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The Best Motivational Quotes for the New Year

Happy New Year, Fools! I thought I would start off 2016 on a motivated and inspired foot with the five best motivational quotes (combined into one ultra quote) for the New Year. I don’t generally consider myself a “post your motivational mantra” type of person, but a few recent events have made me think that we all could use some positivity, motivation, and inspiration for athletes, hard days, and more!

Why Motivational Quotes Now?

Well, motivation doesn’t start after you toast the new year, does it?

Impetus One: My Athletes

The other day, one of my athletes texted me the following: 

How do you stay focused when “life stress” destroys your day and you want to eat the whole pizza or bottle of wine. I try to go for a walk. I try to tell myself it’ll pass. Do you have a motivational phrase you tell yourself?

At first I didn’t know exactly what to tell her–normally, I myself would go for a walk, but right now, with the injury and the fact that I am supposed to stay as still as possible, that is kind of out. So, I focused on the second part of her post: What are my best motivational quotes to help me through the tough times?

Impetus Two: My Mom and the Loss of Our Beloved Penny

As several of you saw on Facebook, Tuesday night my mom and dad headed back to Mexico, and as they were on their way, our horse Penny went into distress and ultimately, had to be put down. For those of you who know what I am talking about, Penny had colic as a result of a large tumor in her belly (which they found upon ultrasound at the clinic). I have distanced myself from the horses over the past few years–I know that any time I see our old buddies that it may be my last–but for Mom, she still see the horses on a regular basis. 

Penny, our beloved horse.

As my mom says, WHAT A DIVA.

I was shocked, but Penny being gone still isn’t real to me, though I know it really will hit me hard when I go home. There are so many amazing stories that I could tell you about my big butted, prissy-mannered, red haired lady, but I think the fact that her show name was “Moneypenny” will tell you more than I could sum up. This was the horse who taught me to ride a HORSE, not just a pony; she took me to my first big championships, and she made us laugh every day. But Penny was Mom’s horse (though she knew who was the alpha of the three of us!). I knew Mom would be devastated–not only because we lost Penny, but also because we all expected Sara (my grandfather’s old broodmare) to be the first to go.

Impetus Three: The Regression of my Stress Fracture

I know, I know–it seems like every time I say one thing, I change my mind the next. Last week, I gave you all a “woohoo” things are going great injury update and that I had gotten clearance to go after Boston when the time came. Well, my friends, I don’t think the time is going to come in time. Whether it was those 10 stupid steps or not, my injury has regressed, I am back in pain, and there is no about a 20% chance that I will go for the Boston Marathon this year. I don’t even know if the run/walk option will be a go, if I am so quick to regress. (no new fractures according to xray, but we are just in for a much longer haul than we originally thought). 

I let Alex pick my outfit for Christmas dinner at Greenriver and the ballet! Accessorized by crutches.

Right now, my focus is just on getting and staying healthy. I would love to be off crutches by February, or at least by the time I have my trip with my Mom to New Orleans, where I was supposed to run Rock n Roll Nola! But most of all, I would love to be back to myself–not to be a blubbery mess when Alex comes home as I freak out about the smallest and stupidest of things, like traveling with crutches, or the fact that I am going to the beach on crutches. Where’s the girl who named her crutches, or who came back from stress reaction to run Ragnar?

Alright, so now that you know the stories behind this rumination on motivation and inspiration, let’s get back to the original question: Do I have any Motivational Phrases that Help me Through the Hard Times?

Motivational Quotes and Inspiration for Hard Times

My first thought was no, I don’t. But then then I realized that was a total lie! I totally did have a few mantras and motivational quotes that have stuck with me over the years, and thinking back on these quotes actually helped me tremendously with my current situation aka injured and feeling a bit helpless physically.

You have a 100% success rate at surviving your worst days. The odds are in your favor, so don’t ruin them now.

The best motivation quote for bad days: You have a 100% success rate at surviving your worst days. The Odds are in Your Favor, don't Ruin them Now! Get more inspiration at

This quote (which as several different forms) makes me laugh, but it is so true. You are alive, which means thus far you have 100% survival rate, regardless of how good or bad your days have been. Keep breathing, and you will keep those perfect odds.

