114 Powerful Quotes on Achieving Goals

Master the art of setting and achieving S.M.A.R.T.E.R goals from these legendary leaders and high performers

Man pointing to a rocket and hitting the target goal
The SMARTER Goal-Setting Framework is a far more effective system for achieving goals than the often cited SMART anacronym. Here are 114 powerful quotes from some of history's notable icons on setting and achieving goals. The relevant quotes are segmented within the SMARTER Goal Framework.


The best goals are big and grandiose, a distant dream that might seem impossible today, but with the right plan, they become possible.
People are not lazy. They simply have impotent goals—that is, goals that do not inspire them.
— Tony Robbins
You have to set goals that are almost out of reach. If you set a goal that is attainable without much work or thought, you are stuck with something below your true talent and potential
— Steve Garvey
You should set goals beyond your reach so you always have something to live for.
— Ted Turner
A good goal is like a strenuous exercise – it makes you stretch.
— Mary Kay Ash
If you set your goals ridiculously high and it's a failure, you will fail above everyone else's success.
— James Cameron
Set a goal so big that you can't achieve it until you grow into the kind of person who can.
— Anonymous

Supercharge goal achievement and turn your bold dreams into reality...

GoalSumo optimizes your daily productivity into a goal-crushing machine keeping you laser-focused on what's important, while not neglecting the essential.
man winning award
Get started for free
The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.
— Michelangelo
Begin with the end in mind.
— Stephen Covey
Set a goal to achieve something that is so big, so exhilarating that it excites you and scares you at the same time.
— Bob Proctor
Although she was not a politician, my grandmother gave me the most important lesson I've ever received and one I carry with me today. That all you need to be successful in life is three things: your wishbone to dream big, your jawbone to speak the truth, and your backbone to persevere through it all.
— Nina Turner
Impossible is just a word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.
— Muhammad Ali
Don't set your goals too low. If you don't need much, you won't become much.
— Jim Rohn
Goal setting is the secret to a compelling future.
— Tony Robbins
Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything - all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.
— Steve Jobs
Life is a great big canvas; throw all the paint you can at it.
— Danny Kaye
Go big or go home. Because it's true. What do you have to lose?
— Eliza Dushku
I think people are dreaming big because they have the tools to dream big. I hope that people are dreaming big because it makes them feel good about their lives.
— Peter Diamandis
Dream big, anything's possible once you have that dream. You just have to work at it every single day.
— Gordon Hayward
All who have accomplished great things have had a great aim have fixed their gaze on a goal which was high, one which sometimes seemed impossible.
— Orison Swett Marden


Good goals are numerically defined or have a simple "do, or do not" nature. You either win the race or you do not. You either sell your company for $25 million or you do not.
The more specific and measurable your goal, the more quickly you will be able to identify, locate, create, and implement the use of the necessary resources for its achievement.
— Charles J. Givens
Success in any endeavor does not happen by accident. Rather, it’s the result of deliberate decisions, conscious effort, and immense persistence...all directed at specific goals.
— Gary Ryan
It's very easy to confuse confident motion with being productive - and they're not the same thing. Productive to me means measurable outcomes that apply to my most important to-dos that positively affect my life. That's it.
— Tim Ferriss
In the absence of clearly defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily acts of trivia.
— Author Unknown
When you can produce measurable, replicable results, it builds confidence and motivates you to keep pushing forward.
— Jay Shetty
The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.
— Bill Copeland
The whole reason I did a bodybuilding show was to see how far I could push my own discipline. It was the hardest thing I've ever done. When I made the switch to acting, I was able to break that down into small, measurable goals like I did with bodybuilding.
— Matt McGorry
Rowing harder doesn't help if the boat is headed in the wrong direction.
— Kenichi Ohma
When we have no goal, or when our vision of the goal is obscured, we may lose our sense of purpose. Even when we've prepared ourselves well and have an aptitude for a given activity, poorly directed efforts can rob us of vital energy. We can spend a great deal of our time, money, and other resources running around in circles. Unless we create specific goals that match our purpose in life and unless we keep a clear vision of these goals, we may eventually falter and fail.
— John Templeton
Every milestone is special.
— Alexander Ovechkin

Supercharge goal achievement and turn your bold dreams into reality...

