Goal setting is the necessary starting point for anything you want to achieve. It can be scary to set a goal, tell other people, and then actually motivate yourself to take the steps to get things done.

It’s easy to be defeatest about goal setting. For example, many people focus on the statistic that only 8% of New Year’s resolutions succeed.

But it’s ALSO TRUE that people who make an explicit resolution are 10 times more likely to succeed than those who don’t. 

To me, goal setting is an exciting part of the process. I love it! And I’m not alone! I love quotes about goal setting – they aren’t all positive, rah-rah inspirational quotes. Instead, I found quotes about failure (my friend!), the missed opportunity of NOT having goals, and what it takes to set and achieve goals that not even YOU believe you can achieve.

As I was searching for quotes that spoke to me, I found so many relied on pressure, guilt, and even doubt to “motivate” people. It reminded me of why I created the Great Work Journal in the first place:

We need a more compassionate way to manage our time and achieve our goals.

Here’s a list of goal-setting quotes that focus on what matters most to you, and will inspire you to get started and stay at it.

1. Self-understanding helps you stay committed to your goals

Goal setting commitment quotes

If you don’t know why you are working so hard, it’s REALLY easy to give up. The Great Work Journal helps you gain that clarity for both your professional life and your personal life as well. 

Try our 5-day Great Work Vision Challenge if you want more help to figure out what you want…. and why!

2. Why you need to set goals that you ENJOY working on

Goal setting clarity quote

This quote is a little convoluted (it feels like it was written in the 18th century, doesn’t it?), but the truth at the heart of it is CRITICAL:

If you don’t enjoy goal setting, then you are doing it wrong. – Amanda’s translation of Marchesa Schroeder

Even the hardest goals – like quitting bad habits, or struggling to exercise, or forcing yourself to live on a budget – will be easier when they are aligned with your vision and values!

If you don’t feel that way yet, then it’s well worth the time to do that work! And, until you do that work, you will probably struggle to achieve your goals…and once you have done that work, you will find that so much of your resistance will melt away.

3. Goal setting doesn’t have to be so serious!

Goal setting flexibility quotes

There is no “right way” when your learning how to do something new! Keeping an open mind and allowing yourself to make “intuitive changes” will take a lot of the pressure off of your goals. The Great Work Journal helps you stay flexible and experimental, by keeping you in a learning mindset while you accomplish your short and long-term goals.

4. Why goal setting is important

Goal setting calendar quotes

Enslaved by trivia! That’s a terrifying thought!

This is why I make a calendar appointment for EVERYTHING! From lunch with my husband to doctor’s appointments, to a call with a client, everything I want to do (and of course, everything I need to do) goes on my calendar.

That way, I don’t have to remember anything, and I’m spending my time with purpose. Otherwise, I get goalnesia and end up forgetting about my goals entirely…and spending my time shopping for things I don’t need on Amazon.

5. Why it is important to set realistic goals

Goal setting realistic quotes

I love this!

There is no impossible goal, just a goal that feels too big and overwhelming. The Great Work Journal provides a place to write your goals and then break them down into daily, weekly, and 90-day chunks that help to alleviate the overwhelm and get things done. 

6. How to achieve your goals even if you fail along the way

Goal setting time management quotes

Time management is highly personal. The best goal setting process is the one that works for you!

Take me, for example! I have tried every time management technique, taken a LOT of workshops, and bought every journal I could get my hands on. Nothing worked exactly the way I wanted it to….so I made my own!

The Great Work Journal was designed to offer a compassionate, easy-to-follow routine that doesn’t overwhelm you. If you’ve felt overwhelmed by your current time management system, maybe it’s time to try something new, like the Great Work Journal!

7. Everybody makes mistakes… the key is to learn from them

Goal setting quotes healthy habits

The whole purpose of the Great Work Journal is to help you achieve your goals and manage your time with compassion. The last thing you need while you are putting yourself out there is to feel bad about yourself. 

8. It helps to have a goal-setting journal- Like the Great Work Journal

Goal setting quotes healthy habits

The Great Work Journal has been an indispensable tool for me to get in touch with my real wants and needs, organize my thoughts, and make progress on my goals. 

9. Creating a goal-setting team

Goal setting quotes team

I love the community of therapists, coaches, and colleagues I’ve worked with over the years! They’ve been a tremendous source of support for me, and I couldn’t have accomplished everything I have done without them.

10. When is the best time to start? Now.

Goal setting quotes never too old

I hear so many people say that they think it’s too late to start a business, start a coaching practice, or learn a new skill.

To those people I say: NO WAY.

You can always start something new, and there is no time like the present. The Great Work Journal will help you get started and stay at it.

Think of how happy you’ll be that you did!

About the author

Dr. Amanda Crowell is a cognitive psychologist and business coach who helps accidental entrepreneurs get more clients and have a bigger impact. She is the author of Great Work, the host of the Unleashing Your Great Work podcast, and the creator of the Great Work Journals. Amanda's TEDx talk has received almost two million views and has been featured on TED's Ideas blog and Ted Shorts. Her ideas have also been featured on NPR, Al Jazeera, The Wall Street Journal, Quartz, and Thrive Global.