Sometimes it’s the People that No One Can Imagine Anything of That do the Things that No One Can Imagine

This quote from the Imitation Game has always resonated with me: Sometimes it's the people no one can imagine anything of that do the things that no one can imagine. More inspiration at

A quote from The Imitation Game. This helps me remember a) to never doubt the underdog and b) always live beyond expectation.

The first race isn't about learning what you are capable of, but rather about learning that you are indeed capable. Remember that. More Inspiration and motivation for running and life at

I am Capable 

Repeat this to yourself during the hardest points of a workout or a race (as I discussed in my Letter to First Time Marathoners)

Never Throw in the Towel. Use it to Wipe off the Sweat. Then Keep Going.

One of my favorite motivational quotes: Never Throw in the Towel. Use it to wipe of the Sweat, then keep going! Get more inspiration at

I loved this quote the first time I saw it. Another quote that makes me giggle a bit (and thus breaks the tension). Hard work is, well, HARD. But it can fuel even greater work. As long as it is discomfort and not pain, persevere and conquer.

You Can. Beginning of Story.

You Can Beginning of Story Dealing With Anxiety Suzlyfe

This version of this quote (“you can, end of story”) came into my life last summer at just the right time–my anxiety attack.

The thought I want to leave you all with is that regardless of where you are right now, you can always pick up the pieces and begin again. You’ve survived every day up to this point, so wipe the sweat off, and do something that no one has ever expected of you. Because you are capable.

Take that into the New Year. 

THE motivational quotes for your workout, life, run, or bad day. #sweatpink #motivation #newyear Click To Tweet

What do you think? Feeling empowered yet?

What are you needing empowerment for as you start the new year?

Joining up with the Friday Five (Mar + Cynthia + Courtney) and Friday Favorites (Heather)

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Have you read these gems?


  • Reply Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious

    The last one has always been my favorite. You can…beginning of story. I don’t know why but it has always resonated with me. I’m sorry to hear of the regression. It will soon be over. I promise!

    January 1, 2016 at 6:50 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I know, and you have been a huge inspiration for me–you were crutching around like a champ for MONTHS. xoxoxoxo

      January 2, 2016 at 7:13 am
  • Reply Kimberly G

    I love the simple “I am capable”. I have tons of self doubt when it comes to my running abilities and I’m going to try to live by that motivational quote more.

    January 1, 2016 at 6:57 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I hope it helps. It helped me a lot during my marathon!

      January 2, 2016 at 7:13 am
  • Reply Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine

    Sorry to hear about your horse and your injury set-back. But I love these quotes. The first one is perfect- I feel like you could actually tell someone that when they are having a tough day and get them to smile!
    Happy New Year!

    January 1, 2016 at 7:28 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I think so, too! It definitely worked on me!

      January 2, 2016 at 7:12 am
  • Reply lindsay

    as someone who deals with anxiety (too), i needed these. Thank YOU. Happy NY!

    January 1, 2016 at 7:28 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Any time 😀 Happy New Year, Linds!

      January 2, 2016 at 7:11 am
  • Reply Deborah @Confessions of a Mother Runner

    Never throw in the towel! Happy new yeae

    January 1, 2016 at 7:34 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      The only thing we should be throwing the towel into is the washing machine!

      January 2, 2016 at 7:09 am
  • Reply Debbie @ Coach Debbie Runs

    Ugh, I’m so sorry that your stress fracture has regressed. I was cautiously hopeful for your opportunity to stick with your Boston plan. Please take care of yourself.

    I don’t always like inspirational memes, but these are really good. I especially like “You Can. Beginning of Story.” My new favorite though was posted on Instagram today by Carla Birnberg: When people ask you “what do you do?” Answer: Whatever it takes.

    January 1, 2016 at 7:37 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I love that quote as well! And Carla is a great one for finding those! I was cautiously optimistic as well. Now I am straight up realistic. I must take care of my body. I only get one!

