Setting goals

How Do You Eat An Elephant? – (setting goals)

Posted on Posted in Encouragment

We have a riddle* in English.  “How do you eat an elephant?”
The answer is,”One bite at a time.”

How Do You Learn a Language?

We can ask the same question about learning a language.
“How do you learn a language?”
The answer is, “One lesson at a time.”

Make a Big Goal Easier with Smaller Goals

Do you find your goal to learn English overwhelming?  Does it feel sometimes like it’s just too much? Are you worried that you’ll never learn all those verb tenses, phrasal verbs or understand English conversations?

Try breaking your goals down into ‘bite size’ pieces.  I recently read an article that suggested you set a goal for yourself that is so small that you can do it every day. Even if you’re very busy, you will be able to complete this small goal.   You can only skip or not do it if you are in the hospital!!

Just Five Minutes a Day

Here’s an example.

Decide that you will spend 5 minutes a day learning new phrasal verbs. This is something that is actually possible to do.  Doing these daily gives you a feeling of success.

You think, ‘I’m doing this!  I can do this.  I can keep going and learn more.”

The success you feel by completing five minutes a day will make you want to keep learning and probably want to spend more time doing it.

Even if all you do is five minutes a day, that’s 35 minutes more a week than you were doing before!

So when you feel like quitting and giving up on English, remember how to eat an elephant – one bite at a time!


(Please note that I am not really suggesting that eating elephants is a good thing – it’s just an English riddle)


*definition of ‘riddle’ – a puzzle that is asked as a question.


If you want more help to pursue your English learning goals, contact me for private lessons.  I am also available for lessons by Skype.

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