10 Encouraging Quotes for When Your Goals Feel Out of Reach

Feb 25, 2020 | by The Salvation Army

At the beginning of the year, anything seems possible. We tell ourselves, “from now on, I’ll stop eating that box of cookies each night” or “this is the year I’m going to quit my job and finally pursue that business idea that’s been on my mind for a while.” Some of us act and progress toward those goals. 

Most of us fall short, and by this time—a few months into the new decade—we feel disillusioned and disappointed that our lives are pretty much unchanged. But you don’t have to let another year pass by you. Big or small, your goals are important, and you can start working toward them today. Right now, even. 

These ten encouraging quotes will help you stay the course and keep making strides toward the future of your dreams.

1. “It doesn’t matter where you came from. All that matters is where you’re going.” -Brian Tracy

All too often our past prevents us from the future we want for ourselves. Don’t get hung up on your past habits, mistakes, hardships, or background. Fix your eyes on the finish line and get going!

2. “Success is on the same road as failure; success is just a little further down the road.” -Jack Hyles

Some of the greatest minds in the world—the most successful people imaginable—walked a tough road full of failure to get to where they are today. If you are doing the work and trying new things, you’re going to fail. But each failure brings you one step closer to success. You got this!

3. “You are never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream.” -C.S. Lewis

Julia Child published her first cookbook at age 39. Bob Ross learned to paint after retiring from a 20-year military career. J.K. Rowling didn’t publish her first book until she was 32. It’s easy to think you need to start young to find success, but that’s just a lie. Start today, at whatever age, in whatever place, and tomorrow you’ll be closer to your dream than you were the day before.

4. “Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” -Les Brown

Fear is normal. We all feel fear at one point or another, but that doesn’t mean those fears have to own us. Identify the fear or fears that are holding you back, and start living out your dreams instead.

5. “The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.” Psalm 37:23-24

Sometimes we stumble. Hard. It hurts, and it’s embarrassing, and it may make us want to give up. But the Lord upholds us in those moments if we reach out to receive his help. Next time you stumble, brush yourself off and get back in the game. This is not the end of your story!

6. “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” -Martin Luther King Jr.

From the bottom of the Lyon Street Steps in San Francisco, the ascent looks intense. Painful, even. But then you take a step, and then another. Maybe you stop for a moment and turn to look out at the deep blue bay. Then you keep going, and eventually you’re at the top. It all starts with a single step.

7. “You will never rise higher than your thinking.” -Joel Osteen

The sky’s the limit, unless you can think of what’s beyond the sky. Our thoughts powerfully shape our realities. Don’t neglect your thinking or talk down to yourself. Think lofty thoughts, and you will aim for lofty goals.

8. “Walk with the wise and become wise. For a companion of fools suffers harm.” Proverbs 13:20

Community and friendship are so important. As you seek to accomplish a new feat or reach a new goal, look for companions who inspire you to be greater, see your true potential, and will celebrate you wins—big and small—along the way.

9. “If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.” -Mother Teresa

Do you ever feel like the effort you’re making is just a drop in the bucket? Committing to a healthier lifestyle, pursuing a new career, or ending an addiction can feel impossible. And maybe, today, it is. But that doesn’t mean you need to stop pursuing that goal. Start where you are today, with the resources you have right now. Feed the first person. Then figure out what you can do next.

10. “Don’t allow a season of loneliness to become a lifestyle of despair.” -Steven Furtick

Life is full of seasons, both good and bad. Sometimes, we develop habits or attitudes during a certain season of life, and though they serve us for a time, we don’t want to bring them along with us the rest of our lives. Perhaps grief led you to zone out for hours on Netflix each night. Or you received a bonus and got too comfortable spending money at leisure for a few months. Don’t let these seasonal changes become your life story.


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