If you recall the thrilling build up to Y2K (and the head-to-toe metallic uniform required to usher in the new millennium), then you’ve surely experienced the anti-climatic time shift from one year to the next. Perhaps it was Ben Gibbard who articulated that sentiment best on Transatlanticism‘s opening track, singing, “So this is the new year, and I don’t feel any different.”
Juxtapose that matter-of-fact resignation from Death Cab For Cutie to J.Lo’s laser-beamed millennium anthem, “Waiting For Tonight,” and you’ve got one of the most legit cases of expectation-versus-reality in pop culture history.
No matter your feelings about New Year’s Eve, we’re not here to layer on any additional pressure around the significance of the night.
Read on for 17 encouraging mantras from some of our favorites like Anna Wintour, Oprah Winfrey, and more, on leaving the past behind, visualizing your goals, and making shit happen.
On starting over
“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.” ― Oprah Winfrey
“We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives…not looking for flaws, but for potential.” ― Ellen Goodman
“It’s never too late to become who you want to be. I hope you live a life that you’re proud of, and if you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start over.” — F. Scott Fitzgerald
“The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.” — Steve Jobs
“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”― L.M. Montgomery
“Begin somewhere; you cannot build a reputation on what you intend to do.” — Liz Smith
“That last page turned is a perfect excuse to write a whole new book.” — Toni Sorenson
On smashing your goals
“The only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.” – Michelle Obama
“You’re always working to improve, and you’re always being critiqued on your next performance. It’s not about what you’ve done. There’s always room to grow.” — Misty Copeland
“Sometimes, I shake if I have to do something that I’ve never done before—maybe not noticeably, but inside. But I’ll do it, because I know it’s not an insurmountable task; I’ve done plenty of tasks in my life.” — Martha Stewart
“Trying to do it all and expecting that it all can be done exactly right is a recipe for disappointment. Perfection is the enemy.” — Sheryl Sandberg
“I never dreamed about success. I worked for it.” — Estée Lauder
“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 have failed by default.” — J. K. Rowling
On embracing the future
“Instead of looking at the past, I put myself ahead twenty years and try to look at what I need to do now in order to get there then.” — Diana Ross
“Fashion goes in only one direction—forward—and I am a firm believer in thinking that way too.” — Anna Wintour
“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” — John F. Kennedy
“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” ― Søren Kierkegaard