Whether you welcome a fresh beginning or dread it, these 53 inspirational new beginnings quotes and a positive mindset will help you move forward with confidence. Changes happen for a variety of reasons–sometimes we want a change and sometimes we need it. Other beginnings happen because life is hard and time marches on.
When I read or hear something that seems to perfectly put into words something that I experience or wonder about or believe, I want to capture it. I’m drawn to inspirational words of wisdom like quotes about new beginnings.
Dr. Adam Grant, psychology professor at the University of Pennsylvania, explains why we love motivational quotes (also called aphorisms) so much: “They give meaning and direction. They spur new thoughts or new actions—or remind us to revisit old ones.”
Sociologist Murray Davis describes aphorisms as “the finest thoughts in the fewest words.”
When You Want A New Beginning
There’s nothing like the feeling of starting something new when it’s a change you choose to pursue. You’re confident about a new direction, but nervous energy is very real.
These new beginning quotes can help you channel that nervousness into genuine excitement.
Of the four types of new beginnings, this one is my favorite. I admit, I love change. I honestly don’t know why…maybe it’s the thought of a challenge and conquering new things for the achiever in me?
I’ve been teaching a college course for 13 years, and I still tweak it every summer. I can always find something to change or improve. It drives my husband crazy!
I realize not everyone is as enthusiastic about change as I am, but there are definitely times when people look forward to fresh beginnings that are exciting or compelling.
Why you might want a Fresh Start
New beginnings are welcomed for a variety of reasons, like trying something new, taking on a new challenge or finally stepping outside of our comfort zone.
I love the energy that comes with a fresh start.
- getting a new job
- moving to another city or state
- buying or building a home
- starting a business
- pursuing a new hobby
- traveling internationally (I was really hesitant about a trip with my tween and teen boys, but here’s why I’m so glad we traveled to Mexico to serve.)
- getting married
- having or adopting or fostering children (Our adoption journey wasn’t easy, but it has always given us an incredible view of life.)
- learning a new language
- changing careers (Mary loves being a working mom, but her major career change to being a professor mom gave her more time with her family.)
- following a dream
My husband and I got married right after college, and in the 23 years since, we‘ve moved 11 times between 2 states and multiple cities.
We’ve lived in 2 residence halls (more about our life on campus as a married couple here), 2 apartments, 2 rental houses, owned 2 condos (lived in one of them twice) and 2 homes. Because of all those moves, we’ve been members of 7 different churches.
We also love learning, so between the two of us, we’ve attended 4 universities and earned 4 degrees beyond college. We’ve had 17 different jobs at 9 colleges and a few companies, and we’ve started 2 businesses.
That looks a little insane now that it’s in black and white! But we’ve grown and learned and taken advantage of every opportunity that came our way.
It hasn’t always been easy—I was terrified to start a graduate program at the largest university in the country, I was doubtful about navigating and funding an adoption, I was lonely with a toddler and newborn in a new town far away from family.
New Beginnings Quotes To Inspire You
When we start something new because we want it, it can lead to some pretty amazing adventures.
Save these new beginnings quotes as a reminder to step outside your comfort zone toward a fresh start.
Never allow waiting to become a habit. Live your dreams and take risks. Life is happening now.Paulo Coelho
It is never too late to be what you might have been.George Eliot
To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.Winston Churchill
You can’t be that kid standing at the top of the water slide, overthinking it. You have to go down the chute.Tina Fey
You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.Henry Ford
The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.Walt Disney
The visionary starts with a clean sheet of paper, and re-imagines the world.Malcolm Gladwell
Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.Martin Luther King, Jr.
The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each new day to have a new and different sun…. Don’t settle down and sit in one place. Move around, be nomadic, make each day a new horizon.Jon Krakauer
Each new day is a blank page in the diary of your life. The secret of success is in turning that diary into the best story you possible can.Douglas Pagels
Be willing to be a beginner every single morning.Meister Eckhart
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.Lao Tzu
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.2 Corinthians 5:17
When You Need A New Beginning
Sometimes you start something new because you know you need a change. Self-awareness can make this pretty obvious, but it takes work to really be in tune with ourselves and our circumstances.
New beginning quotes can motivate you to make a productive change.
Being intentional about reflection is one of the best ways to assess our lives and make adjustments in a positive direction.
If we’re really unhappy about an area of our life, then we should figure out a way to change it. And if we can’t change it, we can commit to a new attitude about it.
I’ll be honest here.
I don’t have a whole lot of patience with my teens when they’re unhappy about something that’s in their power to change.
I struggle in conversations with my college students or other adults who feel like life happens to them and there’s nothing they can do about it.
We always have a choice about how we respond and whether we stay where we are or move forward toward something better.
Why You Might Need A Brand New Start
You might know you need a fresh beginning, but it’s still hard to take the first step toward something unfamiliar.
If you know the outcome will be worth the effort, you can do the hard work it takes to get there.
- exercising more often (Mary and I make excuses about this too, but here’s how we work to ditch those excuses for not exercising.)
