Developing good habits is an essential part of living a rich, fulfilling life.
The things that we repeatedly do shape the outcomes we get in every area of our life. Our health, relationships, happiness, financial situation, confidence, are all shaped by our daily habits.
It’s the art of showing up every day, even in small ways, that separate those who get the life they want from those who don’t.
Reading everything I could get my hands on surrounding habit formation and behavior change is a big reason why this blog exists. Most people go about forming new habits the wrong way which is why it’s my goal to share what I’ve learned with as many people as humanly possible.
To that end, in today’s post I’m going to be sharing a collection of the most powerful quotes about habits that I’ve come across.
These quotes about habits will cover a wide range of topics, some serving as motivation to direct your attention towards the importance of habits, while others will be more actionable and offer insight into the process of forming good habits and breaking bad habits.
I hope that some of these quotes resonate with you and inspire you to think about change differently.
Quotes About Habits (Motivational)
- “Every decision you make is a vote for the type of person you want to become.” – James Clear
- “Motivation gets you started, habit keeps you going.” – Jim Rohn
- If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters.” – Colin Powell
- “Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.” – Warren Buffett
- “Once you understand what excellence is all about… you see how excellence manifests itself in any discipline.” ~ Joe Rogan
- “Humans are creatures of habit. If you quit when things get tough, it gets that much easier to quit the next time. On the other hand, if you force yourself to push through it, the grit begins to grow in you.” – Travis Bradberry
- “Sow an act and you reap a habit. Sow a habit and reap a character. Sow a character and you reap a destiny.” – Charles Reade
- “Don’t count the days, make the days count.” ~ Muhammad Ali
- “You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.” – James Clear
- “All big things come from small beginnings. The seed of every habit is a single, tiny decision. But as that decision is repeated, a habit grows and sprouts stronger. Roots entrench themselves and branches grow. – James Clear
- “Can you imagine yourself in 10 years if instead of avoiding the things you know you should do, you actually did them every single day – that’s powerful.” ~ Jordan Peterson
- “The world has the habit of making room for the man whose actions show that he knows where he’s going.” – Napoleon Hill
- “Discipline is based on pride, on meticulous attention to details, and on mutual respect and confidence. Discipline must be a habit so ingrained that it is stronger than the excitement of the goal or the fear of failure.” – Gary Ryan Blair
- “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle
- “Your promises are only as good as your daily priorities.” ~ Harvey Specter, Suits
- “First we form habits, then they form us. Conquer your bad habits and they will conquer you.” – unknown
- “In essence, if we want to direct our lives, we must take control of our consistent actions. It’s not what we do that shapes our identity, but what we do consistently.” – Tony Robbins
- “Discipline is choosing between what you want now and what you want most.” – Abraham Lincoln
Quotes About How to Actually Change Your Habits
While the previous collection of quotes were meant to motivate you, these will be more practical and action-based.
Many of these quotes are ones that I’ve pulled from my favorite books on habits of all-time, and I’ve chosen them because they offer great insight as to the principles that should guide your efforts to build good habits.
Hopefully you find some golden nuggets about habit formation and behavior change in this next batch of quotes on habits.
- “Energy is usually at its peak during the first part of your day, which means you should be completing habits that inspire or excite you about the day ahead.” – S.J. Scott
- “If you pick the right small behavior and sequence it right, then you won’t have to motivate yourself to have it grow. It will just happen naturally, like a good seed planted in a good spot.” – BJ Fogg
- “If a behavior is insufficient in any of the four stages, it will not become a habit. Eliminate the cue and your habit will never start. Reduce the craving and you won’t experience enough motivation to act. Make the behavior difficult and you won’t be able to do it. And if the reward fails to satisfy your desire, you’ll have no reason to do it again in the future.” – James Clear
- “The key is to tie your desired behavior to something you already do every day.
Once you have mastered this basic structure, you can begin to create larger stacks by chaining small habits together. This allows you to take advantage of the natural momentum that comes from one behavior leading into the next.” – James Clear
- “Motivation is like a party-animal friend. Great for a night out, but not someone you would rely on to pick you up from the airport. You must understand its role and limitations, then pick small behaviors that don’t rely on such a fickle friend.” – BJ Fogg
- “Success leads to success. But here’s something that may surprise you. The size of the success doesn’t seem to matter very much. When you feel successful at something, even if it’s tiny, your confidence grows quickly, and your motivation increases to do that habit again and perform related behaviors.” – BJ Fogg
- “Focus comes automatically when you are sitting at your work desk. Relaxation is easier when you are in a space designed for that purpose. Sleep comes quickly when it is the only thing that happens in your bedroom. If you want behaviors that are stable and predictable, you need an environment that is stable and predictable.” – James Clear
- “Typically, people who exercise start eating better and become more productive at work. They smoke less and show more patience with colleagues and family. They use their credit cards less frequently and say they feel less stressed. Exercise is a keystone habit that triggers widespread change.” – Charles Duhigg
Quotes About Habits of Mind
When you think about habits, your mind probably starts focusing on your actions – what time you go to sleep, what time you wake up, the type of foods you eat, etc.
However, your thought patterns are habits too. The way you think influences how you feel, and the way you feel influences how you act.
Do you find yourself constantly thinking about the negative things about your life? That’s a habit.
Tend to get attached to your anxious thoughts in social situations? That’s a habit too.
These are referred to as habits of mind, and they play a huge role in how you see the world. For the next set of quotes about habits, let’s look at really powerful words of wisdom that emphasize the connection between your mindset and your habits.