GoalSumo optimizes your daily productivity into a goal-crushing machine keeping you laser-focused on what's important, while not neglecting the essential.
man winning award
Get started for free
Make each day count by setting specific goals to succeed, then putting forth every effort to exceed your own expectations.
— Les Brown
Measure what is measurable, and make measurable what is not so.
— Galileo Galilei
Each time you go to the same track you know whether you're improving or whether you're not... it's not open to interpretation. It's measurable - unlike acting.
— Eric Bana
A great building must begin with the unmeasurable, must go through measurable means when it is being designed and in the end must be unmeasurable.
— Louis Kahn
Learn from the past, set vivid, detailed goals for the future, and live in the only moment of time over which you have any control: now.
— Denis Waitley
Smart people focus on the right things.
— Jensen Huang


Goals need to be reverse-engineered and partitioned into bit-sized, achievable sub-goals. Goals need a blueprint for execution. Without a near-term approach concentrated on daily priorities, the long-term fades into an unnavigable haze.
Don't be a time manager, be a priority manager. Cut your major goals into bite-sized pieces. Each small priority or requirement on the way to ultimate goal becomes a mini goal in itself.
— Denis Waitley
If you're climbing the ladder of life, you go rung by rung, one step at a time. Don't look too far up, set your goals high but take one step at a time. Sometimes you don't think you're progressing until you step back and see how high you've really gone.
— Donny Osmond
Write your goals down in detail and read your list of goals every day. Some goals may entail a list of shorter goals. Losing a lot of weight, for example, should include mini-goals, such as 10-pound milestones. This will keep your subconscious mind focused on what you want step by step.
— Jack Canfield
Most 'impossible' goals can be met simply by breaking them down into bite-size chunks, writing them down, believing them, and then going full speed ahead as if they were routine.
— Don Lancaster
Stop setting goals. Goals are pure fantasy unless you have a specific plan to achieve them
— Stephen Covey
Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success
— Pablo Picasso
Every minute you spend in planning saves 10 minutes in execution; this gives you a 1,000 percent return on energy!
— Brian Tracy
A goal without a timeline is just a dream.
— Robert Herjavec
A goal properly set is halfway reached.
— Zig Ziglar
Exercise to stimulate, not to annihilate. The world wasn't formed in a day, and neither were we. Set small goals and build upon them.
— Lee Haney
You have to have a big vision and take very small steps to get there. You have to be humble as you execute but visionary and gigantic in terms of your aspiration. In the Internet industry, it's not about grand innovation, it's about a lot of little innovations: every day, every week, every month, making something a little bit better.
— Jason Calacanis
Details create the big picture.
— Sanford I. Weill


Short-term monthly and weekly goals must always be realistic. This is how longer-term goals that seemingly seem impossible, become probably.
Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.
— Francis of Assisi
The goal you set must be challenging. At the same time, it should be realistic and attainable, not impossible to reach. It should be challenging enough to make you stretch, but not so far that you break.
— Rick Hansen
Part of the issue of achievement is to be able to set realistic goals, but that's one of the hardest things to do because you don't always know exactly where you're going, and you shouldn't.
— George Lucas
To be realistic today is to be visionary. To be realistic is to be starry-eyed.
— Hubert H. Humphrey
Continuity is a great thing; staying the course and being patient, those are important virtues. But also there is virtue in being realistic enough to know you have to make serious changes sometimes.
— Jim Irsay
Realizing your goal, resolution, or transformation is a journey. Change, like any meaningful endeavor, proceeds sequentially through steps. The journey begins with the contemplation stage of specifying realistic goals, getting ready, or getting psyched. The planning stage is all about prepping. How exactly will I do this thing? At some point you will jump from preparing and planning to perspiring, the work of implementing the new, desired behavior. Getting there is wonderful, but we need to keep you there, which entails persevering through slips and, finally, persisting over time.
— John C Norcross
There's no better feeling, even if I've won a race, than recording a personal best. It's setting yourself personal goals, but also realistic goals.
— Jenny Meadows
Focus on what it is that you want, set a realistic goal. Start setting goals that you feel you can accomplish. Don't try to go right to the top in one leap. Every time you accomplish a goal you develop the strength and wisdom to accomplish the next one.
— Chuck Norris
Sometimes you've got to put your realistic glasses on and see who you are.
— Will Muschamp
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
Don't be afraid to have a reality check. Taking risks is OK, but you must be realistic.
— Joy Mangano
I'm very realistic. I know my boundaries - I know what I'm good at and what I'm not good at.
— Victoria Beckham