- ending toxic friendships or relationships
- seeking new and healthy friendships (I wrote about how important couple friendships are to a relationship.)
- taking care of your mental health
- choosing gratitude (I wrote about how I choose gratitude even when it’s the last thing I feel like doing.)
- establishing healthy boundaries with family and friends
- making rest and sleep a priority
- volunteering more often (Most people want to volunteer more often, but don’t know where to start or how to make the time. Check out our tips for volunteering with your family.)
- eating healthier food (We’re always on the go, so Mary asked a registered dietician for her best and easiest tips to eating better when you’re busy.)
- losing weight
- fighting addiction
- finding community (Life is busy, but here’s how and why you need to make time for friends.)
- facing our fears
- going back to work after staying home with kids
- changing jobs or careers
When my marriage hit its lowest point and I wasn’t sure we’d make it, Ken and I eventually decided that it was worth fighting for. It was a new beginning that I wasn’t sure I wanted, but knew we needed. (I wrote about our struggle and what we’ve learned about successful marriage since then.)
I’ve also gone through seasons of life when I was so busy I couldn’t keep track of everything, let alone take care of myself. I knew that I needed to slow down, so I learned to say no more often.
This has become a lesson I apparently need to learn over and over again–as soon as I say no and life has more balance, I think I have plenty of time to say yes.
Thank goodness it’s always possible to start over again!
Mary realized she needed a fresh beginning in her career when she found herself daydreaming about having more flexibility and time with her kids. She was sick of seeing pictures of her sitter taking them to do fun things while she sat in meetings that felt increasingly fruitless.
She always wanted to work, and she still wanted a job that was challenging and fulfilling. She just didn’t want a long daily commute and an 8-5 workday.
She knew there were opportunities to do work she loved that would stretch her, but would also give her time for family or travel or hobbies. Lucky for me, she chose higher education.
That new start 11 years ago eventually led to SALT effect!
New Beginnings Quotes to Encourage You
Sometimes you need an extra push to make a change you know you need to make.
New beginnings quotes can give you the encouragement and confidence you need.
What you’re supposed to do when you don’t like a thing is change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. Don’t complain.Maya Angelou
Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.Steve Jobs
I am learning to love the sound of my feet walking away from things not meant for me.A.G.
Forgiving is not forgetting; its actually remembering–remembering and not using your right to hit back. Its a second chance for a new beginning. And the remembering part is particularly important. Especially if you dont want to repeat what happened.Desmond Tutu
If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one.Dolly Parton
It always seems impossible until it’s done.Nelson Mandela
You can learn new things at any time in your life if you’re willing to be a beginner. If you actually learn to like being a beginner, the whole world opens up to you.Barbara Sher
The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide you’re not going to stay where you are.J.P. Morgan
The life you have led doesn’t need to be the only life you have.Anna Quindlen
And suddenly you just know it’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.Meister Eckhart
The beginning is the most important part of the work.Plato
Change can be scary, but you know what’s scarier? Allowing fear to stop you from growing, evolving, and progressing.Mandy Hale
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.Ephesians 4:22-24
A New Beginning Because Life Is Hard
At some point, crisis will touch us all. The aftermath of a crisis demands something different because you can’t go back to the way things were.
New beginning quotes will help you put one foot in front of the other to keep moving forward.
These new beginnings are the hardest.
Sometimes we just don’t see them coming or they’re forced upon us. We can’t avoid them and we certainly didn’t choose them.
Why Life Can Be hard sometimes
These are the most difficult new beginnings and the ones we resist the most. A painful ending often transitions into a new beginning that feels forced upon us.
- losing a job
- the death of a loved one
- a divorce or breakup (I wrote about my parents’ divorce and how my mom was able to move forward in a healthy way.)
- losing a close friend after an argument or misunderstanding
- saying goodbye to friends or family because of a move
- financial difficulty
- physical or emotional struggles after an accident
- losing someone to suicide
- dealing with the heartbreak of a miscarriage
- struggling with infertility
- parenting a child with a disability or serious illness
- dealing with a frightening diagnosis like cancer or dementia
Until I was in middle school, my dad’s parents lived with us, in a downstairs apartment that had been built just for them. When I was 13, my grandpa died of cancer, my dad left for a few years, and my grandma remarried and moved out of state.
My younger brother and I grew up with four adults in our home, and within a year three of them were gone.
I have vivid recollections of that new beginning because it was something I resisted with everything I had.
Thankfully, I had incredibly strong and faithful women who prayed me through that time and taught me to be resilient, something I am trying to build into my own kids.
When my parents divorced after 45 years of marriage, I was in my late 30s and had no idea how much it would affect me.
My mom and dad faced a new beginning and their responses couldn’t have been more different.
My mom chose to serve full time with Brethren Volunteer Services for 3 years when she would have had every right to wallow in grief. My dad chose to hold onto his anger and it ate away at him until dementia took over.
When Mary’s oldest son was three months old, her husband, Jon, was laid off unexpectedly–about three weeks before Christmas. They had good friends at his company, so they were sad and scared about what it might mean financially.
