Getting There


5 Common Obstacles to Achieving Your Goals

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Reaching your goals requires not only setting attainable goals and gathering the people and tools needed to accomplish them, but also understanding how to maneuver around obstacles along the way.

Lela Meinke has over 30 years of corporate and entrepreneurial experience, is a certified ASQTM Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, and is the founder of Serenity Cards and Coaching, providing performance and resilience coaching. Once you’ve set your goals, Lela advises to be on the lookout for these five common obstacles you might encounter along the way to reaching them:

  1.       No Role Model

Not everyone is taught to set goals and develop habits that can lead to success. Great news: it’s never too late to find a role model. Think of someone you admire and ask them for advice. Bring in people to fill the gaps in knowledge and understanding and follow their suggestions.

  1.       Negative Thinking

Everyone thinks differently. Negative thought patterns can cause anxiety, unwillingness to move out of a comfort zone, and procrastination – all of which can be obstacles to reaching goals. Self-awareness is the key to breaking out of these negative patterns, and the first step is to simply be willing to be aware. Slow down what’s happening and examine how your brain is wired. Understand the triggers that send you into unproductive patterns and how to counter them. Look for ways to add affirmations and other guideposts into your daily routine and environment to help keep you on a positive track.

  1.       Lack of Confidence

Even confident people have moments of doubt that can be stumbling blocks to achieving goals. Take time – either through quiet time alone or talking it out with someone you trust – to find the root cause of the doubt. Identifying what’s behind the lack of confidence, like fear or frustration, can help you overcome it. In the age of social media, it’s also easy to find yourself making unrealistic comparisons to others, which can also lead to doubt and unrealistic expectations for yourself, so be on guard!

  1.       Negative Self-Talk

Be aware of how you talk to yourself. It can be a slippery slope that starts with you saying, “I set this goal last year and it didn’t happen” and ends with you feeling like you can’t accomplish anything at all. Or someone who is an influencer may get discouraged because others aren’t jumping onboard with an idea. When setting goals, don’t just figure out what you want to accomplish, but determine what tools and people can help to keep you positive and on track.

  1.       Not Knowing What You Want

Not having any goals will mean that you either overcommit and take every opportunity that comes your way, or you’ll get stuck and do nothing. Take time to think about what you want to accomplish. It doesn’t have to be grandiose, like solving world hunger. Start with simple goals, like trying to be a better parent, being a mentor, or finding a way to help someone else every day.

Eliminate these five obstacles from your path and you should experience a much easier journey on the way to accomplishing your goals!

For more information about Lela, her monthly coaching newsletter, weekly workshops, and more, visit For help setting and reaching your own financial goals, use the contact link at the top of the page to see how Gates Pass Advisors can help.

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Jason Wade