How to Achieve Big, Hairy Goals in 7 Small Steps

‘If you eat the frog first thing in the morning, the rest of your day will be wonderful’ – Mark Twain

I read this strange quote and could not get it out of my head.

My life is filled with frogs!

There are so many big, small, medium sized frogs that I have to eat daily, not because anyone tells me to, but just because I know that I have to.

If I have still got your attention and intrigue, you are probably a frog-eater too! Keep reading, and I have a special task for you.

Now going back to my frogs, here are some of the frogs that I have decided are absolutely essential for me to eat:

  • Stay fit and healthy
  • Network professionally
  • Grow professionally
  • Be social (I am firmly an introvert)
  • Keep up with technology
  • Keep up to date with financial trends, and have a sound retirement plan
  • Learn to negotiate through political minefields in all areas of life
  • Keep the family safe, secure, happy and prospering
  • Be assertive
    and so on.

Life is overwhelming, I know, nevertheless, one needs to be tough with the frogs, the way I see it, you eat them first, or they will eat you instead.

They are all frogs, they are all unpleasant, but they do vary in size, I CAN eat some more easily than the others.

After a lot of thinking, brainstorming in my own head, and trying various ways, I have come up with an organized approach to eating those frogs in the most pleasing way possible, and I have to share it with you:

  1. Identify the small ones and eat them right away without thinking
  2. Breakdown the others into manageable bite size pieces as much as possible
  3. Repeat step 1
  4. Now you are left with the big and especially difficult pieces to tackle
  5. I agree with Mark Twain on this one, they will be unpleasant no matter when you get to them, might just do them first thing in the morning if possible
  6. Then you are still left with those which are big and tough, and they are only available certain times of the day, sometimes at the worst possible times
  7. Eat them if you can, leave them if you can’t, you have been eating frogs all day, you can let it go

Here’s what you will find in the end:

The frogs get easier and smaller over time.

The frogs help you get from one place to another in your life.

You look back and feel strong and proud for persevering and getting the better of the frogs even at times when they almost got you.

Ok, we have said the P-word, Perseverance!

I have to tell you, there are so many days and so many times during the day when it might seem like the frogs are about to gang up and run you over, happens to me once too often!

It’s hard to keep up, they all seem huge, you WILL feel cornered.

I have discovered though, THAT is where the magic lies!

Like anyone who’s been cornered at any point in their lives would know, that’s the time when you feel possessed and decide that you have to keep fighting.

You are sick, and couldn’t go to gym for a week when you know you have to – that’s fine, eat your other frogs, let’s say read the books you didn’t have time to catch up on.

You have been preparing hard for an interview, but still didn’t get through – just move on, make a note of lessons learnt, ask for feedback if possible, align your strategies once more and go for the next opportunity a stronger person.

You just attended a training and don’t know where to use what you learnt, but you know it is required for you to move up professionally or even retain your job. Rack you brain extra hard, as if your life depends on it, ideas will come.

Your child has been more withdrawn than usual lately, may be something going on in their peer group that you need to check out. Being a parent is a scary thing, but you are so up for it! Just book in that meeting with his teacher, other parents, whoever you think might help, don’t spend time in action-less worry. Keep time aside to pay extra attention to your child, you will be on top of it in no time.

You have been trying to blend in at your new work/school/town, but not getting any luck, the cliques are already formed – keep looking for that opportunity, volunteer, help out, get involved in any way you can, don’t go home and give up.


Ok, I admit you will need some help! You need mouth fresheners! You need boxing gloves! You need chocolates!

Decide which mouth freshener best suits you. Maybe a warm bath after the gym! Maybe just an evening at home to yourself doing nothing! Go out and get some fresh air! My personal favorite, watch the sunset or even better, the sunrise! Take a break, get yourself ready, come back to tackle the frogs at your best.

Boxing gloves are essential. You need to be able to put up a good fight! There’s nothing to do but fight. Life expects it. You have to put yourself first sometime, do it without guilt. You have to confront a co-worker who is gossiping about you, do it and make a big noise about it as well if you have to. Your partner is not living up to your expectations, don’t compromise on things that are important to you, sit down and have that talk.

Nobody gets life’s good things on a platter, you have to go and get what you want, you have to negotiate, assert, compromise, manipulate your way through the maze, as long as you have a constructive goal in mind, put on those boxing gloves and don’t hesitate to throw a mean punch coming right from your gut!

Then celebrate to your heart’s content with those chocolates. You deserve them. A pamper package! A vacation! Learn to do something new just for fun, it might just put you a few frogs ahead of the game! You have to give yourself the credit you deserve. You need to let yourself savor every little success, you have to enjoy this feeling so much, that all the unpleasantness of eating that frog proves to be worth it. You need that!

Word of caution, keep the chocolates under control, so that the frogs don’t get an edge way when you are back on the mill. Don’t spend money you don’t have, don’t put on the pounds that you know you will struggle to shed, don’t indulge in a bad habit that you worked hard to get rid of, don’t pick up that cigarette again, that’s not chocolate, that’s just 2 more frogs for you to eat seemingly coated in chocolate, keep your head in place and make that distinction every time.

If you are still here, here’s the TASK that I have for you, as I promised in the beginning! If this article made any sense to you then you are presumably a frog-eater too. You are someone who consciously chooses to take charge of life and get the most out of it. You deliberately choose to get out of your comfort zone and make a difference! You are not alone, there are a few of us out there like that and we need to keep each other strong. Look for those people, the other frog-eaters, hang out with them, build a community, build the momentum, make the world a better place, that dear frog-eater, is your call to action! See you on the mill!


Debasmita is a freelance blogger – you can connect with him here


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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