      January 2, 2016 at 7:11 am
  • Reply Julie

    I am so sorry about Penny. It is one of the hardest things to lose a beloved friend. I think about my Daisy all the time and how special she was/is to me. Sending prayers of peace to you and your mom. I do love a good quote :). It’s not a quote but I lots of times have to remember to tell myself to BREATHE!! And not over think everything!! Happy New Year. I am so happy to have found your blog and follow you living beyond expectation!!

    January 1, 2016 at 7:40 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you, Julie. And breathing is always a good thing. It was one of the first things I told my trainee before thinking through the quotes that I would send her! So happy that we have connected!

      January 2, 2016 at 7:10 am
  • Reply Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home

    Susie, I am so sorry about the regression of your injury. Can you defer Boston to 2017?

    I used to turn my nose up at mantras, but after my epic marathon in 2015, I realized how much they help me. So for every big race (ok, my last 2 marathons), I’ve adopted mantras. That year was “I can and I will” and this year was “don’t stop believin”. So corny, I know but repeating them over and over really makes you believe.

    There’s nowhere to go but up for you! Hugs.

    January 1, 2016 at 8:05 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Never stop believin (or Beliebing, as it happens. Also, extra points for having a song that goes with your mantra!). I can defer (and I’ve already qualified for next year, but it really just depends on where we are on the road to starting a family.

      January 2, 2016 at 7:08 am
  • Reply Janelle @ Run With No Regrets

    Great quotes to start off the year. I’m so sorry to hear you’ve regressed a bit in your recovery, but hopefully you’ll be able to gradually make progress!

    January 1, 2016 at 8:12 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Unfortunately, in all aspects, healing takes time. So I just have to give it that.

      January 2, 2016 at 7:09 am
  • Reply Morgan @ Morgan Manages Mommyhood

    I definitely feel like sometimes motivational quptes can be the most cheesy things on earth, but when used ‘correctly’ they’re great! I love these ones!! Here’s to an awesome (and healing!) New Year for you, Suz!

    January 1, 2016 at 8:48 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I definitely agree that there is a time and place for them all! Happy New Year, Morgan!

      January 2, 2016 at 7:07 am
  • Reply Kerri Mcgrail

    So sorry to hear about your horse- she sounds like she had quite the personality! I love all of the simple motivational quotes – especially the “I am Capable”. One of my favorite simple ones to get me through the harder days is “I will find strength in my struggle”- it always helps to give me a little perspective and keeps me going!

    January 1, 2016 at 9:11 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you, Kerri. I think that perspective is the greatest benefit to any sort of motivational quote. Something that gives you pause, makes you think before moving on.

      January 2, 2016 at 7:06 am
  • Reply jill conyers

    So sorry the road to recovery has been a little rocky.

    I love the power of words.

    Peace and joy to you in the new year Susie.

    January 1, 2016 at 9:30 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      And to you as well, Jill!

      January 2, 2016 at 7:05 am
  • Reply Kat

    Your horse was beautiful. It’s my dream to own one some day. Moving to a rural area just a few months ago has only increased that desire. Maybe one day 🙂
    And my favorite quote in this post is “I AM CAPABLE.”
    What powerful words! And what a positive mantra we should remind ourselves with on a daily basis.

    January 1, 2016 at 9:31 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Haha, be careful what you ask for 😀 lol. I would never have traded my upbringing with my horses for anything, but they are quite a commitment. And you ARE capable, don’t you forget it!

      January 2, 2016 at 7:05 am
  • Reply Sarah Grace

    These are awesome. I love the power of words and absolutely love hearing quotes that are inspiring <33
    Sarah Grace

    January 1, 2016 at 9:39 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I think that we so often discount the power of what saying something aloud can do for us. I hope these help!

      January 2, 2016 at 7:01 am
  • Reply sarah

    these are great!

    January 1, 2016 at 9:46 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you! Happy New year!

      January 2, 2016 at 7:00 am
  • Reply Annmarie

    I am so sorry to hear about your horse and about the regression of your injury 🙁 I love these quotes- using the towel to wipe off the sweat and keep on going is what I am all about!