He kept an amazing attitude about it and within a couple months, he found a position that paid more and has been a better long-term fit.
He looks back now and appreciates having those couple months home with their son, but in the moment, it was hard to understand what felt like really bad timing.
New Beginnings Quotes to help you
These new beginnings quotes will remind you that there’s more life to live on the other side of crisis, and you can make it there.
They’re not empty words or platitudes, but words you can believe.
The only way around is through.Robert Frost
New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.Lao Tzu
Getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.Steve Jobs
We must be willing to get rid of the life we planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. The old skin has to be shed before the new one can come.Joseph Campbell
You are far more than your worst day, your worst experience, your worst season, dear one. You are more than the sorriest decision you ever made. You are more than the darkest sorrow you’ve endured. Your name is not Ruined. It is not Helpless. It is not Victim. It is not Irresponsible. History is replete with overcomers who stood up after impossible circumstances and walked in freedom. You are not an anemic victim destined to a life of regret. Not only are you capable, you have full permission to move forward in strength and health.Jen Hatmaker
If all you can do is crawl, start crawling.Rumi
Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.Ralph Waldo Emerson
The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same nor would you want to.Elizabeth Kübler-Ross
Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go. They merely determine where you start.Nido Qubein
You’re not bound by the past; that is who you used to be….All you have to do is walk forward with a positive outlook, and trust that God has a plan that is greater than the sorrow you left behind. The people of quality that were meant to be in your life won’t need you to explain the beauty of your heart. They already understand what being human is–a roller coaster ride of emotions during rainstorms and sunshine, sprinkled with moments when you can almost reach the stars.Shannon Alder
Never underestimate the power you have to take your life in a new direction.Germany Kent
Challenges are gifts that force us to search for a new center of gravity. Don’t fight them. Just find a new way to stand.Oprah Winfrey
The night taught me never to fear the dark times, by giving way to the dawn of a new day.Michael Bassey Johnson
You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call ‘failure’ is not the falling down, but the staying down.Mary Pickford
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.Isaiah 43:18-19
A New Beginning Because Time Marches On
Sometimes we start a new chapter simply because we can’t stop time. Seasons of life come and go, regardless of how ready we are.
When we find ourselves in those moments, new beginning quotes can remind us to enjoy each step of our life’s journey.
As I get older, I’m much more aware of the passing of time.
If I’m not paying close attention, I end up in a different season of life and struggle to adjust because I don’t even know it’s happening. These fresh beginnings sometimes creep up on us, even though we know they’re coming eventually.
How Time Marches On
Life moves so much faster than we realize. We welcome a new year every 365 days, but it can still surprise us.
Sometimes we welcome the passing of time and other times we resist it.
- having children
- parenting through every stage: babies, toddlers, school-age kids, tweens, teens, young adults (If you’re in or close to the tween years, we wrote about how you can actually enjoy parenting tweens and some things to watch for if you’re parenting teens.)
- helping your kids apply to college (If you need some help here, we have expert advice about the college admissions process from a college enrollment professional.)
- preparing for high school and college graduations (side note that we have gift ideas for grads if you need them because gift ideas are our jam)
- sending kids off to college, the military or the work force
- navigating a midlife crisis
- becoming a caregiver to your parents
- adjusting to an empty nest
- adding family members through in-laws and grandchildren
I feel like I’m in the middle of some significant life changes right now that I wasn’t quite ready for. Within the last few years, we’ve had a lot of pretty major things happen and although it’s pretty normal for people in their 40s, I don’t always like to admit that’s where I am.
A few years ago, my husband and I had serious conversations about our careers. He made a job change that was largely a quality of life decision when we realized that our boys were only going to be home for 8-10 more years. (Here’s a post about how and why we made that decision).
My dad was diagnosed with dementia and I suddenly realized what it meant to be part of the sandwich generation–raising my kids and figuring out how to care for an aging parent who was rapidly declining.
He recently passed away, and now we’re in a season of grief and awareness that our parents will not be with us forever.
We’re also parenting two teenagers, which brings new excitement, challenges and concerns. I have friends who are sending kids off to college and others whose children are getting married and having babies.
Each new year reminds me that time continues to move on.
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New Beginnings Quotes to Remind You
These inspiring quotes will remind you to pay attention to your life because new beginnings are as inevitable as every new year.
Don’t wait for life to happen to you.
You may delay, but time will not.Benjamin Franklin
A new day: Be open enough to see opportunities. Be wise enough to be grateful. Be courageous enough to be happy.Steve Maraboli
Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.Seneca
Don’t count the days, make the days count.Muhammed Ali
The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure.Joseph Campbell
And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been.Rainer Maria Rilke
When it’s time to die, go ahead and die, and when it’s time to live, live. Don’t sort-of-maybe live, but live like you’re going all out, like you’re not afraid.Sue Monk Kidd
There are no happy endings. Endings are the saddest part, so just give me a happy middle and a very happy start.Shel Silverstein
Every moment is a new beginning.Elie Wiesel
For last year’s words belong to last year’s language, and next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.T.S. Eliot
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.Lamentations 3:22-24