top of page

How to Overcome Obstacles, Form Healthy Habits, & Attain Your Goals

Most people are familiar with the process of setting goals, yet they struggle with making sustainable changes or following through with the goals they have set.

If you tend to start new goals, resolutions, or habits feeling motivated and then lose momentum or stop being consistent you may be missing a key ingredient in setting yourself up for success.

Below, you’ll find a 3-step goal attainment strategy developed by habit formation researchers to help you achieve your goals and form healthy habits.

Step 1: Write Down Your Goals

Make a list of specific goals you would like to attain, or new healthy habits you would like to cultivate. Make sure the goals are meaningful and authentic to you, challenging, but also realistic, and attainable. Putting your goals in writing helps you to remember them and makes them more concrete and thus, more attainable.


  • Exercising 5 days a week for at least 30 minutes

  • Meditating every day for 15 minutes

  • Cooking healthy meals at home 5 days a week

  • Clearing clutter from your home or office

  • Organizing closets and drawers

  • Taking your vitamins and supplements every morning

  • Completing assignments and paperwork on time

  • Journaling for 10 minutes every day

  • Reading or studying for 1 hour on Monday-Friday

  • Practicing one act of kindness or gratitude every day

Overcome Obstacles and Achieve Your Goals

Step 2: Overcoming Obstacles

In order to set yourself up for success, it’s important to plan ahead and identify any potential obstacles or challenges that might get in the way of you achieving your goal.

Some of the most common obstacles include:

  • Low motivation

  • Laziness

  • Forgetfulness

  • Fear of change

  • Feeling overwhelmed or intimidated

  • Not believing in your potential

  • Fear of failure

  • Fear of success

  • Not wanting to be out of your comfort zone

  • Poor time management (binging on shows, too much time online, procrastinating)

  • Lack of prioritization

Once you have identified potential obstacles, write down how you plan to overcome these obstacles.


Goal: Read for 1 hour in the evening.

Potential obstacle: Binge-watching shows.

Plan for overcoming obstacle: Set a timer and read for one hour. Reward yourself with watching a show, only after you have finished reading.

Goal: Meditate for 15 minutes in the morning.

Potential obstacle: Checking social media or reading emails first thing in the morning.

Plan for overcoming obstacle: Put the phone on airplane mode as soon as you wake up and set a timer for meditation. Put your phone across the room and out of reach if needed. Do not do anything else on your phone until after your meditation is complete.

Goal: Work out for 30-45 minutes per day

Potential Obstacle: Low motivation or feeling lazy.

Plan for overcoming obstacle: Write a post-it note or whiteboard message that you will see every day to remember to follow your values and not your feelings. Set a recurring calendar reminder to work out in the morning no matter what.