This story was originally published by LDS Living in December 2019.
The new year is fast approaching, and with it, those New Year’s resolutions. Whether you’ve decided to run a marathon, write a book, or start a business, January 1st is nearly upon us. But whether you've set lofty goals or are keeping things simple next year, perhaps you're feeling that impending sense of dread at actually accomplishing those goals you’ve set.
You're not alone. According to New York Times writer Harry Guinness, we sometimes get a little ahead of the game and make lofty goals at New Year’s that are, well, somewhat unattainable. And the stats don’t lie—80 percent of people fail to keep their New Year’s resolutions for more than six weeks, petering out around the middle of February.
So, we’re all in agreement—starting new habits can be hard. How do we make those goals become a reality?
First things first: Make sure your goal is something you enjoy. And while you’re at it, give yourself an immediate reward—those who treat themselves for sticking to something are more likely to have that habit stick to them, Business Insider notes.
Why not start practicing your New Year’s resolutions right now? That way January 1 won’t feel like such a daunting number, Guinness writes, and you can adjust your goals to be more fitting for when the clock strikes midnight and the new year rolls in.
But even the best of plans can be difficult to carry out. Need a little extra motivation for the days ahead? Here are 31 quotes from leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for every day in January to keep your focus on the Savior so you can stay uplifted and inspired to run that extra mile, take up that new hobby, read your scriptures more consistently, or to simply be a little kinder.
So, go on. Beat the odds. Prove that you can keep that resolution and make 2021 a year to remember.
At a Worldwide devotional for Young Adults in January 2018, Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf spoke about the "Adventure of Mortality" and maintaining an eternal perspective.
“I leave you my blessing this day, at the beginning of this new year, that as you earnestly strive to know your God, your faith will increase. As you seek to follow your Savior, your confidence will grow. And as you walk in faithfulness and open your heart to the Light of Christ, your love of God will mature and your ability to love your neighbor will be refined.” —Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf
During a Face to Face for youth on Nov. 17, 2019, Elder Gerrit W. Gong spoke about the value in discovering one's personal talents, interests, and skills.
“Set personal goals that challenge and stretch you.” —Elder Gerrit W. Gong
“Pursue your goals—great, greater, and greatest—to the end that you may qualify for exaltation and eternal life in the presence of your Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ with your families.” —President Russell M. Nelson
“Brothers and sisters, do the best you can do day after day, and before you know it, you will come to realize that your Heavenly Father knows you and that He loves you.” —President M. Russell Ballard
“Will we choose to do whatever it takes?” —Sister Wendy Nelson
“I know it seems difficult. I know you get discouraged at times. . . . But keep on. Keep on hammering away. Keep on learning. You will never regret learning—neither in this life, nor in the world to come.” —President Henry B. Eyring
“With the gift of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the strength of heaven to help us, we can improve, and the great thing about the gospel is we get credit for trying, even if we don’t always succeed.” —Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
“You are stronger than you realize. You are more capable than you can imagine. You can do it now!” —Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf
“Achieving perfection is a process that will take place throughout our mortal life and beyond — and only through the grace of Jesus Christ.” —Sister Reyna Isabel Aburto
“My invitation to all of us is to evaluate our lives, repent, and keep on trying. If we don’t try, we’re just latter-day sinners; if we don’t persevere, we’re latter-day quitters; and if we don’t allow others to try, we’re just latter-day hypocrites. As we try, persevere, and help others to do the same, we are true Latter-day Saints. As we change, we will find that God indeed cares a lot more about who we are and about who we are becoming than about who we once were.” —Elder Dale G. Renlund
"I believe that one important key to happiness is to learn how to set our own goals and establish our own plans within the framework of our Heavenly Father’s eternal plan." —President M. Russell Ballard
"You don’t need an invitation before you start moving in the direction of your righteous goals. You don’t need to wait for permission to become the person you were designed to be." —Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf
“Be your best self and let your character shine.” —Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
“We have to forego some good things in order to choose others that are better or best because they develop faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and strengthen our families.” —President Dallin H. Oaks
“The future of your faith is not by chance, but by choice.” —Elder Neil L. Andersen
“I plead with you to set aside worldly influences and pressures and seek spirituality in your daily life. Love what the Lord loves—which includes His commandments, His holy houses, our sacred covenants with Him, the sacrament each Sabbath day, our communication through prayer—and you will not be troubled.” —Elder Ronald A. Rasband
“As you use your agency to carve out time every day to draw close to God’s voice, especially in the Book of Mormon, over time, His voice will become clearer and more familiar to you.” —Sister Michelle Craig
“Life provides us with daily opportunities to choose darkness or to progress spiritually as we practice responding to the influence of the Holy Ghost.” —President Joy D. Jones
“Trust in the Lord. Put on the whole armor of God and get in the game.” —Elder Gary E. Stevenson
“Just as we never forget our own name no matter what else we are thinking about, we never forget a commitment that is etched in our hearts.” —Elder Dale G. Renlund
"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 Gordon B. Hinckley
“Individuals who know their purpose in whatever they are doing, including missionary work, are able to decide what should take priority in their lives at a specific time to accomplish their purpose.” —Elder Quentin L. Cook
“We must keep the doctrine and gospel of Jesus Christ at the center of our goals and plans. Without Him, no eternal goal is possible, and our plans to achieve our eternal goals will surely fail.” –President M. Russell Ballard
“ … [T]hrough the grace of Jesus Christ, we can repent and we can keep trying to be better—to be more like Him. And by trying to be like Him, we can make alliances with other people who are also trying for good in ways that may be very different from ours, who are striving to do the right things for the right reasons, and who are recovering from their mistakes the same as we do: through the virtues of God as they appeal to Him for help.” —Sister Sharon Eubank
"To reach a goal you have never before attained, you must do things you have never before done." —Elder Richard G. Scott
“As we strive to acquire His divine attributes in our lives, we become different than we were, through the Atonement of Christ the Lord, and our love for all people increases naturally.” —Elder Ulisses Soares
"I urge you to examine your life. Determine where you are and what you need to do to be the kind of person you want to be." —Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin
“Every day that you and I choose to live celestial laws, every day that we keep our covenants and help others to do the same, joy will be ours.” —President Russell M. Nelson
“You may be exhausted, but don’t ever give up.” —Elder Neil L. Andersen
“Every day is important to you because the way you choose to spend your time will determine the person you become. Be the best you can be.” —Sister Kristen Oaks
“Not one spirit was created to fail; every single one has the capacity to triumph. It is up to us individually to make the choices that bring us closer to that potential.” —President Jean B. Bingham
Find more inspiration in Daily Joy. This dynamic collection of thoughts for each day of the year from President Russell M. Nelson is certain to motivate and inspire us in our pursuit of spiritual strength. Available now at DeseretBook.com.