Narrow sub-goals that target a dream goal should always be task-oriented. Task-orientation is about focusing on the right things versus the wrong. Task-orientation is about controlling what you can. Outcome-orientation is variable and not directly under your control. A goal to win a marathon is outcome-oriented; a goal to run a marathon with a sub-2:20 time is task-oriented.
What we can control is our performance and our execution, and that's what we're going to focus on.
— Bill Belichick
I don't care how much power, brilliance or energy you have, if you don't harness it and focus it on a specific target, and hold it there you're never going to accomplish as much as your ability warrants
— Zig Ziglar
No one ever wrote down a plan to be broke, fat, lazy, or stupid. Those things are what happen when you don't have a plan.
— Larry Winget
Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars, but remember to keep your feet on the ground.
— Theodore Roosevelt
The game has its ups and downs, but you can never lose focus of your individual goals and you can't let yourself be beat because of lack of effort.
— Michael Jordan
Your life is the sum result of all the choices you make, both consciously and unconsciously. If you can control the process of choosing, you can take control of all aspects of your life. You can find the freedom that comes from being in charge of yourself.
— Robert Foster Bennett
In our personal and professional lives, we are constantly hit with one adversity after the other, most of which we have no control over. But the four things we have total control over is how we react, how we adapt, how we breathe, and how we take action.
— Diamond Dallas Page

What If 15 minutes could change your life forever? And it cost nothing?

GoalSumo reverse-engineers your dreams into an actionable blueprint. Transform your ambitious goals into a realistic plan for achievement.
man winning award
Get started for free
It makes no sense to worry about things you have no control over because there's nothing you can do about them, and why worry about things you do control? The activity of worrying keeps you immobilized.
— Wayne Dyer
It's OK to have your eggs in one basket as long as you control what happens to that basket.
— Elon Musk
That's been one of my mantras - focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it's worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.
— Steve Jobs
Don't dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your energies on moving forward toward finding the answer.
— Denis Waitley
At the end of the day, you can't control the results; you can only control your effort level and your focus.
— Ben Zobrist
I have short goals - to get better every day, to help my teammates every day - but my only ultimate goal is to win an NBA championship. It's all that matters. I dream about it. I dream about it all the time, how it would look, how it would feel. It would be so amazing.
— LeBron James
I believe in the saying, 'If you aim at nothing, you're going to hit nothing.' So if you don't set goals, then you have nowhere to go.
— Taylor Lautner
I don't focus on what I'm up against. I focus on my goals and I try to ignore the rest.
— Venus Williams
Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun's rays do not burn until brought to a focus.
— Alexander Graham Bell
To build may have to be the slow and laborious task of years. To destroy can be the thoughtless act of a single day.
— Winston Churchill
Every day, my daddy told me the same thing. 'Once a task is just begun, never leave it till it's done. Be the labour great or small, do it well or not at all.'
— Quincy Jones
Happiness does not come from doing easy work but from the afterglow of satisfaction that comes after the achievement of a difficult task that demanded our best.
— Theodore Isaac Rubin
The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.
— Vince Lombardi


