15 Inspiring Motivational Quotes on Setting Goals
Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Without Goals, No Wind is the Right Wind
- "Our plans miscarry because they have no aim. When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind." – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
The following quote made by ancient Roman philosopher Seneca highlights the importance of settings goals. Here is another quote from a famous Hall of Fame Baseball Player which further emphasizes why goals are necessary:
- “If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up some place else.” – Yogi Berra
The quotes that we just considered indicate the importance of knowing where we are going in life's journey. On the journey of life our goals are like target destinations.
These are just two of the many quotes which help us make the link between success and goals. This is really no surprise since successful people are also goal oriented people.
Since many people reflect on motivational quotes as a means to inspire them, we will consider some well known quotes which connect to the importance of goal setting. Along with the Seneca & Berra quotes that we just considered, we will consider 13 other motivational quotes in connection with goal setting.
Motivational Quote Poll
Does reflecting on motivational quotes help inspire you to set and reach goals?
Daguerreotype of Abraham Lincoln
Quotes on the Importance of Planning
A key element of setting and achieving goals is the planning process. Here are two quotes which emphasize the importance of making plans:
- "If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend six sharpening my axe." - Abraham Lincoln
- “Four steps to achievement: plan purposefully, prepare prayerfully, proceed positively, pursue persistently.” - William A. Ward
The quote from the 16th President of the USA, Abraham Lincoln is one of my personal favorites. It clearly highlights the importance of the planning stages. That being said it also emphasizes the need to execute the plan (cut down the tree). But you cannot cut down a tree with a dull axe.
The other quote from highly quoted inspirational writer Ward not only highlights the need for planning, but that there are multiple steps that need to be carried out in conjunction with planning. This will further be emphasized with subsequent quotes that we are going to consider.
Alexander Graham Bell
Quotes on Goals and Progression
- "The most successful men in the end are those whose success is the result of steady accretion... It is the man who carefully advances step by step, with his mind becoming wider and wider - and progressively better able to grasp any theme or situation - persevering in what he knows to be practical, and concentrating his thought upon it, who is bound to succeed in the greatest degree." - Alexander Graham Bell
The following quote from the famous inventor highlights the link between success and progressive goals. Here is also a quote from a renowned motivational speaker & a noted philosopher which highlight the need for progression:
- "Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.” - Earl Nightingale
- “Arriving at one goal is the starting point to another.” – John Dewey
Both of these quotes clearly show that a successful person never stops setting goals. In a sense our long terms goals are generally just a series of short term goals that build on each other.
Goal Setting Poll
Do you consider yourself a goal oriented person?
Quotes Highlighting the Connection Between Goals and Hard Work
There is a clear correlation between achieving goals and hard work. The following quotes drive this point home:
- “Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal. My strength lies solely in my tenacity.” - Louis Pasteur
- “Perseverance is failing nineteen times and succeeding the twentieth.” – Julie Andrews
- “There is no point at which you can say, "Well, I'm successful now. I might as well take a nap.” – Carrie Fisher
The keyword in the first quote is tenacity. Concerning this quality, a great degree of Pasteur success as a microbiologist was dependent upon it. For example, writing about Pasteur's rabies vaccine research, author Axel Munthe in his book The Story of San Michele, made the following statement: "Pasteur himself was absolutely fearless. Anxious to secure a sample of saliva straight from the jaws of a rabid dog, I once saw him with the glass tube held between his lips draw a few drops of the deadly saliva from the mouth of a rabid bull-dog, held on the table by two assistants, their hands protected by leather gloves."
Concerning Julie Andrews her acting career has had highs and lows but she has continued to preserve. Star Wars actress and bestselling novelist, Carrie Fisher's quote highlights the importance of not becoming complacent.
Daguerreotype of Henry David Thoreau
Quotes on Visualizing the Finished Line
When setting goals it is good to look into the future and imagine yourself achieving your goals. Visualizing the finish line before you cross it can be a great motivator in reaching your goals. The following two quotes from a successful pop artist and a famous author emphasizes this point further:
- “I really do live for the future, because when I’m eating a box of candy, I can’t wait to taste the last piece” – Andy Warhol
- “The secret of achievement is to hold a picture of a successful outcome in the mind.” - Henry David Thoreau
Self portrait of Thomas Eakins
A Quote About Goals and Enthusiasm
- “Enthusiasm for one's goal lessens the disagreeableness of working toward it.” - Thomas Eakins
The following quote made by the influential artist, Thomas Eakins clearly highlights a fundamental truth in connection with setting goals. The best goals are goals that we can get excited about. Our enthusiasm will motivate us to put forth the necessary effort to achieve the desired results.
Quotes About Goals From the Holy Scriptures
- “I don’t run without a goal.” - 1 Corinthians 9:26 (Contemporary English Version)
The following statement was made by the Apostle Paul in his letter to the first century congregation in Corinth. In the King James Version of the Bible the verse is rendered "I therefore so run, not as uncertainly". Just like a runner who knows where the finish line is and has clear objectives in mind, in the race of life setting goals is clearly important. This universal truth is one of the few things that both atheists and Christians can agree on.
A Quote About How Goals Can Help You Climb Mountains
- "You don’t have to be a fantastic hero to do certain things – to compete. You can be just an ordinary chap, sufficiently motivated to reach challenging goals." - Sir Edmund Hillary
Edmund Hilary was the first man to climb the summit of Mount Everest. As the above quote highlights having a challenging goal helped him accomplish that feat. Likewise goals can help us overcome mountain like challenges that we may face. Goals can help ordinary people accomplish extraordinary things.