Personal development sounds fantastic, in theory. So does waking up early, reading a book every week or eating healthy. But until you actually take the first step to do those things—wake up as soon as the alarm goes off, read the first chapter, or choose the salad over the burger—the gap between knowing what you should do and actually doing them only gets wider.
Do you want to know the secret to accomplishing all your best-laid plans, and more? Just start. Every time you turn off the TV and start reading a few pages of a personal development book, you take a small action to improve yourself, and that moves you one step closer to accomplishing your goals. The slight edge, the compound effect, whatever you want to call it—these small steps are how self-improvement really happens.
Here are 12 quotes that’ll motivate you to work on yourself and improve your life, one small action at a time.
1. “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always be where you’ve always been.” —T.D. Jakes
2. “You’ve got to have rules to live by, and one of mine is always say yes. Put yourself in danger of something amazing happening to you.” —Tom Bilyeu
3. “The health of your brain is much more about your actions than your age.” —Dr. Daniel Amen
4. “You’re either green and growing or you’re ripe and rotting.” —John Addison
6. “Growth is actually contagious, so if you want to reach your goals, you’ve got to get around people who are going in the same direction you want to be going, and you will catch the success.” —Dr. Henry Cloud
7. “The key to happiness is really progress and growth and constantly working on yourself and developing something.” —Lewis Howes
8. “Beginning today, set an intention and a relentless focus on living your life as the greatest person you can be, in all situations.” —Brendon Burchard
9. “Leap off the fence of indecision. Get out of the ‘Want to Lane’ and put yourself into the ‘Got to Lane.’” —Gloria Mayfield Banks
11. “The dreaming has to be backed up by the doing.” —Carrie Wilkerson
12. “When you are at that intersection in the road and you’ve got two paths to go down, because of the impact of certain people in your life, you’re able to choose the right path.” —Jason Witten
Related: 6 Mindset Shifts That Will Improve Your Life
Journalist, podcaster and southpaw Shelby Skrhak is the former director of digital content and social media for SUCCESS.com. Before joining SUCCESS magazine, Shelby launched the weekly suburban newspaper Plano Insider, and covered topics ranging from cops and courts to transportation and fashion. Her handwriting should be a font.