The 7 obstacles to goal setting and how to overcome them all

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When people are asked about the reasons why they don’t pursue their dreams the answers are pretty much the same. It turns out there are seven such factors.

In this article we are going to lay out for you a proven methodology for overcoming these roadblocks.

If there is a will, there is a way. Let’s begin!

# 1 “I Have No Time”

We feel your frustration if you too are in such a bind.

The shortage of this most important resource is the first cause for failing to work towards an objective. We know this all too well.

There is this saying “Everyone has 24 hours, no one has more time than you” but it doesn’t quite help, does it? So, let’s see what can then!

“The early bird catches… the time”

Does the sound of the alarm in the dark freak you out? Think for a moment about the positives!

Nothing can beat the peace and quiet in the morning when everybody is still in their bed while you can get an early start  on your own tasks. These could be exercise, reading or even writing a book … whatever you want.

Make a habit of it

Once it becomes your second nature you will most definitely  start to like it.

Since our “get out of bed” time is around 6 am we can claim with confidence that this makes a huge difference for the rest of the day. These first few early day hours mean clear mind, well organized to-do list, things done well, etc. And it isn’t just us.

We are lucky to know a lot of successful people and going to bed on time, along with reading on a regular basis, is one of their most common and cherished daily routine.

How can you make this happen for you too?

On-time bedtime

But getting up at first cock-a-doodle-doo shouldn’t be at the expense of sleep. It depends on another priceless habit – to go to bed on time.

There is no need to knock on an open door here. We all know that no matter how many hours of sleep is good for you there is also a minimum required for a full recharge with strength and energy.

The moral is that you should think twice next time you reach for the TV remote after dinner or decide to visit a social media. The consequences could be that instead of down-shifting you overload yourself with some extra excitement. This will result in a late bedtime and not enough rest.

Just don’t let this happen to you.

The sooner you go to bed the sooner you get up. “Early bird catches the worm”, aka your weekly steps, for example!

# 2 “I have way too many commitments”

No doubt your day is as busy as your to-do-list is long. Work, family, some other extra chores, especially when one becomes a parent – the more you have on your plate the likelier it is that things won’t go according to plan.

Kids are notorious for getting sick on Friday morning just before heading for vacation as well as having a soccer game in the busiest day of the week.

What’s the trick that will allow you to squeeze in the things that will get you closer to your dream?

The “Focus Funnel” Technique

It’s that you don’t have to do everything – not right now and not necessarily you.

Ivan employs the “Eliminate, Automate, Delegate” system when assessing how to handle each of his tasks.

And you should too. Start with things you can simply get off your list. For the rest, you decide whether you “delegate to technology” or to someone else. What’s left are those you really have to focus on. It goes like this:


Things that are neither important nor urgent and only consume your time and energy are first to go. They have no place on your agenda for the day.

When you say “yes” to everything you are actually saying “no” to countless others and that means you miss on opportunities. Learn to prioritize and be smart about it.


Can you use e-banking to automatically pay your bills? You do invest the half hour to set it up and then you’ll save half an hour each month.

Sure, not everything can be automated. There are other duties but you can get them to a family member, a co-worker or even a paid service.


This is a skill useful to anyone, not only top managers. For them it is counterproductive to be “hands-on” because they get pay for something much more difficult and indispensable. You should look at your time as a valuable resource which is sparingly used and smartly applied.

Why do you want to wash windows all day, when you can call professional cleaners? It costs money but what’s the worth of one hour invested in your personal growth or professional advancement?

Don’t think twice about it and assign responsibilities to all family members. Relations between spouses require mutual understanding and participation in the house chores as well. As for children, the educational benefits of such arrangement are priceless.

In professional as well as family aspect this “separation of labor” is the best policy in terms of efficiency and quality.

The world needs more delegation

And yet, there is something preventing people from “giving away” tasks and freeing valuable time to work on their objectives.

We’ve identified two of the most typical justifications:

1) “It will take me 20 minutes to show how it’s done instead of doing it myself in just 5 minutes”. Well, that’s true but only the first time! “Waste” your time once and then, in the long run, you will reap a ton of time.

2) “They won’t do it as well as I would.” Again, that’s correct but only in the beginning! It took some time before you got better at it, right? There is a learning curve for everybody. Just open up the opportunity for them!

The latter is also related to the third most frequent issue: unhealthy strife for excellence.

# 3 “I often make perfect the enemy of good”

We can’t assign blame if you try to make sure everything is flawlessly done and get frustrated when it is not for one reason or another. However, we advise against it. Here is how to counteract:

Don’t be a “manic perfectionist”

Try to catch yourself just in time just before you get bogged down in the minuteness of details! This self-deterrence will spare you time, effort, money and whatnot.

Dan Sullivan created the “80% Approach” as a method to tone down this obsession as well as how to overcome postponement.

