metaphorical elephant seems so big they either can't decide where to begin, or they just ignore it hope it goes away (related to the 'Elephant in the Room' syndrome perhaps?

Having large goals is great because they give you something to aim for, but it's even better if you can start to work on them in a meaningful way. Then you can alleviate the stress that you put on yourself, put down the stick you may be beating yourself with, and get on with a small bite, even a nibble, at regular intervals.

A great start is to write down, as specifically as possible:

• What do I want to achieve?

• Where am I now in relation to my goal

• What might be an obstacle to achieving my goal?

• Is there something that I believe or don't believe about myself that might be holding me back from achieving it? (if you get a YES to this one it might be worth thinking about contacting someone who can help you overcome this - see below).

In order to ensure that your goal is clear, ask yourself if it is SMART? That is, is it Specific, Measurable (how will you know when you've achieved it?), Achievable? (Can you actually do it?), Realistic and Time Framed (by when does this need to be achieved?).

Then write down write down your large goal and work backwards - setting time-frames to work towards is key:

• When do I want/need to have achieved my goal by? (e.g. six months from now)

• Then set a time half way between then and now for a mini goal - (e.g. in three months) and write down what you need to have achieved by then.

• Then repeat, until you have goals in a week and a month that you can work towards.

A great thing to remember is that anything better than nothing is achievement. Start with nibbling an ear perhaps, and before you know it you'll be at the tail end and pleasantly full.

If you feel that there is something holding you back from achieving what you want, perhaps your unconscious has a different idea about what should be happening for you. If you would like help steering it in the right direction, Cognitive Hypnotherapy and Project You coaching can make a huge difference. You can find a therapist in your area by going to the Quest Cognitive Hypnotherapy Therapist Finder here or I am happy to answer any questions you may have via my website at