Thursday, July 5, 2012

My rowing elephant

I can't remember if its something I found on Simple Mom, Money Saving Mom, Dave Ramsey, or elsewhere, but I've been using this elephant concept with my rowing goal. You see, this year I decided that I wanted to get to 2 million lifetime meters rowed. That's a lot of meters, let me tell you, and thinking about the large chunk of those left (I was at about 1.2 million as of January 1st) was pretty daunting. I made alright progress during the winter/early spring months, but once it started being serious gardening season, my monthly rowing goals (about 74k/month) to meet my yearly goal just weren't getting met.

Enter the elephant. Last month I sat down and figured out what rowing pieces (distance rowed per exercise session) I needed to finish to meet my ideal goal of having the rowing done mid fall. I drew this elephant in my household notebook, and then split the elephant into the pieces I needed to do each month to get to my distance goal by fall.

Each time I row (obviously almost every day in order to get every piece done within a one month time frame), I color over the piece that I rowed. It's a really nice visual, and knowing that I have a pre-determined number and assortment of pieces to do each month has really helped me make real progress on my goal. For example, even with our week vacation to Hawaii at the beginning of June, I still almost finished my elephant by the end of the month! And although I didn't finish, I came so close as to be not that significant, especially compared to my much shorter total distances rowed the past couple months without using this elephant concept.

I know this concept is applicable to other things, and it's really nothing new - breaking your yearly goals up into monthly and weekly and daily tasks is something lots of people talk about often, I'm remembering some great posts by Crystal of moneysavingmom about doing just that. I can't say that the rest of my yearly goals are so nicely broken up into discrete and daily-finish-able chunks, but this elephant thing is really helping me meet my rowing goal. Which I of course think is great! Now I just need to figure out how to break the other things high on my priority list & yearly goals list into do-able chunks like this... hmmm...


  1. My Katie uses daily schedule charts, done a week at a time, in hourly chunks. Daunting, but useful. I like the elephant a lot better. Nice concept. Since my goals are swimming- related, I guess I need a whale.


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