    January 1, 2016 at 9:58 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Cheers to that! It was bound to happen–now I just have to do the same, and just keep moving forward!

      January 2, 2016 at 6:59 am
  • Reply Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine

    I like them!
    I actually really dislike motivational quotes, they don’t help me at least (maybe right in the moment, but nothing longterm).

    January 1, 2016 at 10:22 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I know what you mean, but I think that sometimes, all you need is that moment.

      January 2, 2016 at 6:56 am
  • Reply Ivanna

    Most Def feeling empowered! Love all of your positivity through tough situations. That is how I try to live my life also. I believe 2016 will be much better! Keep pressing on sister!

    January 1, 2016 at 10:47 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      We have to live our lives with positivity, or at least without negativity. Because a realist can always find fortune when it is time, but a pessimist will deny it.

      January 2, 2016 at 6:58 am
  • Reply courtney @ eat pray run dc

    you are capable, my friend. keep repeating that on over and over. i am a big believer in speaking out loud goals and dreams. happy new year!

    January 1, 2016 at 2:03 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      You’ve got to put it out there. Otherwise, You well never hear for yourself the greatness that can come!

      January 2, 2016 at 6:56 am
  • Reply Suzlyfe's mommy, Clare

    It is a grey, cold day in “warm, sunny” Cabo, Mexico. I’m having a sad morning thinking about Penny, and tears are easy to come to the surface. A few moments ago, I looked up and saw my first big whale of the season.
    The Sea of Cortez, which is between the Baja Peninsula and mainland Mexico is where grey whales come in the winter months to birth their calves, and January is when we start to see them.
    Here on January first, I looked out and saw a big grey whale breach and blow (whale terms) and it made me laugh. Penny was sort of a whale herself (although we would NEVER have said that in front of her!) Now this huge, but gentle, creature of the sea made me laugh and suddenly the sad thoughts retreated and the happy memories came forward.
    So, perhaps the old phrase “behind every grey cloud is a silver lining” may be my motivational phrase for the next few weeks— except I think it is more ” behind every grey whale is a silver lining.”

    January 1, 2016 at 2:28 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      She totally was a whale. But they are some of the most beautiful creatures, so I think she would have understood, ultimately 😀

      January 2, 2016 at 6:55 am
  • Reply Mar @ Mar on the Run

    oh man 🙁 sorry to hear about your horse and the injury set back. Stay strong lady – you got this!

    January 1, 2016 at 3:46 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I can and will get through all of it. Healing takes time, and we just have to be patient.

      January 2, 2016 at 6:54 am
  • Reply Laura @ This Runner's Recipes

    I’m sorry to hear about Penny and your injury regression. Both of those are rough news, but good for you for keeping your head up!
    I really like the quote from Imitation Game! Such an inspiring movie!

    January 1, 2016 at 4:37 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I thought that movie was just incredible. And, well, I’ll watch anything with Benedict Cumberbatch 😀

      January 2, 2016 at 6:54 am
  • Reply Jess @hellotofit

    I love the 100% success rate quote 🙂 I always try and remember a quote similar to that when I feel overwhelmed during my work day. Having a people-person job is hard, sometimes!

    January 1, 2016 at 5:36 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Seriously. There is no one else to deflect what is going on!

      January 2, 2016 at 6:53 am
  • Reply Emily

    I love that ‘never throw in the towel.’ It’s such the story of my life… 🙂 <3 God is faithful through every up and down of my life. <3

    January 2, 2016 at 2:09 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      And that, my dear, is why you will never truly fail.

      January 4, 2016 at 11:43 am
  • Reply Shannon @GirlsGotSole

    It really sucks about your injury regressing. But, maybe that’s a sign that it’s not the right time to do Boston? I try to step back and think about WHY something doesn’t work out. It’s definitely not an easy thing to do, but everything does happen or not happen for a reason.
    I am capable is awesome. So short and simple, but works! And, I love the: You Can. Beginning of Story. Sometimes, we need to remind ourselves that each day can be a new start, a blank page.

