Chunking: Using Spoons for Success

Did you know its not unusual for it to take 2 months to climb Mount Everest? Climbers spend days ascending and acclimating and taking small carefully planned steps to achieve their goal. Climbing a mountain can not be done all at once, and neither can other great goals. We are capable of reaching big things, but the problem is that often we focus on climbing the mountain so fast and being perfect that we don't look at the steps it takes to get there. When people do that on Mount Everest they get hurt or die. When you do it, you feel sad and defeated, and you put yourself through it over and over again.

So how do we get rid of this perfectionistic attitude and take small steps to get where we want? We use our spoons. Spoons are an example of a strategy called Chunking:


Chunking is psychological technique used to break down large things into smaller pieces. In the 51% principle it is a way to break things down into spoons that add up to your goal.

Chunking means taking the large goal and breaking it up into small doable pieces that encourage you to move forward. They are small goals that make you feel successful and make you want to continue instead of giving up. The most common example of Chunking is remembering your phone number. We don’t say my phone number is 2025550122, we say my phone number is 202-555-0122. Or take a look at your credit card. It is broken into 4 sections of numbers. The brain prefers it that way.

The whole point of chunking is to make it small. Start with your big goal and break into bits.

Save 100 Dollars a month. That sounds somewhat simple, but it’s actually a large goal without direction. So first 51% it. Change the goal to save 51 dollars or 60 dollars, whatever the pocket is for you.

Then take that 60 dollars and break it into chunks or spoons. Ask what small bits you can cut out to make that big goal of 60 dollars? A few Starbucks coffees, eating out 2 times less, rent a movie instead of going to a movie. Bite size changes have huge impact!

Chunking is breaking it down. So break it down and use your spoons to climb your own version of Everest!

Make it Small!


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