17 Quotes That Make Life Better
Last Updated: Oct 14, 2016
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Boy with toy aeroplane sitting on father's shoulders
Pinterest quotes are super popular -- and for good reason. You can find and save all kinds of quotes that inspire or motivate you. We’ve rounded up some of our own favorite quotes to help you achieve your goals. Whether you’re aiming to get in shape, eat healthier, be kinder to people or travel more, here are 17 quotes that are guaranteed to help kick-start your day.
THE SECRET TO GETTING AHEAD IS GETTING STARTED.
Mark Twain said it right: You can't finish your first half marathon or lose those last five pounds unless you take the leap to get started. Because as another famous quote from Lao Tzu says: “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” So what one step can you take to get closer to your goals? Maybe it's cutting back on processed foods and sugary sodas. Maybe it's taking your new running shoes out for their inaugural run. Whatever your end goal is, the first step doesn't have to be a huge one; it just needs to be a step in the right direction.
Related: 17 Reasons to Start Running
LIFE BEGINS AT THE END OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE.
It's human nature to want to be comfortable. We snuggle up in our sweats in front of the TV and binge-watch Nextflix because it's comfortable. And while there's nothing wrong with being comfortable in and of itself, your attachment to comfort may be getting in the way of living out some epic adventures. So let Neale Donald Walsch’s inspiring quote motivate you. Have you always wanted to travel but are a homebody by nature? Push yourself to take short trips somewhere nearby with a friend that's been there before. Feeling lonely but hate talking to strangers? Try striking up a conversation with your local barista. You might just be surprised at the results.
cheering woman on the street
SUCCESS IS THE BEST REVENGE.
Revenge for revenge's sake is toxic. You'll only end up poisoning your own mental wellbeing. But if you take the negative experiences in your life -- all the betrayals, the broken promises, the unintentional slights -- and use them to power you toward success, that's energy well-spent. So don't listen to the people who tell you that you can't achieve your dreams, and leave behind the people trying to actively sabotage your success. Because once you've “made it,” all those people will be left in awe, wondering how you did it.
NOTHING GREAT WAS EVER ACHIEVED WITHOUT ENTHUSIASM.
Ralph Waldo Emerson probably wasn't envisioning the hundreds of thousands of pins and Instagrams he would inspire when he penned these famous words, but they certainly ring true more than a century later. Ask yourself: What's been your greatest accomplishment? Could you have achieved it without enthusiasm or passion? Because the truth is, there will always be obstacles and setbacks on the road to success, and if you're not armed with a true passion for what you're doing, it'll become very easy to give up on your goal. Even if your goal itself doesn't inspire much enthusiasm (cutting junk food out of your diet, let's say), find an aspect of it that you are passionate about (like having more energy).
Related: Motivation: Find Your Passion
STOP COMPETING WITH OTHERS AND START COMPETING WITH YOURSELF.
Sure, friendly competition is a great motivator. But sometimes it can work against you when the “friendly” part takes a back seat to the “competition” part. When it comes to your health and wellbeing, your greatest competition is the person you were yesterday (or last month or last year). Challenge yourself to run faster, lift more weight, weigh less, be nicer and just be better than you were before. One of the best ways to measure your progress is through photos. Take a look back at photos from a year ago. Are you happier now? More confident? Healthier? If not, use that as a benchmark for your current goals and work towards reclaiming (and exceeding) your past self.
THE CURE FOR ANYTHING IS SALT WATER -- SWEAT, TEARS OR THE SEA.
Rough day at the office? Sweat it out at kickboxing class. Relationship troubles? It's OK to cry it out. Writer Isak Dinesen understands! Though salt water itself has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, its magic in these scenarios lies elsewhere. There's a catharsis (emotional release) that comes with a good, heavy cry. It helps you release pent-up sadness and frustration. There's also something soothing about listening to the waves crash on the sand and feeling the water rush over your feet and ankles, taking your stress out with the tide. And if you've ever given 100 percent of yourself in a workout, you know the healing power of being completely physically exhausted, but mentally victorious.
Don't get discouraged because you aren't as fast as you think you should be! Everyone has to start somewhere, and there will always be people better, faster, stronger than you. But here's the good news: There are also people that aren't as strong or as fast as you. And that's not a slight to them, but kudos to you! So when you're out there pounding the pavement, thinking that your 10-minute mile isn't good enough, remember: You could have sat on the couch doing nothing. But instead, you laced up your shoes and went for a run. Give yourself a pat on the back for that one.
LIFE IS EITHER A DARING ADVENTURE OR NOTHING AT ALL.
Don't take Helen Keller’s quote to mean that if you're not out seeing all the wonders of the world that you don't have a great life. Every life can be a great adventure, regardless of how much you travel. Of course, travel is one of the best and more obvious ways to experience a great adventure, but there are other ways, too. Raising a child is a great adventure (as every parent will attest); building a company from the ground up is a great adventure; and following your artistic passion is a great adventure. So what does your great adventure look like? It doesn't have to look “great” to the world. All that matters is that it's great to you.