The idea is that your job is to invent and execute something but not to its fullest, you do only up to 80% of the task. The benefits are:

  • You boost up confidence by finding a fix and bringing things to a stage where complete resolution is possible.
  • You save time since the last 20% of the project can be done by someone else, and in some cases, even that isn’t needed.
  • You encourage teamwork by enabling other members of the team to showcase their own unique skills to a greater degree.

The one trick to get rid of this obstacle is to pin-point when things are just good enough.

# 4 “I am stressed out”

Another thing that could be a considerable drag to your ability to outline objectives is the hectic and intense nature of the daily routine.

As an old saying goes, “It’s not the load that breaks you down. It’s the way you carry it.” We’ve observed how two apparently identical and overtaxing days can end differently. One goes well and the other will give you a heart attack.

The moral here is that the external factors are responsible only to some extent. The rest is a matter of your own hands and attitude. So, roll up your sleeves!

Give meditation a try

One technique to calm down your thoughts and achieve balance is meditating. Don’t limit yourself and do cherry-pick what may be useful to you.

We consider its daily practice as one of our most meaningful 90-day goals for health. Guess what! There are few more cards up in our sleeve.

Break from doing and timeout for just thinking

Sometimes the mind can have a mind of its own and get carried away juggling countless small and big problems bouncing off questions like “What happens next”. As active and organized people we all have difficulty with this and therefore we highly appreciate the effect of taking a few minutes to just think calmly and do nothing else.

When you hit “pause” some interesting insights get invited in. These are also moments of facing some important questions.


We aren’t the first to say it and we’ll not be the last:

Physical exercise is best when it comes to clearing your head. Richard Branson, the owner of several hundred businesses, claims that one hour in the gym boosts his productivity with an extra 5-6 hours.

It was set in stone long time ago – exercise doesn’t deplete you of energy, it replenishes you with it.

# 5 “I have no energy left for anything else”

As it was mentioned before you have to wisely use your energy. Think of it as a pie from which you take one piece after another for variety of different activities.

The bigger each slice, the fewer are left, i.e. few things get the time required and efficiency is out of the window. Imagine how when you are working on a project till late in the evening your head is getting heavy and your eyes are closing. How can you avoid this so that you are stronger and thus more productive?

Take good care of yourself

It’s a must to be attentive to your overall health if you are to fully and quickly recover.

Once again – physical exercise is foremost. Also, get enough sleep, eat well, drink plenty of water, etc. The return on investing in your well-being has an immediate but also far and wide spreading worth.

And what if the problem happens to be you?

Let’s suppose you got over all the hurdles we talked about so far. You freed some time, you let go of some commitments and you have the peace of mind. At long last, you get to do something about your objectives.

Can something go wrong now?

# 6 “I lost my drive”

You hit the ground running. You do a bunch of weekly steps, you are making considerable progress. Then all of a sudden you drop like a rock, you lose your thing called motivation.

We understand that more often than not the road to success isn’t as straight and well paved as a highway. Sometimes work is dull (which is a matter of attitude) or you have to get your hands dirty. What is the answer?

The question “Why”

It is crucial to have a long-term vision that inspires you. A deep understanding and conviction of why you want to achieve it will keep you on your feet no matter what. You won’t dare quit.

So make sure it’s always and entirely up to you. Put it under the 90-day goal. Or place sticky notes on your desktop. If you wish you can place it to the bathroom mirror. Fully getting the meaning and purpose of your efforts will grow you bigger and stronger wings.

# 7 “Life overwhelms me and the steps just slip my mind”

Here’s the last scenario to deal with. Okay, we admit it – we had to go through this too.

You’ve set a wonderful target for yourself and then you start working on it with much drive. But then one day you open the notebook to see where you are and you find out it’s been… three months since your last entry.

Fortunately, “GoalBuddy” has the 90-day periods, not a full year. And if it just happens so that you stumble or misfire then you just have to figure out what the cause was and take corrective actions.

The solution here is:

One of your daily tasks

If you have such a list, just put one of the weekly steps in it.

In doing so, you will be sure that, amongst other commitments, you will also spend time on those things that are essential to your progress and confidence.


This will change your life for good.

Every morning for a few moments open and review the steps for the week. These could be on a piece of paper, or in an application on the computer. Make a habit of it and you’ll see how practical it is. In any case, adjust the settings of the app so that you get reminders.

Does your brain work better with figures rather than text? If so make a vision board with pictures of your plans.

When things are non-stop in front of your eyes you can’t quite ignore them. And in the back of it, your thoughts are crunching the problem searching for different approaches to solving it.

Now you have the “know-how”

In case you have better ideas how to clear any other types of obstructions in the way of goal setting we will be more than happy to hear about them. Write to us in the comment box under this article!

Never forget that the clock is ticking, so does your life. It keeps moving in a direction which could be the right one or not. It all depends on you reaching for your dreams or being stuck somewhere midway.

The good news is you can change the course of events on any given day. Why can’t this be today!

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