- “Cultivate the habit of zest. Purposefully seek out the beauty in the seemingly trivial. Especially in the trivial. The colors and shapes of the foods you eat. The shadows a vase makes on your table. The interesting faces on the bus with you.” – Karen Salmansohn
- “Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.” – Vince Lombardi
- “Habit allows us to go from before to after, to make life easier and better. Habit is notorious – and rightly so – for its ability to direct our actions, even against our will: but by mindfully shaping our habits, we can harness the power of mindfulness as a sweeping force for serenity, energy, and growth.” – Gretchen Rubin
- “The greatest threat to success is not failure but boredom. We get bored with habits because they stop delighting us. The outcome becomes expected. And as our habits become ordinary, we start derailing our progress to seek novelty.” – James Clear
- “Your actions reveal how badly you want something. If you keep saying something is a priority but never act on it, then you don’t really want it. It’s time to have an honest conversation with yourself. Your actions reveal your true motivations.” – James Clear
- “Humans are imperfect creatures. You don’t succeed because you have no weaknesses, you succeed because you find your unique strength and focus on developing habits around them.” – Tim Ferriss
- “The more pride you have in a particular aspect of your identity, the more motivated you will be to maintain the habits associated with it. If you’re proud of how your hair looks, you’ll develop all sorts of habits to care for and maintain it. If you’re proud of the size of your biceps, you’ll make sure you never skip an upper body workout. If you’re proud of the scarves you knit, you’ll be more likely to spend hours knitting every week. Once your pride gets involved, you’ll fight tooth and nail to maintain your habits.” – James Clear
- “Once you break a habit into its components, you can fiddle with the gears.” – Charles Duhigg
Breaking Bad Habits Quotes
Breaking bad habits is just as important as developing good habits, maybe even more so. Just like forming a good habit can set off a chain reaction of other changes in your life, breaking a bad habit can do the same.
There’s a caveat to this, and that is breaking bad habits is more difficult than building good habits. Whereas building good habits can become pretty simple when you have the right system, breaking a bad habit is a tall task considering the mechanisms in your brain that are so effective for forming habits are now the ones you have to overcome.
If you’re looking for advice on some of the best ways to break bad habits, you can check out this detailed article titled – How to Break Bad Habits And Stop Self-Sabotage.
That being said, let’s dive into this list of bad habits quotes.
- “The moment you feel yourself hesitating on something you know you should do, count 5-4-3-2-1 to activate your prefrontal cortex and interrupt the habit of overthinking, self-doubt, and fear. – Mel Robbins
- “Without struggle, no progress and no result. Every breaking of habit produces a change in the machine.” – George Gurdjieff
- “It is easier to prevent bad habits than to break them.” – Benjamin Franklin
- “There are two types of habits: ones which comfort us, and ones which would be a comfort if we stopped.”- Catherine Pulsifer
- “The best cure for one’s bad tendencies is to see them in action in another person.” – Alain de Botton
- “The attention you give to your bad habits is the fountain from which they draw their strength.” – Michael Bassey Johnson
- “When we repeat 1 percent errors, day after day, by replicating poor decisions, duplicating tiny mistakes, and rationalizing little excuses, our small choices compound into toxic results.” – James Clear
- “Bad habits are autocatalytic; the process feeds itself. They foster the feelings they try to numb. You feel bad, so you eat junk food. Because you eat junk food, you feel bad. Watching television makes you sluggish, so you watch more television because you don’t have the energy to do anything else. It’s a downward spiral, runaway train of bad habits.” – James Clear
- “Self-control is a short term strategy, not a long-term one. You may be able to resist temptation once or twice, but it’s unlikely you can muster the willpower to override your desires every time. Instead of summoning a new dose of willpower when you want to do the right thing, your energy would be better spent optimizing your environment. This is the secret to self-control. Make the cues of your good habits obvious and the cues of your bad habits invisible.” – James Clear
- “As people strengthened their willpower muscles in one part of their lives – in the gym, or a money management program – that strength spilled over into what they ate or how hard they worked. Once willpower became stronger, it touched everything.” – Charles Duhigg
The Power of Routine Quotes
- “We can use decision making to choose the habits that we want to form, use willpower to get the habit started, then – and this is the best part – we can allow the extraordinary power of habit to take over. At that point, we’re free from the need to decide and the need to use willpower.” – Gretchen Rubin
- “The second half of a man’s life is made up of nothing more than the habits he has acquired during the first half.” – Fedor Dostoevski
- “The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine.” – Mike Murdock
- “The difference between an amaetuer and a professional is in their habits. An amatuer has amatuer habits. A professional has professional habits. We can never free ourselves from habit. But we can replace bad habits with good ones.” – Steven Pressfield
- “You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” – John C. Maxwell
- “Either you run the days or the days runs you.” – Jim Rohn
- “A champion doesn’t become a champion in the ring, he’s merely recognized in the ring. His “becoming” happens during his daily routine.” – Joe Louis
- “Perfection is a theory. You cannot be a perfect human being, or a perfect artist. You cannot be a perfect husband, you cannot be a perfect father. But go through your daily routine with hope you will be a little better in all respects, and do something meaningful” – Mikhail Baryshnikov
Well, that concludes this list of the most powerful quotes about habits.
It’s not that these quotes don’t have any value, because they do. There is certainly knowledge to be found in reading and understanding the meaning behind some of these quotes – especially the ones from habit experts like James Clear & BJ Fogg,
However, at the end of the day words can only help you so much. You can put one of these quotes on your wall, or maybe even make one of them your lock screen, but neither of those things compare to the forward momentum generated by taking action on your goals.
Words can spark you to get moving in the right direction, but tactics and strategies build the foundation of knowledge you need to start making tectonic shifts in your life.
If you’re looking for a FREE resource that outlines a simple three step process you can use to stick to your habits, then feel free to check out my free 13 page e-book by clicking here. This quick guide will make it clear why your efforts to change your life have failed in the past, and what to do about it so that you don’t find yourself stuck on the self-improvement hamster wheel.