If you’re looking for inspiration for the New Year, I’ve got you covered! Here are 55 of the best self-improvement quotes to make your fantastic self even that little bit better.
Why do we even need improve yourself quotes?
The fresh new calendar or blank planner at the beginning of a new year can feel so ripe with possibility.
This can be the year we get out of debt, start that side hustle, exercise more, spend more time with our kids, forgive someone, forgive ourselves.
We could start those goals any time – a rainy Thursday morning in April, or a hot Monday afternoon in July.
But there is something about the New Year that brings new resolve, and the hope that our new habits will last the whole year.
Sometimes a quote can speak right to our heart, right to our gut, and be that extra bit of motivation we need to make a positive change.
As a writer and a poet, I love words and am always on the lookout for a good motivational quote. I curated 55 of the best self-improvement quotes for you below.
Related post: How to Better Yourself: 100 simple and practical ideas
Quotes about being your best self
These self-improvement quotes are from diverse voices: men and women, spiritual leaders, business leaders, writers, poets, actors, geniuses, singers, talk show hosts (I bet you could guess who – starts with an O, ends with a prah). I hope you find a new favorite quote in this list!
Other awesome posts with epic quotes:
- 105 Motivational quotes to kick-start your best life
- 10 Inspiring quotes for living your own unique life
- Money quotes that will change how you think about money
Self-improvement quotes for your best year ever
1. I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint—and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.
2. Why, it would really be being unselfish to go away and be happy for a little, because we would come back so much nicer.
― Elizabeth von Arnim
3. If you can see yourself as an artist, and you can see that your life is your own creation, then why not create the most beautiful story for yourself?
― Miguel Ruiz
4. Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.
– Albert Einstein
5. Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What’s important is the action. You don’t have to wait to be confident. Just do it and eventually the confidence will follow.
– Carrie Fisher
6. There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.
― Ernest Hemingway
7. One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again.
Psst…want to live more intentionally? The 2020 Productivity Bundle will help you build the perfect routines for you and your family, get organized (this can be the year!), crush goals, learn practical tips to overcome obstacles, and shift your mindset to make 2020 your best year ever! Learn more about the Productivity Bundle here. Also it includes planners!
8. The mind is just like a muscle – the more you exercise it, the stronger it gets and the more it can expand.
― Idowu Koyenikan
9. We can each define ambition and progress for ourselves. The goal is to work toward a world where expectations are not set by the stereotypes that hold us back, but by our personal passion, talents, and interests.
— Sheryl Sandberg
10. If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always be where you’ve always been.
– T.D. Jakes
11. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.
– Jane Goodall
12. One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
13. I want to be as idle as I can, so that my soul may have time to grow.
― Elizabeth von Arnim
14. If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.
15. We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.
— Bill Gates
16. If you want to change the fruits, you will first have to change the roots. If you want to change the visible, you must first change the invisible.
― T. Harv Eker
17. I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.
– Thomas Jefferson
18. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.
— Eleanor Roosevelt
19. Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.
― George Bernard Shaw
20. When I had challenges, it taught me to be more on top of it for the future. Things go wrong all the time when you’re running your own business, but it’s how you perceive it and deal with it that matters.
— Lori Greiner
21. Follow what you are genuinely passionate about and let that guide you to your destination.
— Diane Sawyer
22. Investing in yourself is the best investment you will ever make. It will not only improve your life, it will improve the lives of all those around you.
23. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.
– J.K. Rowling
24. Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.
– Maya Angelou
25. Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experiences that reveals the human spirit.
– E.E. Cummings
26. Be not afraid of growing slowly; be afraid only of standing still.
– Chinese Proverb
27. I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough.
— Marissa Mayer
28. When someone tells me ‘no,’ it doesn’t mean I can’t do it, it simply means I can’t do it with them.
– Karen E. Quinones Miller
29. Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve.
— Mary Kay Ash
30. We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes–understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.
— Arianna Huffington
31. [Walking] is the perfect way of moving if you want to see into the life of things. It is the one way of freedom. If you go to a place on anything but your own feet you are taken there too fast, and miss a thousand delicate joys that were waiting for you by the wayside.
― Elizabeth von Arnim
32. Personal development is the belief that you are worth the effort, time and energy needed to develop yourself.
33. Be so busy improving yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
34. Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.
– Warren Buffett
35. The dreaming has to be backed up by the doing.
– Carrie Wilkerson
Hey, if you feel stuck with your direction and what you want to do in life, I highly recommend trying this 8-day email mini course. It will help you find a career that fits you and find fulfilling, meaningful work. Oh, and it’s free!
36. We should not judge people by their peak of excellence; but by the distance they have traveled from the point where they started.
– Henry Ward Beecher
37. Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.
– Thomas Edison
38. As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world – that is the myth of the atomic age – as in being able to remake ourselves.
― Mahatma Gandhi
39. Accept responsibility for your life. Know that it is you who will get you where you want to go, no one else.
– Les Brown
40. You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself one.
―Henry David Thoreau
41. Reading was very important; the proper exercise and development of one’s mind was a paramount duty.
― Elizabeth von Arnim
42. Recognizing that you are not where you want to be is a starting point to begin changing your life.
– Deborah Day
43. Self-knowledge is the beginning of self-improvement.
– Spanish Proverb
44. No matter who you are, no matter what you did, no matter where you’ve come from, you can always change, become a better version of yourself.
45. Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.
– Ella Fitzgerald
46. A strong man cannot help a weaker unless the weaker is willing to be helped, and even then the weak man must become strong of himself; he must, by his own efforts, develop the strength which he admires in another. None but himself can alter his condition.
― James Allen
47. The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.
– Carl R. Rogers
48. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
– Mark Twain
49. Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come.
50. What we call our destiny is truly our character and that character can be altered. The knowledge that we are responsible for our actions and attitudes does not need to be discouraging, because it also means that we are free to change this destiny. One is not in bondage to the past, which has shaped our feelings, to race, inheritance, background. All this can be altered if we have the courage to examine how it formed us. We can alter the chemistry provided we have the courage to dissect the elements.
― Anaïs Nin
51. I do not believe in taking the right decision, I take a decision and make it right.
― Muhammad Ali Jinnah
52. Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.
― Jim Rohn
53. We already have everything we need. There is no need for self-improvement. All these trips that we lay on ourselves—the heavy-duty fearing that we’re bad and hoping that we’re good, the identities that we so dearly cling to, the rage, the jealousy and the addictions of all kinds—never touch our basic wealth. They are like clouds that temporarily block the sun. But all the time our warmth and brilliance are right here. This is who we really are. We are one blink of an eye away from being fully awake.
― Pema Chödrön
54. Most misunderstandings in the world could be avoided if people would simply take the time to ask, “What else could this mean?
― Shannon L. Alder
55. Now she had taken off her goodness and left it behind her like a heap of rain-sodden clothes, and she only felt joy.
― Elizabeth von Arnim
I hope these self improvement quotes make you feel joy! ❤️
What are your favorite self-improvement quotes? I love hearing new-to-me quotes; share in the comments!