4 Roadblocks To Setting Goals

By Rick Houcek

Today I want to talk about roadblocks to setting goals.  Much is written about why and how goal setting is effective – but this is about something different.  What stops people from setting goals.

I want to share 4 myths.  Four things that get in the way of most people.

Myth #1:  Thinking that not writing goals down will get them done.  Wrong!  Writing down your goals is critical.

Not long ago, I was giving a goal setting presentation to 350 people at a Florida business conference, and at the end, everybody fills out an evaluation form.  Later on that evening, I was reading through all of them, and I noticed one lady wrote, “If I hear one more speaker on goal setting tell me that we need to write down our goals, I think I am going to throw up!”

I had two reactions.  One, I was upset with her that she actually thought she could shortcut the process and not write them down.  And secondly, I was even more upset with myself, because I realized I probably didn’t explain it as well as I could have.

The fact is, writing down your goals embeds them in your mind, and it gets your subconscious mind thinking about them, even when you’re consciously not thinking about them.  This plays to your advantage.  Write down your goals – period – and stop thinking that not writing them down will help you to get them done.  They get lost in our minds when we don’t write them down and we tend to forget.  Writing them down tends to keep them front and center.

Myth #2:  Thinking that writing them down, and nothing else, will get them done.  You know, some people actually think that if they write down their goals and do nothing else, they will come to fruition.  Nope, nothing is further from the truth.  Writing them down – and then taking positive action on them – is the critical combination.  Here are important components of goal setting:  writing them down, getting crystal clear on what are the benefits that will come to you, what are the roadblocks to success, what are the resources you will need to get them done, and then what’s the step-by-step action plan.  Those are all key elements.  You’ve got to write all of them down.  In fact, handwriting is one way to do it, or typing into computer files.  Either way gets your mind actively engaged.  Just remember, you’ve got to do more than just write them down – you’ve got to take action.

Myth #3:  Thinking that ‘positive thinking’ alone will get your goals done.  Not true.  Please hear this clear – if all you do is think positively about your goals – and nothing else – very little will happen, except what luck may bring you.  Yeah, you may have occasional success, more by accident than intention, but nothing will happen on purpose when you want it.

I always use positive affirmations to get my mind right, but you’ve got to follow it up with positive action.  So, don’t just think positive thinking alone will get it done.

Let me give you some examples of positive affirmations I use:

  • I accept personal responsibility for producing my own motivation.
  • I rely on no outside stimulus.
  • I have on success blinders.
  • I put aside negative thinking.
  • I work around obstacles, ignore unjust criticism, and never fear failure.
  • I guarantee the successful conclusion of every doubtful undertaking with my devout belief in the beginning that I absolutely can do it.

Now, those are positive affirmations.  Affirmations begin with the word “I” or “me”.  They are first person.  They are positively written, present tense (not future), and they are written with passion, so I excite myself into action.  But remember, positive thinking alone – just reciting affirmations – won’t get it done.  You’ve got to act.

Myth #4:  Thinking that you must have a positive belief BEFORE you can achieve.  Some people have heard the old axiom – If you believe it, you can achieve it.  Okay, I’ll go with that, but some people misinterpret it to mean, I have to believe it before I can achieve it.  That’s nonsense.  Belief before achievement is not required.  Success actually builds belief.  No doubt you’ve been successful at some things you didn’t believe you could do.  That’s true for everyone.  Build off that.

So the trick is, get started.  Many wins along the way will eventually convince you that it’s doable… and that you’re capable.  Don’t wait for belief to happen.  Just get started.

So there you have it.  Four roadblocks to setting goals.

Stop letting these myths derail you and you’ll enjoy more continuous success.


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