Skip to main content

5 Tips to Overcome Obstacles on the Way to Achieving Your Goals

It happens! We set goals for ourselves from a place of high motivation. We want to lose weight. We want to make more money. We want to find the perfect partner. We are excited and start to take action toward our objective. Yet, what happens to the majority of people is that they very quickly lose their drive, giving up on their goal often within days or weeks of starting.

A few weeks later we muster up the resolve to start again only to once more give up. Are we insane for continuing to subject ourselves to the same goals over and over only to get the same result?

You can overcome obstacles and achieve. The power is in your hands.

The answer lies in the simple fact that our very human nature is to resist change. When we embark on any goal in our lives, we open ourselves up to a cornucopia of change.

From creating that new schedule that has us waking up early to go to the gym, to spending extra hours every week on a side business to create more revenue, to going out on blind dates when we would rather be watching Housewives – all of these things require change, and change is often so uncomfortable that we are seduced back into our previous ways of being, and ultimately, getting the same results we have always gotten.

Rosabeth Moss Canter, a professor at the Harvard School of Business, identifies key reasons why people resist change:

Loss of control
• Excess uncertainty
• Surprise decisions imposed on us
• Everything seeming different
• Concerns about competence

In other words, when life starts to change, even if it is for the better, our defense mechanisms go up. At this point we can either embrace this change or we can subject ourselves to staying ‘comfortably uncomfortable.’ The latter is where most people choose to reside – living a life of anger, frustration and overwhelm – exhausted and hopeless.


The key issue is that in order to change means that you must embrace something new.

Create a new schedule, start new habits, change your diet, adopt a new mindset, and see how things begin to change. In addition, you might be surprised by the new, like-minded people that come into your life.

The brain does not like ‘new’ and associates ‘new’ with danger. Consequently, the protective mechanism is to bring us back to what we deem as safe. Often, we know the change is good for us; however, our minds initially resist. Going for a goal requires us to be stronger than our mind, and often that battle is one of the toughest we will ever face.

If you find yourself in the position where you know you are creating some self-sabotage, here are 5 tips to overcome obstacles:

1. Understand that any goal requires change and that change is initially uncomfortable. Over time, all things that are good for us and yet uncomfortable will eventually become second nature.
2. Ask yourself how you will feel if you do not achieve it? Sense how it would feel to not achieve the goal. Consequently, you can find the drive to push forward.
3. Create support. Find one or two people with whom you can share your goal and ask them to support you. As a result, you will all have more drive and accountability.
4. Keep a progression log. Write down everything you are doing to advance toward your goal because showing real progress can keep you going when not motivated. 
5. Know that setbacks will happen. This is not an excuse to give up. Rather than giving up, learn from setbacks, and use them as a tool for improvement.

Lastly, any goal worth going for is going to cause us to face some challenges. There isn’t one person who achieved anything great that didn’t have to overcome resistance in some form. Know that you can achieve your goals but that will never happen if you give up.

Susan Sly is a best selling author, work life balance expert, speaker and entrepreneur. She has appeared on CNN, CNBC, Fox, Lifetime Television and the CBN. Susan is the mother of five children and resides in Scottsdale, Arizona.



More posts by SIYP TEAM