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Goals Quotations for Success and Motivation for All Occasions

My favorite quotations for goals range from success to motivation, and are perfect for all occasions (eg, graduation, encouragement, perseverance, etc). These goal quotes are are practical, brief, effective; they apply to everything from career goals to weight loss goals to relationship goals…

To kick things off, a quotation from Malcolm Gladwell:

“What surprised me most were the ordinary methods successful people use to achieve all they achieve,” he writes in Outliers.

To achieve your goals, you don’t need to be brilliant, talented, or rich. You just need to persevere, hope for the right timing, and focus on taking one small step at a time in the direction of your dreams.

Read Outliers: The Story of Success to learn how ordinary people succeed.

And, here are seven quips and tips for achieving your goals…

Goals Quotes and Tips for Success and Motivation

“Ride the horse in the direction that it’s going.” – Werner Erhard.
  • Tip: If your goal is to earn a living as a writer, novelist or poet…but the job market seems to favor novelists and freelance writers. Ride that horse, my friend – instead of bucking the trend. Don’t give up your goal of earning a living as a writer, but make it more achievable by going with the flow.

“Change means movement. Movement means friction.” – Saul Alinsky.

  • Tip: To achieve your life goals, you’ll have to change your habits, your thoughts, your actions…and that will create friction. Your family, friends, colleagues, and neighbors (and even you yourself!) will feel weird and perhaps even annoyed or afraid of your new patterns and changes. Learn to be comfortable with change, and people’s fear of it.

“Michelangelo struggled with doubt and uncertainty while painting the Sistine Chapel.” – audioguide at the chapel, heard by me!

  • Tip: As one of the greatest painters ever, Michelangelo achieved his goals (if his goals included fame, respect, adulation, and a little money) — but he thought he wasn’t good enough. This insecurity and self-doubt is normal and maybe even healthy! Don’t let your lack of confidence stop you from taking risks and moving in the direction of your dreams. If you struggle with self-criticism, read 5 Tips for Taming Your Inner Critic.

“What you do everyday matters more than what you do once in awhile.” – Gretchen Rubin.

  • Tip: Every day, ask yourself if what you are doing each moment is taking you in the direction of achieving your goals…or away from your dreams.

“Teach yourself to work in uncertainty.” – Bernard Malamud.

  • Tip: Achieving your goals requires focus, determination and dedication – and the acceptance that you don’t know for sure where your journey will take you. Accept uncertainty. Nay, embrace it. Sometimes things work out better than you’d hoped.

“The difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is that successful people fail more.” – Martha Beck.

  • Tip: Oh, you gotta fail sometimes. You have to, or you won’t learn anything. Someone recently told me that she’s dealing with the death of her son, but her life was perfect before he died – for the last 40 years. So, she never learned courage, resilience, determination, or strength. Accept failure. Nay, embrace it!

“There is no such thing as a ‘natural.’ A natural dancer has to practice hard. A natural painter has to paint all the time…” – Joe Louis.

  • Tip: Malcolm Gladwell — author of Outliers — said that most successful people practiced for 10,000 hours before they achieved their goals. If you want to succeed, you have to put in the time.

If you’re struggling with loss of hope, read How to Find the Light at the End of the Tunnel.

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What’s your favorite quotation about goals, success, or motivation? Comments welcome below…

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3 thoughts on “Goals Quotations for Success and Motivation for All Occasions”

  1. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thanks for your comments, Marla and Allison!

    Allison, I’m sorry it took so long to respond to your request for tips about achieving your blog goals. For some reason, these two comments slipped by me — I just now discovered them.

    Here’s an article about making your blog more popular:

    5 Tips for Increasing Your Blog Readership

    Good luck with blogging!


  2. Hi Laurie,
    I’ve got a self growth blog at LiveKnowingThisblogspot and I too LOVE to write. I am hoping to build a career around my blog. If there are any posts you like at my blog you are very welcome to use them as guest posts on yours.
    Any tips you can give me about how to get my blog seen and popular are very welcome!
    Blogger from New Zealand

  3. I appreciate the point you make about being comfortable with change.

    When others (especially our family & loved ones) react to the changes we’re making, it’s often uncomfortable and we’re tempted to ease up or quit. It’s imperative to have others in our lives–real or live mentors and companions on the journey–who are vested in our success (but unaffected by the outcomes).

    Look forward to reading more.