Let’s say you’re an amateur mixed martial artist on a mission to go pro.

How would you get there?

Oh, uh, I gotta train every day, right?

Mm, not the answer I was looking for. Let’s say you wanted to become a better writer.

How would you do that?

There’s a lot to that. I wouldn’t know where to start!

Exactly. Let’s break that down a bit more.

Success is a crawl, a walk, a jog, a sprint, a jump, and then way later — a rocket launch.

If you want to become better at any specific thing, then you need to get specific with your steps too.

Going pro with MMA isn’t something that just happens overnight. Neither does becoming a better writer.

You don’t just go from existing in one state to existing in another. Transitions happen over time and through consistent, targeted practice and steps.

For example, “going pro with MMA” is too broad. You need to have small, actionable steps first.

Becoming a pro mixed martial artist can mean:

  • Getting better at spotting openings for strikes. Seeing the chinks in your opponent’s armor.
  • Recognizing patterns in your opponent’s combinations and calculating a counterattack in response.
  • Improving your ground game to become deadlier on the floor.

You can even break these down even further.

Say you get better at spotting an opening for a strike. What kind of strike do you throw? A punch? A kick? A knee or elbow?

What about “improving your ground game?” Do you specifically recognize that you keep getting caught in armbars and you need to work on getting out of those? Do you see the flaw in your triangle choke technique that you need to work on?

Success isn’t a light switch that just flips on when you do one thing. It’s a series of small, actionable steps that, when taken, get you there.

The Giant Steak

Whenever I think of the saying “Don’t bite off more than you can chew,” I think of a giant steak.

And the saying actually fits perfectly for the purposes of this article.

Think of any grand endeavor of yours like a giant steak.

Let’s use the other example of “becoming a better writer.” Picture that like a giant steak with your name printed on it. In edible golden leaves, of course.

“Becoming a better writer” can mean:

  • Getting better at writing captivating headlines.
  • Developing better opening hooks that latch a reader’s attention.
  • Formatting your articles to be easier to read.

Getting better at your research process so that you can provide more reliable information.

You don’t eat a giant steak by picking the whole darn thing up with a fork and then biting a piece off of it. Okay, maybe you do, but it’s not the most efficient way to go about it.

You’d be much better off tackling the steak by cutting it into little bite-sized pieces that make it much easier to digest, just like how you’d have a better time tackling the endeavor of becoming a better writer by breaking what that means down into smaller, actionable steps.

People get intimidated by large projects and grand endeavors because they see the giant steak. They forget about the fork and the knife.

Get in the habit of breaking things down into smaller steps, and then focus on tackling those steps, one at a time.

Do that consistently and for long enough and you’ll see results, just like if you take enough small bites out of the steak, eventually you’ll eat the whole thing.

It’ll be easier on your body, and your mind.