10 Motivational “Parks and Recreation” Quotes To Help You Conquer Your Life

For many of us, the arrival of a new year symbolizes a time of change and personal growth. Whether you’re a firm believer in resolutions or simply excited for a fresh start in January, treat yourself to these 10 quotes from the characters of NBC’s Parks and Recreation.

1. Quality Over Quantity

Ron Swanson quote: "Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing."

Trying to tackle too many things all on your own? Just remember Ron Swanson's wise and simple mantra. It's too easy to fall into the trap of taking on more than you can manage, but your energy is better spent if you focus it on the projects or hobbies that you're passionate about.

2. Focus on Your Priorities

Leslie Knope quote: "We have to remember what's important in life: friends, waffles, and work. Or waffles, friends, and work. But work has to come third."

Aside from being the quirky, lovable, overachiever of Pawnee’s Parks & Recreation department, Leslie Knope was the person we all looked up to. As dedicated as she was to the city’s parks, she never forgot the more important things in life. (In her case, these things included waffles — but that’s beside the point.)

3. Stop Comparing Yourself To Others

April Ludgate quote: "I'm going to tell you a secret about everyone else's job: no one knows what they are doing. Deep down, everyone is just faking it until they figure it out. And you will too, because you're awesome."

Remember, it's okay if you still don't know where you want your career to lead you — or, for that matter, if you even want to continue working in the same field. Dreams can change at any age, and while it may be hard not to be envious of other people's success, the only person you should be comparing yourself to is the person in the mirror.

April Ludgate had to remind Andy Dwyer of this when he felt lost; however, even April herself aspired to pursue a veterinary degree after working for a few years in the Parks & Recreation department. Remember to have confidence in yourself and surround yourself with supportive people that will guide you in the direction you've always envisioned.

4. Why So Serious?

Ben Wyatt quote: "Just call me Bond. Municipal bond."

Ben Wyatt, Leslie Knope's supportive husband, was smart, passionate about all things Game of Thrones, and a true punster at heart. Even while managing political campaigns, attempting to finally put his professional failures behind him, and becoming a father to triplets, Ben always made sure to find humor in the toughest situations. (And let’s not even get started on the celebrity status he achieved through his jokes at the accounting firm!)

5. Add Some Structure to Your Workday

Tom Haverford quote: "Every day I start by hitting up Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram. Sometimes, I like to throw in LinkedIn, for the professional shawties."

I'm not saying you have to commit to a daily to-do list, but you can help reduce the chaos of your workload by developing an actionable daily routine — much like the guru of all things digital, Tom Haverford. Consider using an online workspace to help yourself get organized and stay on top of your goals. I'm a big fan of Notion — it's completely free and features a ton of workspace templates, so you can focus less on setting things up and more on getting things done.

6. Be Optimistic

Andy Dwyer quote: "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. I read that once on a can of lemonade. I like to think it applies to life."

Today may be cloudy and dreary, but there are always brighter days ahead. Andy Dwyer hit rock bottom in a pit (yes, a real pit), and just a few years later, he was living the dream as the host of a successful children's television show! Amazing things can happen when you stay positive.

7. It's Okay NOT To Please Everyone

Donna Meagle quote: "If you don't like what I post, don't follow me."

Donna Meagle never aimed to please others. Even while you're walking on eggshells, there will always be someone who will find something negative to say. Tuen out the critics, stay true to yourself, and keep moving forward in whatever direction you decide to take!

8. Keep That Long-Term Goal in Mind

Jerry Gergich quote: "They can laugh at me all they want. Because two more years until I retire with full benefits and pension, and my wife and I, we have bought a little cottage on a lake, and I am gonna get myself a stack of mystery novels, a box of cigars, and I am gonna sit back and enjoy my life."

There will always be days where we ask ourselves, "What am I doing all of this for?" Everyone has a different long-term plan, whether it be retiring in a cottage on a lake or relaxing in a beach house with an ocean view. Whatever your goal, it's a good idea to regularly remind yourself why all your hard work will be worth it in the end. That’s what kept Jerry (Garry? Larry?) Gergich going!

9. Stop. Collaborate. Listen...

Ann Perkins quote: "Everybody brings their own unique strengths to the table, some that even I don't have!"

...to your team, that is! It's okay not to know everything your coworkers know; in fact, this can create the perfect opportunity to learn new skills from your team. Even the beautiful, talented, brilliant, powerful muskox Ann Perkins doesn't know it all!

10. Good Health Is Literally a Top Priority

Chris Traeger quote: "I take care of my body above all else. Diet, exercise, supplements, positive thinking. Scientists believe that the first human being who will live 150 years has already been born. I believe I am that human being."

For many of us — myself included — it's difficult not to bring work home. Too often, we spend the weekend thinking about all of the things we have to get done next week. Working through lunch, stressing out about deadlines, and creating a workaholic mindset is never good for your health and well-being. Aim to find that happy medium and put your health above all else. The results just might surprise you!

I hope that you were able to find some inspiration from the Pawnee Parks & Recreation team — after all, "What makes work worth doing is getting to do it with people you love." Now get out there and conquer that new year!


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About the Author: Nicole Wills is a communications professional and freelance writer with a passion for storytelling. She currently serves as the Content Chair of AAF Orlando's Communications & Creative Committee. When Nicole isn't writing, she can be found reading, playing video games, and hanging out with her cat (sometimes all at once).

One response to “10 Motivational “Parks and Recreation” Quotes To Help You Conquer Your Life

  1. […] These quotes were not only applicable to parks and rec, but to life as well […]

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