Related: The 20 Most Awe-Inspiring Places in the World
It's not about your past or your future -- it's about proving what you're made of, according to Ralph Waldo Emerson. Like the Gatorade campaign from several years ago asked, “Is it in you?” Is the drive to keep going in you? Do you have what it takes to reach your goals? The answer should be a resounding, “Yes!” Because the first step to accomplishing anything starts with believing in yourself. You already have what it takes to make your dreams a reality (given that those dreams are within the realm of physical possibilities, of course). So keep pushing yourself. Because you can go further and dig deeper and do more than you think you can.
WHAT DOESN'T KILL YOU MAKES YOU STRONGER.
Kelly Clarkson's anthem might just get you through that next killer workout. So when you're shaking your way through a barre class, crushing a CrossFit workout or plodding through your weekly long run and feel like you just can't make it, remember: It may be tough, but you're getting stronger for it. Conquering a tough interval workout means your next steady-state run will feel a bit easier. And consistently giving it your all during strength-training workouts means you'll be able to lift more.
Related: 16 Best Motivational Quotes for Fitness
YOUR BODY KEEPS AN ACCURATE JOURNAL REGARDLESS OF WHAT YOU WRITE DOWN.
Just because you don't write down the three slices of pizza you had for lunch in your food journal doesn't mean the calories don't count. (But wouldn't it be great if it worked like that?!) So here's your friendly reminder that cheating on your food journal is only cheating yourself on understanding your eating patterns and how to improve them. And this is especially important if you're trying to lose weight. The more honest you are with yourself about what and how much you eat, the easier it'll be to find areas to cut back on (like one slice of pizza instead of three).
Related: Track Your Calories With Livestrong.com's MyPlate App
DON'T WISH FOR IT, WORK FOR IT!
Envisioning your perfect life can certainly help you solidify what you want. But if all you do is wish for it, you might find you've wished your life away. So once you know what you want, go for it! Want a promotion at work? Start taking on new projects. Want leaner legs? Time for squats and lunges. Want a more organized home? Tackle one room at a time. You won't get there overnight, but you'll get there a lot faster than simply wishing for change. Just make sure you enjoy the process of getting there.
Related: 20 Motivations That You Can Wear
Diet starts tomorrow, right? But according to Lemony Snicket, why wait for a brand new day (or week or year) or wait for anything for that matter? You can start right now! The perfect conditions may never come. And besides, who's to say what's perfect? “Perfect conditions” is just an excuse we use to delay making changes. Even if you already think you've “screwed up” your plan today, don't “throw the baby out with the bath water,” so to speak. There are small changes you can start making that will get you toward your goal.
MOTIVATION IS WHAT GETS YOU STARTED. HABIT IS WHAT KEEPS YOU GOING.
There's a lot of focus on motivation. (“I don't feel motivated,” “I need more motivation,” etc.) But according to Jim Ryun, when you've made something a habit, things come more easily. Consider motivation the match that sparks the fire and habit the kindling that keeps it going. While conventional wisdom points out that it takes at least 21 days to create a new habit, that's only really true with simple habits (aw, shucks!). So when working out four days a week doesn't automatically become a habit after three weeks, keep going! Sooner or later, it will become a habit.
Related: Follow Livestrong.com on Pinterest for more quotes
WORK OUT BECAUSE YOU LOVE YOUR BODY, NOT BECAUSE YOU HATE IT.
If you find yourself dragging into the gym day after day to lose those “unsightly pounds,” perhaps it's time to examine your perspective. Why are you working out? Is it just to look better naked? While six-pack abs and leaner legs are a perfectly acceptable goal, try starting with a little self love. Your body is capable of amazing things! Think about how your legs carry you through a run or your arms pump out push-up after push-up. Your body is a machine, and working out is one way you can prove to yourself just how efficient and strong it is. Plus, there are plenty of benefits to exercise besides looking good. It boosts your mood, strengthens your body to protect against injury and can help you live a long, healthy life.
Related: 9 Inspirational Instagrams to Keep You on Track
IF IT DOESN'T CHALLENGE YOU, IT DOESN'T CHANGE YOU.
Fred DeVito isn’t afraid of a little bit of challenge. And when it comes to your workout, if you aren't pushing yourself at least a little bit, you won't get the results you want. Of course it's easy to coast and stick to the same routine you've had for months or want to throw in the towel when your workout gets a little difficult. But strong, sleek bodies are made in the tough moments. Your muscles need greater and greater stimulation in order for them to change. And this quote holds true for the rest of life, too. The things in life that challenge you, change you. And you can decide if they change you for the better.
A RIVER CUTS THROUGH ROCK NOT BECAUSE OF ITS POWER BUT ITS PERSISTENCE.
Jim Watkins sure has a poetic way with words. Said another way, consistency is key! Most things worth having require time to earn. And while that's a tough pill to swallow in our instant-gratification society, it actually makes the rewards that much sweeter. When you can look at what you've achieved and know that it took you weeks, months or years of hard work to achieve it, you might just look at yourself the way thousands of people look at the Colorado River as it snakes through the Grand Canyon. And that's a pretty irreplaceable feeling!
Related: 20 Top Trainers' Favorite Motivational Quotes
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Are you on Pinterest? What are some of your favorite quotes you've found there? Are there other quotes that inspire you to live your best life? What do you think of the ones listed here? Share your thoughts and suggestions in the comments section below!
Related: Follow Livestrong.com on Pinterest for more quotes
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