I’ve been reading and writing a bit about habits lately. Since we love a good thought-provoking quote here at Write Change Grow, I thought it was time for some quotes on habits.
Quotes can be just the spark we need to take action.
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Here are my top 20 quotes on habits.
If you’ve read one of my quote posts before you’ll know that I don’t just write a list of quotes. I list the quote and add my own thoughts and interpretations as well. Hopefully, it makes things more interesting! 🙂
Let’s dive in.
Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.” – George Washington Carver
Our excuses can become habits. We get so used to rattling our excuses off on autopilot that we’re often not even aware we’re doing it. We lie to ourselves, then we wonder why our big plan, project, or goal doesn’t happen.
Your excuses could be fuelled by self-doubt. Doubting yourself can become a habit. The good news – you can change your habits, which means you can work on your self-doubt to stop it from holding you back.
I took an excellent online course at CreativeLive. The course How to Break the Habit of Self-Doubt and Build Real Confidence is run by the lovely and wise Mel Robbins. I got so much value out of this course and thoroughly enjoyed it. You can read my review of the course on how it could benefit you as well.
More habit-related content –
- 10 Best Books on Habits – Learn how to break old habits and create new ones
- 10 Situations Where Awareness Can Help With Changing Habits
- Are Your Routines Holding You Back?
- Are You Repeating the Same Mistakes?
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Will Durant
Your actions shape your life, so it’s pretty damn important to be coming from a place of excellence. Aim to be a person of quality who takes consistent action.
Don’t confuse excellence with perfection however as wanting everything to be perfect will ultimately drag you down.
One of my favorite books is High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard. In High Performance Habits, Brendon talks about the 6 key habits that all high performers have and how you can use strategies and processes to skyrocket your own personal performance.
Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” – Jim Ryun
Getting started can be easy (depending on what you are starting naturally). It’s the keep going part that we often struggle with. The more we establish and fortify habits around the things that we really want to do, the better our lives will be.
Related post – How to Achieve Your Goals – The Key to Setting Goals and Achieving Them
It is easier to prevent bad habits than to break them.” – Benjamin Franklin
I totally agree with Mr. Franklin on this one. I find that if I don’t bring rubbish food into the house I don’t eat anywhere near as much. It’s the same with wine. Whilst buying alcohol in bulk is cheaper, having it laying around the house only leads to temptation. It’s not like I’m drinking high volumes at any one time but if the wine is always available I might regularly have a glass of wine during dinner and while watching my favorite shows on television, which over the long run, can add up to consuming more alcohol than I am happy with.
Temptation can be a habit. Know yourself. Know the situations when you will and won’t give into temptation.
Prevent being tempted in the first place so that you don’t have to break a bad habit later.
One of the books that really helped me in this area is Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin. It was this book that introduced me to the four tendencies. Learning that I slot into The Questioner tendency helped me know and understand myself better. It certainly explained why a large percentage of my blog post titles are questions!
Better Than Before discusses the pillars of habits – monitoring, foundation, scheduling, and accountability. One of my favorite sections was on Desire, Ease, and Excuses (where I learned about how the power of abstaining could help me).
I was so intrigued by The Four Tendencies that I also bought her later book based solely on this topic.
Procrastination is the bad habit of putting off until the day after tomorrow what should have been done the day before yesterday.” – Napoleon Hill
I think we can all relate to this one because it’s so incredibly true. Procrastination affects us all at some point. For many people, it can be overpowering. Procrastination like many other things is a habit.
One of the best books I’ve read on breaking the habit of procrastination is Eat That Frog! by Brian Tracy. It’s a small, quick-to-read book packed with practical tips and strategies on how to not put things off today that you should have done yesterday.
Habit is a cable; we weave a thread of it each day, and at last we cannot break it.’ – Horace Mann
This one is about that wonderful moment when a new habit has finally taken hold and it would pain us to break it. Happy dance time!
All human actions have one or more of these seven causes: chance, nature, compulsions, habit, reason, passion, desire.” – Aristotle
This is one hell of a list (it’s also a very old one) but it got me thinking, not just about the habit component but about how the other six areas play a part in our lives. Not to mention how they interact with each other (or fail to interact which is more often the case).
It’s amazing to think that one can completely override all the rest in a matter of seconds. We’ve all seen this happen many times or done this many times ourselves. Desire sticks its head in the door and all reason goes out the window. An amazing chance comes along and we do something completely out of our nature to rise to the challenge.
Related post – 20 Know Your Worth Quotes to Increase Your Self-Worth
Habit is stronger than reason.” – George Santayana
How many times have you done something and thought to yourself, ‘I really shouldn’t be doing this’ but you keep doing it anyway?
Habit overrides reason which is why it is important to implement healthy, positive habits in our lives. We can’t rely solely on willpower. Willpower alone isn’t always enough.
