14 Quotes to Inspire You to Reach Even Your Most Impossible Goals

UPDATED: May 23, 2024
PUBLISHED: January 31, 2019
14 Quotes to Inspire You to Reach Even Your Most Impossible Goals

@bryanbanda via Twenty20

You may have set some lofty goals for yourself this year. Perhaps you want to run a marathon, or land a promotion, or finally put in the hours to complete a passion project that’s been patiently waiting to see the light of day for years. Regardless of the resolutions you made (and perhaps already gave up), this will still be your year—that is, if you choose it to be.

Our successes ultimately boil down to our daily choices. You wouldn’t be able to run that marathon without dedicating time each day to ramp up your miles, hydrate, stretch, 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 look at it from a bird’s eye view, it can be a little comforting. What do I need to do today to propel me forward, one step closer to [insert your dream or desire here]? You don’t need to accomplish your goals in one day; you just need to place one foot in front of the other.

Here are some quotes to keep you inspired every step along the way:

For When You’re Afraid to Fail

Depending on who 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’re knowingly bad at. Because even if the worst thing happens, you fall short, it will open doors both mentally and physically to new skills, a new perspective on problem-solving and what it means to succeed at failing. If you don’t believe me, maybe you’ll trust these folks:

Impossible Goals

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated…that 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

For When You’re Unmotivated

Some days you just can’t even. And that’s OK! Taking the time to check in with yourself emotionally is an important part of the process. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your goals likely won’t be either. These are to get you back on track once you’ve made some time for self-care:

Impossible Goals

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.”  Aristotle

“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.” Eleanor Roosevelt

For When You Question If You Can Do It

Impostor syndrome—the idea that you’ve only succeeded due to luck, and not because of your talent or qualifications—is real and can plague your efforts as you strive to reach your goals. The key to overcoming this type of self-doubt lies in refusing to act on that voice; the one that says things like, “I’m sure other people are more qualified,” or “I’ve never done this before, so I shouldn’t try.” An estimated 70 percent of people experience these impostor feelings at some point in their lives, including myself. So if you need help putting that baby in a corner, try reading these:

Impossible Goals

“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’s vulnerability that breeds with self-doubt and then is escalated, often deliberately, by fear.”―Michelle Obama, Becoming

“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 

For When Nothing’s Going According to Plan

What can go wrong will go wrong, according to Murphy’s Law. So when the inevitable occurs, may these quotes encourage you to drive past the speed bumps and keep pushing toward your goal:

Impossible Goals

“In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”―Albert Camus, philosopher

“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, The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in A Changing World

“Wisdom is like rainwater, both gather in low places.”―Tibetan Proverb

“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” —Henry Ford

Related: How to Refresh Your Failed New Year’s Resolutions

Megan Nicole O’Neal is a writer with a passion for storytelling, traveling and whenever possible, mixing the two. The UCLA alum lives in Los Angeles; more specifically westside coffee shops with equally strong wifi and dark roasts. Connect with Megan on Twitter at @megan_n_onealor her website mnoneal.com.