26 inspirational quotes about New Year’s Resolutions, just when you’re about to quit

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The start of every new year brings hope and optimism. We set goals and dream about achievements we’d like to accomplish in the coming 12 months.

Reality is, that hope and optimism can be extinguished quickly.

I thought I would try to be helpful and offer some uplifting quotes about New Year’s resolutions, so I culled some of the best I could find from college coaches, LDS Church leaders and a variety of others. Read these 26 quotes to pull you out of your mid-January slump and avoid abandoning your resolutions.

1. “Will to prepare”

“Potential does not always ensure success. In other words, the greatest players have not always been the most endowed. In athletics, we often hear the phrase, ‘He has the will to win.’ I think this is wrong. We can be in a game, taking a test, giving a talk, or whatever the experience may be. We can have the greatest will to do well. But unless we have prepared, it is of little use. Really, it should be the ‘will to prepare.’ Those who succeed have this will, whether it be in athletics, whether it be in school, whether it be in their chosen vocation, whether it be on a mission, or in almost any other phase of their life.” — Legendary BYU coach LaVell Edwards

2. “Dedication during difficult times”

Duke quote

“When you are winning, your commitment is never challenged. But loyalty and dedication during difficult times can be tough. When commitment doesn’t waver, that’s when you have the greatest chance of winning. You can never give up.” — Duke coach Mike Krzykewski

3. “Be of good cheer”

“Though the storm clouds may gather, though the rains may pour down upon us, our knowledge of the gospel and our love of our Heavenly Father and of our Savior will comfort and sustain us and bring joy to our hearts as we walk uprightly and keep the commandments. There will be nothing in this world that can defeat us. My beloved brothers and sisters, fear not. Be of good cheer. The future is as bright as your faith.”
— President Thomas S. Monson

4. “Continual growth and progress”

“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” — Benjamin Franklin

5. “Remember Lot’s wife”

“Some of you may wonder: Is there any future for me? What does a new year or a new semester, a new major or a new romance, a new job or a new home hold for me? Will I be safe? Will life be sound? Can I trust in the Lord and in the future? Or would it be better to look back, to go back, to stay in the past? To all such of every generation, I call out, ‘Remember Lot’s wife.’ Faith is for the future. Faith builds on the past but never longs to stay there. Faith trusts that God has great things in store for each of us and that Christ truly is the ‘high priest of good things to come.’ … Keep your eyes on your dreams, however distant and far away. Live to see the miracles of repentance and forgiveness, of trust and divine love that will transform your life today, tomorrow, and forever. That is a New Year’s resolution I ask you to keep.”
— Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

6. “Envision where you want to be”

“Your vision of your future will help you press forward. Take a few minutes to envision where you want to be in one year or two or five. Then take action to prepare yourselves. People don’t just run a marathon when they decide to do it. They must train daily, slowly building stamina and endurance to run the 26.2-mile distance. So it is with life. It is daily diligence with prayer and scripture study that will help you reach your goals. Your daily decisions will influence generations.” — Elaine S. Dalton

7. On being busy

“It’s not enough to be busy … the question is: What are we busy about?” — Henry David Thoreau, author

8. “Believe in them”

“Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.” — Louisa May Alcott, author

9. “Our real potential”

“Our Heavenly Father sees our real potential. He knows things about us that we do not know ourselves. He prompts us during our lifetime to fulfill the measure of our creation, to live a good life, and to return to His presence. Why, then, do we devote so much of our time and energy to things that are so fleeting, so inconsequential, and so superficial? Do we refuse to see the folly in the pursuit of the trivial and transient? Would it not be wiser for us to ‘lay up for (ourselves) treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth cor­rupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal’? How do we do this? By following the example of the Savior, by incor­porating His teachings in our daily lives, by truly loving God and our fellowman.” — President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

10. Deadlines

Goal is a dream

“A goal is a dream with a deadline.” — Napoleon Hill, author

11. Starting points

“If you start to take Vienna — take Vienna.” — Napoleon Bonaparte, French military leader and emperor

12. Really?

“Really? It took me like three hours to finish the shading on your upper lip. It’s probably the best drawing I’ve ever done.” — Napoleon Dynamite, Idaho legend

13. True grit

“In all those very different contexts, one characteristic emerged as a significant predictor of success. And it wasn’t social intelligence. It wasn’t good looks, physical health, and it wasn’t IQ. It was grit. Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day-in, day-out. Not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years. And working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.” — Dr. Angela Lee Duckworth, psychology researcher