The difference between an amateur and a professional is in their habits. An amateur has amateur habits. A professional has professional habits. We can never free ourselves from habit. But we can replace bad habits with good ones.” – Steven Pressfield
The part of this quote that really jumped out at me is – We can never free ourselves from habit.
Habits are always going to be a part of our lives. We are going to act automatically based on certain triggers or cues. We need to decide whether our actions have positive or negative results.
Of course, the million-dollar question is what’s the difference between an amateur and a professional habit? I think that’s a question that we each have to answer based on our own situation and circumstances.
What do you need to do to upgrade your habits?
Successful people aren’t born that way. They become successful by establishing the habit of doing things unsuccessful people don’t like to do.” – William Makepeace Thackeray
You aren’t born successful, you become successful and habits are the ladder that helps you get there.
As the quote suggests, that ladder may be pathed with doing things that people don’t like to do. If we want to be successful, we first must conquer that feeling of ‘I don’t feel like it’ and get in and do what needs to be done.
Not easy but essential for success.
Related post – Define Your Own Version of Success
Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.” – Warren Buffett
It’s not till we try to break a bad habit that we fully comprehend how entrenched it has become in our lives.
Cultivate only the habits that you are willing should master you.” – Elbert Hubbard
You are the master of a habit or it is the master of you. Choose wisely.
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
I’ve seen this quote a few times and wondered to myself what is the one thing I could do every day that would change my life?
I’m starting to think that it’s probably not just one thing. More of a habit-stacking type of arrangement.
Work towards consistent daily progress.
Some rules are nothing but old habits that people are afraid to change.” – Therese Fowler
The first thing that springs to mind when I read this quote is government departments and big organizations.
Often rules, processes, and procedures are nothing but habits that people are too afraid to challenge or change. Often it’s more about how things have always been done. You’ll know what I’m talking about if you have ever heard someone say – ‘That’s the way things have always been done around here.”
Our character is basically a composite of our habits. Because they are consistent, often unconscious patterns, they constantly, daily, express our character.” – Stephen Covey
This one is interesting. This one talks about your character, who you are as a person, and how your habits impact that. Want to be a better person, and develop better habits. If you want to be a kinder person, make it a habit to be kind to people. If you want to be a forgiving person, get into the habit of forgiveness.
Make sure that what you are doing on a consistent basis is who you want to be.
I have learned that champions can be made when they embrace and commit to life-changing positive habits.” – Lewis Howes
The important word that stands out for me in this one is – commit.
We can take on some life-changing positive habits but they won’t get us where we want to be if we don’t commit. Habits and success, after all, are based on commitment.
I’m a big fan of Lewis Howes and his amazing podcasts. It’s on my bucket list to attend his yearly Summit of Greatness conference in the US. I highly recommend his excellent book The School of Greatness (really loved this one). On the topics of habits, you’ll get a lot out of the chapters on practicing positive habits and cultivating a champion’s mindset.
Good habits are worth being fanatical about.” – John Irving
Unfortunately, many of us are probably more fanatical about binge-watching our favorite show on Netflix than we are about our good habits.
To truly enhance our habits we need to be more passionate about them. Get passionate and driven about your habits.
Related post – How to Have More Self-Discipline
Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.” – Vince Lombardi
We have to believe we can win. Believing we can win drives us to push ourselves and form new positive habits. Believing we can achieve our desired result helps us maintain habits even when we are faced with setbacks and challenges. Without this belief, we would simply give up after a setback or disappointment.
A series of wins builds your confidence and empowers you to keep going.
Believe you can win, get some wins under your belt, and let winning become a habit.
Related content to help foster a growth mindset –
- 10 Behaviors that Stop You Growing as a Person
- Words to Stop Using to Improve Your Life
- 12 Ways to Show Up For Yourself
Your net worth to the world is usually determined by what remains after your bad habits are subtracted from your good ones.” – Benjamin Franklin
We all have good habits and bad habits both on a personal and social level. We all add value to the world and take value away in some way. It’s what remains after subtraction that is important.
Always aim to add more than you take away.
Happiness is a habit – cultivate it.” – Elbert Hubbard
Because I’ve written about happiness a few times, I couldn’t resist this one. Make happiness a habit.
Be mindful of being happy.
Related post – 20 Inspiring Happiness Quotes
Quotes on habits
I hope these quotes on habits inspire you to have a closer look at your habits. I hope you’re inspired to make some bold, wonderful, courageous changes in your life.
Remember even small changes and tweaks to your habits can make a big difference.
Your habits are important. Be aware of your habits and take action to change the ones that are no longer serving you. Use your habits to drive your life forward.
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Read next – 10 Situations Where Awareness Can Help You Change Your Habits