Article by Megan Nicole O’Neal
You may have set some lofty goals for yourself this year. Perhaps you want to run a marathon, or land a promotion, or finally complete a passion project that has been patiently waiting to see the light of day for years.
Regardless of the resolutions you’ve made (and perhaps have already given up), this will be your year — that is, if you choose it to be.
Our successes ultimately boil down to our daily choices. You won’t be able to run that marathon without dedicating time each day to ramping up your miles, hydrating, stretching, etc. It’s the small choices we make, consciously or subconsciously, that build on top of one another and prepare us for success.
I know that sounds overwhelming, but if you take a bird’s-eye view, it can actually seem quite comforting: You don’t need to accomplish your goals in one day; you just need to keeping putting one foot in front of the other. Here are some quotes to keep you inspired every step along the way:
When You’re Afraid to Fail
Depending on whom you ask, failure can either be a blessing or a curse. I’m personally an advocate of the struggle — of taking risks and doing things you know you’re bad at. Even if the worst happens and you fall short, the experience can open doors for you to new skills and new perspectives. If you don’t believe me, maybe you’ll trust these folks:
“We may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter defeats so we can know who the hell we are.” – Maya Angelou
“I don’t believe in failure. It is not failure if you enjoyed the process.” – Oprah Winfrey
“Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.” – John Wooden
When You’re Unmotivated
Some days you just can’t even — and that’s okay! Checking in with yourself emotionally is an important part of the process. Rome wasn’t built in a day, nor will your goals be accomplished in a day. These quotes can get you back on track once you’ve made some time for self-care:
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.” – Will Durant
“There is no passion to be found in playing small — in settling for a life that is less than what you are capable of living.” – Nelson Mandela
“There is something to be said for keeping at a thing, isn’t there?” – Frank Sinatra
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” - Anonymous
When You Question Whether You Can Do It
Impostor syndrome — the belief that you’ve only succeeded due to luck and not because of your talent or qualifications — is real, and it can plague your efforts as you strive to reach your goals. The key to overcoming this type of self-doubt lies in refusing to listen to that inner voice which says things like, “I’m sure other people are more qualified” or “I’ve never done this before, so I shouldn’t try.”
It is estimated 70 percent of people have experienced impostor syndrome at some point, and I include myself among them. If you need help putting that nagging voice to rest, try these quotes:
“I’ve never been afraid of big moments. I get butterflies. I get nervous and anxious, but I think those are all good signs that I’m ready for the moment.” – Stephen Curry
“Failure is a feeling long before it becomes an actual result. It is vulnerability that breeds with self-doubt and then is escalated, often deliberately, by fear.” – Michelle Obama
“We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face. … We must do that which we think we cannot.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
When Nothing Is Going According to Plan
What can go wrong will go wrong, according to Murphy’s law. When the inevitable occurs, may these quotes encourage you to drive past the speed bumps and keep pushing toward your goal:
“In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.” – Albert Camus
“We are meant to live in joy. This does not mean that life will be easy or painless. It means that we can turn our faces to the wind and accept that this is the storm we must pass through.” – Archbishop Desmond Tutu
“Wisdom is like rainwater; both gather in low places.” - Anonymous
“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” - Anonymous
A version of this article originally appeared on SUCCESS.com.
Megan Nicole O’Neal is a UCLA alum and public relations specialist with a passion for storytelling and a firm belief that only the right photo is worth 1,000 words. An avid adventurist, she has traveled to five different continents, all on an endless quest to find the world’s greatest cup of coffee. Megan currently works at Havas Formula in sunny San Diego and volunteers for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, freelancing for the PR department.