Latter-day Saint Life

11 quotes from Church leaders to motivate you for the new year


With a new year, we often need new motivation. Maybe you're convinced this is the year you'll stop eating sugar altogether, or maybe you set a goal to continue doing daily acts of service. Many of us make goals, and all of us fall short at one point or another.

No matter where you want to be at the end of 2017, here are 10 of our favorite quotes from Church leaders to motivate, inspire, and help you reach your goals this year:

1. Take time to rejuvenate yourself spiritually.

"First, think about your life and set your priorities. Find some quiet time regularly to think deeply about where you are going and what you will need to do to get there. Jesus, our exemplar, often 'withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed' (Luke 5:16). We need to do the same thing occasionally to rejuvenate ourselves spiritually as the Savior did. Write down the tasks you would like to accomplish each day. Keep foremost in mind the sacred covenants you have made with the Lord as you write down your daily schedules.

"Second, set short-term goals that you can reach. Set goals that are well balanced—not too many nor too few, and not too high nor too low. Write down your attainable goals and work on them according to their importance. Pray for divine guidance in your goal setting." —Elder M. Russell Ballard, "Keeping Life's Demands in Balance," April 1987.

2. We must become what Heavenly Father wants us to be.

"When it comes to living the gospel, we should not be like the boy who dipped his toe in the water and then claimed he went swimming. As sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father, we are capable of so much more. For that, good intentions are not enough. We must do. Even more important, we must become what Heavenly Father wants us to be." —Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Of Regrets and Resolutions," April 2012.

3. Establish goals that bring happiness.

"Begin now to establish those goals which will bring you happiness—education in your chosen skill or branch of learning, whatever it may be; a mission in which to surrender yourself entirely to the Lord to do His work; future marriage in the house of the Lord to a wonderful and delightful companion of whom you will be worthy because of the way you have lived."—President Gordon B. Hinckley "Converts and Young Men," April 1997.

4. Accomplish personal goals in four areas.

"Accomplish personal goals in each of four categories . . . : spiritual development; physical development; educational, personal, and career development; and citizenship and social development." —Elder Robert D. Hales, "Fulfilling Our Duty to God," October 2001.

5. Take time to pray, dream, laugh, and learn.

"Mere 'busyness' is not necessarily evidence of the wise use of time. There should be time for mental and spiritual development as well as relaxation: time for worship and time to express our thankfulness for our ability to work, and think, and pray, and read, and help, and dream, and laugh, and plan, and learn." —Elder John Longden, "Time Is of the Essence," April 1966.

6. Our direction is more important than where we are at now.

"In setting our own goals we need to examine our own needs and abilities. The direction in which we are moving is more important than where we are at the moment. Goal setting should cause us to stretch as we make our way."—Elder Marvin J. Ashton, "The Word Is Commitment," October 1983.

7. Rise to the great potential within you.

"May I invite you to rise to the great potential within you. But don’t reach beyond your capacity. Don’t set goals beyond your capacity to achieve. Don’t feel guilty or dwell on thoughts of failure. Don’t compare yourself with others. Do the best you can, and the Lord will provide the rest. Have faith and confidence in Him, and you will see miracles happen in your life and the lives of your loved ones." —Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "The Influence of Righteous Women," September 2009.

8. Live only for tomorrow, and you will have a lot of empty yesterdays today.

"It's in the doing, not just the thinking, that we accomplish our goals. If we constantly put our goals off, we will never see them fulfilled. Someone put it this way: Live only for tomorrow, and you will have a lot of empty yesterdays today." —President Monson, "A Royal Priesthood," October 2007.

9. Count on the infinite power of the Lord.

"To reach a goal you have never before attained, you must do things you have never before done. Don't confront your problem armed with only your own experience, understanding, and strength. Count on the infinite power of the Lord by deciding now to be obedient to His teachings."—Elder Richard G. Scott, "Finding the Way Back," April 1990.

10. Ask well-focused questions.

"There are more things to do in life than time available in which to do them. That means choices need to be made. Choices are often facilitated by asking well-focused questions. Some may be thoughtfully tendered in prayer." —President Russell M. Nelson, “I’ll Go, I’ll Do, I’ll Be,” BYU Campus Education Week Devotional, August 19, 1986.

11. Please don’t nag yourself with thoughts of failure.

"Please don’t nag yourself with thoughts of failure. Do not set goals far beyond your capacity to achieve. Simply do what you can do, in the best way you know, and the Lord will accept of your effort." —President Hinckley, "Rise to the Stature of the Divine Within You," October 1989.

Lead image from Getty Images.
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