Effective goals are malleable, flexible, and elastic as you move toward them. Life is not predictable, and neither will your process for achieving goals. You will discover that your goals and dreams change as you progress toward big goals. You change too. With a strategic goal setting mindset, you will not be the same person you are today in five years.
Don't let goal setting become heavy weights. Remain flexible and allow for intuitive changes.
— Kelly Martin
What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.
— Henry David Thoreau
If you go to work on your goals, your goals will go to work on you. If you go to work on your plan, your plan will go to work on you. Whatever good things we build end up building us.
— Jim Rohn
When it is obvious that goals cannot be reached, don't adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.
— Confucious
Be clear about your goal, but be flexible about the process to achieve
— Brian Tracy
A goal is not always meant to be reached; it often serves simply as something to aim at.
— Master Bruce Lee
Stay committed to your decisions, but be flexible in your approach.
— Tony Robbins
Be stubborn about your goals, but be flexible in about your methods.
— Anonymous
You can go slow. Allow your dreams and goals to change, but live an intentional life.
— Kumail Nanjiani
The real value of setting and achieving goals lies not in the rewards you receive but in the person you become as a result of reaching your goals.
— Robin Sharma
A person should set his goals as early as he can and devote all his energy and talent to getting there. With enough effort, he may achieve it. Or he may find something that is even more rewarding. But in the end, no matter what the outcome, he will know he has been alive.
— Walt Disney
If you set goals and go after them with all the determination you can muster, your gifts will take you places that will amaze you.
— Les Brown
Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.
― Louisa May Alcott
What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.
— Zig Ziglar
When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don't adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.
— Confucius


Effective goals are prioritized and isolated to the day. Goals without a day-centered focus ultimately get abandoned. If you don't regularly focus on your goals, they become fantasies.
I'm a firm believer in goal setting. Step by step. I can't see any other way of accomplishing anything.
— Michael Jordan
The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.
— H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Goals seem impossible only when you are not heading toward them.
— Mike Hawkins
Every day you spend drifting away from your goals is a waste not only of that day, but also of the additional day it takes to regain lost ground.
— Ralph Marston
Make each day count by setting specific goals to succeed, then putting forth every effort to exceed your own expectations
— Les Brown
Focus on doing the right things instead of a bunch of things.
— Mike Krieger
If a goal is worth having, it's worth blocking out the time in your day-to-day life necessary to achieve it.
— Jill Koenig
Success isn't always about greatness. It's about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come.
— Dwayne Johnson
I would encourage you to set really high goals. Set goals that, when you set them, you think they're impossible. But then every day you can work towards them, and anything is possible, so keep working hard and follow your dreams.
— Katie Ledecky
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
— Lao Tzu
If you can't do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.
— William H. McRaven
It is not enough to take steps which may someday lead to a goal; each step must be itself a goal and a step likewise.
— Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
To dream of success is to set a goal of where you want to be; to wake up, take action, and achieve it is what true success is all about.
— Idowu Koyenikan
The person who makes a success of living is the one who sees his goal steadily and aims for it unswervingly. That is dedication.
— Cecil B. DeMille
If you're bored with life—you don't get up every morning with a burning desire to do things—you don't have enough goals.
— Lou Holtz
The world's greatest achievers have been those who have always stayed focused on their goals and have been consistent in their efforts.
— Dr. Roopleen
A river cuts through a rock, not because of its power but its persistence.
— Anonymous
You never know what's around the corner. It could be everything. Or it could be nothing. You keep putting one foot in front of the other, and then one day you look back, and you've climbed a mountain.
— Tom Hiddleston
If what you are doing is not moving you towards your goals, then it's moving you away from your goals.
— Brian Tracy
If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy and inspires your hopes.
— Andrew Carnegie

This ONE simple exercise transforms bold dreams into realistic goals.

GoalSumo is not a goal setting system. It's a goal achievement system. Start today and turn your boldest dreams into an actionable blueprint.
man winning award
Get started for free