14. Strengthen continually

“However much faith to obey God we now have, we will need to strengthen it continually and keep it refreshed constantly. We can do that by deciding now to be more quick to obey and more determined to endure. Learning to start early and to be steady are the keys to spiritual preparation. Procrastination and inconsistency are its mortal enemies.” — President Henry B. Eyring

15. Optimism

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” — Helen Keller

16. Dedication

Unswearing dedication

“The person who makes a success of living is the one who sees his goal steadily and aims for it unswervingly. That is dedication.” — Cecil B. De Mille, filmmaker

17. Prioritize

“Don’t try to do two or more things at once. Set priorities so that you are not worrying about something else while you are attending to the task at hand. Arrange your work space so that your eyes aren’t drawn to other jobs that need to be done. The time you invest to organize your space will be paid back with improved efficiency. Don’t put unreasonable demands on your attention span. Even if you are under pressure, time spent taking a regular break will increase your overall productivity. But make it a real break; don’t just switch to another demanding task. Lack of sleep is a major reason for poor concentration. Learn to take catnaps or use a meditation technique instead of drug to help you to keep going until you get a good night’s rest.” — William Bennett, M.D.

18. Enthusiasm for the future

“Personally, I am enthusiastic about the future. You can be too. You are living in the most exciting period of time in history. Many reasons could be cited for that optimism. Yet your greatest source of hope and assurance is that you have the fulness of the teachings of the Master. They will show you how to live a good life. You can receive ordinances and covenants that when righteously lived assure true happiness and significant attainment.” — Elder Richard G. Scott

19. Prepare to battle

“To fight out a war, you must believe something and want something with all your might. So must you do to carry anything else to an end worth reaching. More than that, you must be willing to commit yourself to a course, perhaps a long and hard one, without being able to foresee exactly where you will come out.” — Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

20. NOW

“An old proverb says, ‘The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second-best time is now.’ … There is something wonderful and hopeful about the word now. There is something empowering about the fact that if we choose to decide now, we can move forward at this very moment. Now is the best time to start becoming the person we eventually want to be — not only 20 years from now but also for all eternity.” — President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

21. Effort

“It is not enough to want to make the effort and to say we’ll make the effort. We must actually make the effort. It’s in the doing, not just the thinking, that we accomplish our goals.”— President Thomas S. Monson

22. Wisdom first

“Set out wisely at first; custom will make every virtue more easy and pleasant to you than any vice can be.” — English proverb

23. Face your future

“The time has now come to turn about and face the future. This is a season of a thousand opportunities. It is ours to grasp and move forward. What a wonderful time it is for each of us to do his or her small part in moving the work of the Lord on to its magnificent destiny.”
— President Gordon B. Hinckley

24. Excellence and perfection

“If neither wealth nor prominence are ideal objectives, how can we then be motivated to excellence? Toward what goals can we strive? There are two that I would suggest. Excellence itself is a worthy goal — to be good, very good, at whatever you do; to develop your own talents to the fullest extent that you can; to develop a balanced, worthy, sensible individual. The Lord said it. ‘Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.’ The other goal is service. ‘When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.’”
—President Boyd K. Packer

25. “Content with progress”

“When a young pianist hits a wrong note, we don’t say he is not worthy to keep practicing. We don’t expect him to be flawless. We just expect him to keep trying. Perfection may be his ultimate goal, but for now we can be content with progress in the right direction. Why is this perspective so easy to see in the context of learning piano but so hard to see in the context of learning heaven?”
— Brad Wilcox

26. Achieve it!

“Let me tell you of one of the goals that I made when I was still but a lad. When I heard a Church leader from Salt Lake City tell us at conference that we should read the scriptures, and I recognized that I had never read the Bible, that very night at the conclusion of that very sermon I walked to my home a block away and climbed up in my little attic room in the top of the house and lighted a little coal-oil lamp that was on the little table, and I read the first chapters of Genesis. A year later I closed the Bible, having read every chapter in that big and glorious book. I found that this Bible that I was reading had in it 66 books, and then I was nearly dissuaded when I found that it had in it 1,189 chapters, and then I also found that it had 1,519 pages. It was formidable, but I knew if others did it that I could do it. I found that there were certain parts that were hard for a 14-year-old boy to understand. There were some pages that were not especially interesting to me, but when I had read the 66 books and 1,189 chapters and 1,519 pages, I had a glowing satisfaction that I had made a goal and that I had achieved it. Now I am not telling you this story to boast; I am merely using this as an example to say that if I could do it by coal-oil light, you can do it by electric light.” — President Spencer W. Kimball

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Jeff Call has covered BYU sports since 1993, including the past 16 years for the Deseret News. He, his wife and six sons live in Cedar Hills.

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