Many of us set goals to maintain good habits, achieve something that’s important to us, or craft the life we want. They give us something to look forward to and work on consistently, be it a simple intention such as taking a daily walk or reorganizing a room, or a larger goal such as building a relationship or landing an ideal job. In tough times, simply getting from one day to the next can be a reasonable ambition.
The thing about goals, though, is that while setting them is easy, achieving them is quite a bit harder; it requires time and steady effort. In some cases, a dream may even seem too daunting to start. But in working toward what we want, we almost always learn something: Studies have shown that setting goals can actually restructure our brains, making us better at processing information and saving energy for when we most need it. In that spirit, the following quotes offer some welcome motivation for moving toward our goals, or starting something new.
If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.
― Henry David Thoreau
Even a snail will eventually reach its destination.
― Gail Tsukiyama, author
There are times to stay put, and what you want will come to you, and there are times to go out into the world and find such a thing for yourself.
― Lemony Snicket (Daniel Handler), author
Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says, “I'll try again tomorrow.”
― Mary Anne Radmacher, author and artist
You never know what's around the corner. It could be everything. Or it could be nothing. You keep putting one foot in front of the other, and then one day you look back and you've climbed a mountain.
― Tom Hiddleston
Whatever you want to do, if you want to be great at it, you have to love it and be able to make sacrifices for it.
— Maya Angelou
Only those who risk going too far can find out how far one can go.
— T.S. Eliot
The most difficult thing is the decision to act; the rest is merely tenacity.
— Amelia Earhart
Ignore the naysayers. Really the only option is, head down and focus on the job.
— Chris Pine
It’s up to you to make your life. Take what you have and stack it up like a tower of teetering blocks. Build your dream around that.
— Cheryl Strayed
I thrive on obstacles. If I'm told that it can't be done, then I push harder.
— Issa Rae
If a goal is worth having, it’s worth blocking out the time in your day-to-day life necessary to achieve it.
— Jill Koenig, life coach and goal strategist
I know how it looks. But just start. Nothing is insurmountable.
— Lin-Manuel Miranda
Infuse your life with action. Don't wait for it to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future.
— Bradley Whitford
I am lucky that whatever fear I have inside me, my desire to win is always stronger.
— Serena Williams
Remember to celebrate milestones as you prepare for the road ahead.
— Nelson Mandela
Photo credit: Kym MacKinnon/ Unsplash