    January 2, 2016 at 8:37 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      If Boston happens, it happens. It is a life moment, but not my life. I have so much else to look forward to!

      January 4, 2016 at 11:42 am
  • Reply Julia @ Lord Still Loves me

    Pinning this right now! Such an awesome source for the positive reminders I sometimes need. 🙂

    January 2, 2016 at 8:54 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      We all need to reminded that tough times end. And that we will get through them!

      January 4, 2016 at 11:38 am
  • Reply Sam @ See Sam Run

    I love this Suz. Those quotes are applicable to so many who are going through different things. I’m sad to hear about your regression, but am happy to know you are determined to heal the right way.

    January 2, 2016 at 9:31 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      You know me. I will make it through, thanks to awesome support from awesome people like you!

      January 4, 2016 at 11:41 am
  • Reply Jill

    Oh Susie. I’ve not been keeping up with the blog world the past few weeks and didn’t know you had regressed. I did see the sad news about your horse on IG. I think hard times seem even harder over the holidays. I’ve not been in a good place since my cat became sick and have generally been feeling lonely and stagnant. This has made me see more than ever that there are no guarantees in life and it’s important to live, really LIVE fully every moment we have. I hope to make big changes this year and I hope you are able to come back stronger and fiercer and even more Suzier than ever very soon 🙂

    January 2, 2016 at 10:02 pm
  • Reply Kristin

    I love the one with a 100% success rate at surviving! I feel like 2015 was less than stellar with the goals I had planned. This year, I’m taking a more vague approache and identifying four goal categories and trying to make small changes in each area – hopefully it will lead up to so e big changes by the end of 2016!

    January 3, 2016 at 8:21 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I saw your goals, and I love them. I may just try to keep up with you!

      January 4, 2016 at 11:36 am
  • Reply jennifer f

    Wow, what a tough year. The quote I keep in mind why things are bad (end of race, life stuff, etc) is “If you can take it, you can make it.”

    January 3, 2016 at 2:26 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Gotta love Unbroken!

      January 4, 2016 at 11:35 am
  • Reply Cailee

    These are great!! I love that last quote! SO inspirational!! Thanks for sharing! Happy 2016!

    January 3, 2016 at 9:25 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you, Cailee! Happy 2016!

      January 4, 2016 at 11:35 am
  • Reply Farrah

    That’s a really great collection of quotes–I can’t really choose a favorite, since I feel like all of them are very applicable at different parts of life.

    I’m so sorry again to hear about your horse. :[ I hope your recovery goes smoothly and quickly, but either way, I have a feeling you’re gonna rock this year! Sending you lots of love! <3

    January 3, 2016 at 11:03 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thanks, Farrah. It will be way more real when I travel home for the first time, or call and ask after the horses for the first time. My biggest worry was Mom, but I’ve talked to her and slowly she is doing better.

      January 4, 2016 at 11:35 am
  • Reply Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy

    Happy New Year Suz! I have missed you and your blog.
    I do love a good motivational quote and I have lots up around my house for those days that I feel like crap.
    Here is to a great 2016!

    January 4, 2016 at 1:26 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Danniiiiiiii I’m so glad that you are back. I’ve missed you too!

      January 4, 2016 at 11:34 am
  • Reply Linda @ Veganosity

    So sorry to hear about your beautiful horse. Hugs to you and your mom. I’m also sorry to hear that your injury isn’t healing like you had hoped it would. Big. Fat. Bummer! Love the quotes and your positive attitude.

    January 4, 2016 at 8:56 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I’m hoping that we can just start off the new year with a WHOLE lot of healing! Thank you, Linda!

      January 4, 2016 at 11:05 am
  • Reply Rae

    Loving this post. I’m truly sorry for the loss of Penny, and also that things with your injury still aren’t going the way we’d all like. Just keep swimming is my favorite mantra right now. Especially when it’s in Dory’s voice and I picture her swimming upside down and grinning like an idiot 😀

    January 4, 2016 at 3:24 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      How can you not smile when thinking about Dory? I hope Finding Dory is a good movie. It would be really tragic if it sucks.

      January 5, 2016 at 2:27 pm

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