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The Common Obstacles To Reaching Goals And How To Overcome Them

21st January 2022

21st January 2022

By Beth Shelper

As the new year begins you may be thinking about new goals that you’d like to achieve over the next twelve months, creating a mood board to map out your journey to these goals, and considering how you can go about reaching these goals through goal visualisation techniques.

It’s always a good idea to set manageable goals for yourself and the start of the year is a great excuse to start that process. If you haven’t set yourself any goals, no worries – new years’ resolutions aren’t for everyone, and the new year isn’t the only time that you can set these goals.

In this time of new beginnings, set aside some time to focus. If that's something you struggle with, we wholeheartedly recommend The Focus Capsules. And we definitely recommend that you read our tips below. 

The top obstacles to reaching goals 

There are a few reasons why people hesitate to put goals in place – and one of the main reasons behind this is that there are a range of barriers to goals that people face, which makes goal visualisation and reaching goals pretty challenging. Some of these can be psychological elements, some environmental and some day-to-day factors such as time.

Sometimes there are psychological reasons behind these obstacles. But there are ways to avoid these doubts and barriers, and the even better news is that there are plenty of strategies and methods to overcome them, too. Your goals definitely aren’t out of reach – even if right now it may seem like they are!

So, here are the key things that prevent people from reaching goals, and our tips on how to stick to goals to overcome this. 

  1. Comparison

As the famous saying goes, comparison is the thief of joy, and in this case, the thief of progress. In the world of social media platforms from Instagram to Facebook and in between, it can be hard to rise above the need to compare yourself - and this need has been corroborated by recent research, too. 

Recent research published by the American Psychological Association found that participants in their study who more regularly used Facebook and Instagram (or other similar social media platforms) had notably greater self-esteem issues

The important thing to remember here is to stay in your own lane. Focus on what’s important: you and your goals. 

  1. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail

Without sounding like your parents the night before your GCSE exams, it really is true. If you fail to prepare to reach your goals, you’re a lot less likely to reach them. Fact.

Preparation can look different to everyone: making lists, buying supplies, setting milestones – you name it, whatever works for you, just get it done! 

  1. A lack of time in the day

When trying to balance work, a social life, a love life, your responsibilities and anything else that you need to juggle, it can be easy to let things slide every once in a while.

Don't let yourself get stuck in a rut, though, it’s all about prioritising what is most important to you – and if your goals are important to you, it’s time to find a way to make this work.

A great way to do this is to time block your day with your most important tasks prioritised first: big or small. Get them out the way so that you’ve smashed your goals for the day nice and early.  Time block your time like you would for a professional meeting or commitment.

Not only does preparation set you up for success, but it reduces your stress levels and helps you stay in control, maximising your performance in all areas of life: personally, academically and in your career and fitness endeavours, too. 

It’s key – trust us.

How to overcome obstacles and achieve your goals 

Now we’ve discussed some of the biggest barriers to reaching a goal, let’s stop focussing on the negatives and take a look at how to overcome them.

  1.  Celebrate the small wins and little victories

 If you've set a big goal, it's unlikely that you're going to be able to achieve it very quickly - and that's okay! Try not to think about the bigger picture too much, or you can quickly become overwhelmed and this will lead to harmful doubts and unnecessary stress.

Break down your larger goal into smaller, achievable pieces and celebrate every single milestone - even if you don't think its worthy of a celebration, every step counts, and every little helps!

After all, each of these small wins gets you closer to your goal.

2. Maintain a positive attitude  

When you're trying to reach a new goal, it's important to remember that it's not always going to be easy. You're most probably going to face hardships, slumps and ebbs along the road - and that's okay. It's all about the process. 

Here's some of our top tips for maintaining a positive mental attitude:

  • Always look for the silver lining
  • Practice mindfulness 
  • Engage in positive self talk
  • Keep a gratitude journal
  • Surround yourself with positive people
  • Eradicate negative influences from your life 

Keep moving forward with every battle, and stay resilient. 

3. Remind yourself of the reasons why 

In those moments of struggle, remember how and why you set yourself this goal. What goal is it that you want to achieve? 

A great way to do this is to start off your journey with a list of reasons why you've chosen to achieve that particular goal.

Write down as many reasons as you can think of - make the list as long as your arm if you want, it's entirely up to you. Just make sure that your goal visualisation is at the forefront of your mind when you're writing them.

By writing these reasons why, in tough moments, you'll be able to reflect back on this list and see exactly why you started. No one ever said that reaching your goals was easy, but no one said that they were impossible, either. 


Setting yourself goals (whether at the beginning of the year or otherwise) is an important step to ensure that you are maintaining progress, growth and maximising your performance.

Goal visualisation techniques are a great way to break down those key barriers to goals that so many people come up against, so make sure that you are implementing the above wellness practices, taking care of yourself and your health, and sticking to goals consistently. 

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