The top 40 quotes about the power of habits and the risk of routine

Habits are among the strongest forces in a person’s life.

They describe our identity and are an integral part of us. If you want to change yourself and your identity, you first have to change your habits. There’s no getting around it.

The following quotes sho the power and danger of habit from different angles. I hope you find the quote that suits you and your current situation best and helps you change.

Depending on which ones you cultivate, habits can make or break you. We become what we do regularly.

Sean Covey, bestselling author

It is easier to prevent bad habits than to break them.

Benjamin Franklin, President of the United States

Each year one vicious habit discarded, in time might make the worst of us good.

Benjamin Franklin, President of the United States
Each year one vicious habit discarded, in time might make the worst of us good. – Benjamin Franklin

Our character, basically, is a composite of our habits. Because they are consistent, often unconscious patterns, habits constantly express our character and produce our effectiveness – or our in effectiveness. In the words of Aristotle, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Steven Covey, bestselling author

I have learned that champions aren’t just born; champions can be made when they embrace and commit to life-changing positive habits.

Lewis Howes, football player
It’s either ‘on’ or ‘off’. There’s not ‘half-assing’ with habits. They requite commitment and dedication.

Good habits are worth being passionate about.

John Irving, writer

You leave old habits behind by starting out with the thought, ‘I release the need for this in my life’.

Wayne Dyer, psychologist

Habits are safer than rules; you don’t have to watch them. And you don’t have to keep them either. They keep you.

Frank Hall Crane, actor & director

If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.

Colin Powell, Military General & Politician

A modern stoic knows that the surest way to discipline passion is to discipline time: decide what you want or ought to do during the day, then always do it at exactly the same moment every day, and passion will give you no trouble.’

W.A. Auden, British-American writer

Habit is a cable; we weave a thread of it each day, and at last we cannot break it.

Thomas Mann, German writer

The best way to stop a bad habit is never to begin it.

J.C. Penney

The key to breaking any bad habit is to find something you love more than the habit.

Bryant McGill, bestselling author

You stay young as long as you can learn, acquire new habits … You stay young as long as you can learn, acquire new habits, and suffer contradictions.

Marie Ebner von Eschenbach, Austrian writer

If you plant the right seed in the right spot, it will grow without further coaxing. I believe this is the best metaphor for creating habits. The “right seed” is the tiny behavior that you choose. The “right spot” is the sequencing — what it comes after. The “coaxing” part is amping up motivation, which I think has nothing to do with creating habits. In fact, focusing on motivation as the key to habits is exactly wrong. Let me be more explicit: 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, social scientist

Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.

Samuel Johnson, lexicographer

Successful people are not born successful. They become successful by developing the habit of doing things that unsuccessful people don’t want to do.

William Makepeace Thackeray, British writer

If you develop good habits while you are still young, you will change your whole life.


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, leadership expert

Controversial quotes about meaning of routine

Negative quotes Routines Habits

Now that we’ve finished the quotes on habits, let’s move on to the topic of “routine”. It’s amazing how much the quotes differ. Habits are portrayed as something incredibly strong and positive, while routines have a clearly negative connotation.

If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine; it is lethal.

Paulo Coelho, Brazilian writer

The less routine, the more life!

Amos Branson Alcott, American writer

Clinging to routine is the fear of failure.

Franz Böck, entrepreneur

Routine is smooth, pleasant and easy to acquire. This is why the state as it is is so rarely and hesitantly exchanged for the state as it should be.

Emil Baschnonga, Swiss writer

I never try to repeat past successes. That makes me immune to routine.

Michael Ende, German writer

Some live with such an amazing routine that it is hard to believe they are living for the first time.

Stanislaw Jerzy Lec, Polish poet

Routine saves thinking and prevents reflection.

Walter Ludin, Swiss theologian

If you don’t have any bad habits, you probably don’t have a personality either.

William Faulkner, Nobel Prize winner

Most of them live in the ruins of their habits.

Jean Cocteau, French writer

By nature, people are almost the same. Only habits distance them from each other.

Confucius, Chinese philosopher

The worst rule is that of habit.

Publilius Syrus, Roman author

Repeatedly asserted untruths do not become truths, but what is worse, habits.

Oliver Hassencamp, German cabaret artist

Habits are undeniably useful tools, relieving us of the need to run a complex mental operation every time we’re confronted with a new task or situation. Yet they also relieve us of the need to stay awake to the world: to attend, feel, think, and then act in a deliberate manner. (That is, from freedom rather than compulsion.) If you need to be reminded how completely mental habit blinds us to experience, just take a trip to an unfamiliar country. Suddenly you wake up! And the algorithms of everyday life all but start over, as if from scratch. This is why the various travel metaphors for the psychedelic experience are so apt. The efficiencies of the adult mind, useful as they are, blind us to the present moment. We’re constantly jumping ahead to the next thing. We approach experience much as an artificial intelligence (AI) program does, with our brains continually translating the data of the present into the terms of the past, reaching back in time for the relevant experience, and then using that to make its best guess as to how to predict and navigate the future. One of the things that commends travel, art, nature, work, and certain drugs to us is the way these experiences, at their best, block every mental path forward and back, immersing us in the flow of a present that is literally wonderful—wonder being the by-product of precisely the kind of unencumbered first sight, or virginal noticing, to which the adult brain has closed itself. (It’s so inefficient!) Alas, most of the time I inhabit a near-future tense, my psychic thermostat set to a low simmer of anticipation and, too often, worry. The good thing is I’m seldom surprised. The bad thing is I’m seldom surprised.

Michael Pollan, American author

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