91 habit quotes about change to inspire and nourish your mind + free cards

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We seem to adopt rather bad quirks than good ones. The pleasant news is that YOU CAN get rid of bad behavior and develop instead of better routines. I've curated the best habit quotes and grouped them into specific categories such as change, power, influence or persistence.

habit quotes

May the power of these words of wisdom motivate you to instill success habits into your life. Together with thought-provoking pictures, they can support you in achieving your objectives, goals, and dreams. I’ve also created free motivational cards with quotes about change especially for you!

Key to a successful life

More than half of our life is shaped by habits. It is not just about how we comb our hair or tie our shoes. These can also be certain patterns of action and thought that we unwind automatically in certain situations. Even feelings and physical reactions can be usually triggered over time.

This means that our behaviors determine our whole life and ultimately shape our identity. That's why it is so important to acquire good routines. They are the key to a successful life!

good habits quote
“Good habits are worth being fanatical about.”
John Irving

“The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine.”
Mike Murdock

“Be + Have = Behave. You will experience your success when you BEHAVE accordingly. BE and you shall HAVE.”
Steve Maraboli

“An unfortunate thing about this world is that good habits are much easier to give up than the bad ones.”
Errol Flynn

Early bird

Don't feel obliged to get up early, but learn to appreciate the advantages. For example, if you have a hobby that you can't do because of your busy schedule, just get up a little earlier in the morning. That way you can have a wonderful start into the day and enjoy doing what you love most.

early bird habit quote
“The early bird catches the worm.”
William Camden

“The early morning has gold in its mouth.”
Benjamin Franklin

“Lose an hour in the morning, and you will be all day hunting for it.”
Richard Whately, English academic

'It is well to be up before daybreak, for such habits contribute to health, wealth, and wisdom.' AristotleClick To Tweet

The first hour of the morning is the rudder of the day.
Henry Ward Beecher

“Morning is an important time of day because how you spend your morning can often tell you what kind of day you are going to have.”
Lemony Snicket


Uplifting video 

If you love quotations with motivational music then you should not miss my inspirational video about successful change. They will further help you to focus on the right routines. Click below to watch the video!


Influence

Imitation plays an important role in the education of our children. Parents, who are usually the most important caregivers, carry a great responsibility. In the first years of life, a child is almost exclusively influenced by its parents. Also afterward, parents teach their children behavior and values. What children pick up from their parents until puberty comes back and significantly shapes their childlike character.

influence of habit quote
“In early childhood, you may lay the foundation of poverty or riches, industry or idleness, good or evil, by the habits to which you train your children. Teach them the right habits then, and their future life is safe.”
Lydia Sigourney

“There is no influence like the influence of habit.”
Gilbert Parker

“Advertising is the most potent influence in adapting and changing the habits and modes of life affecting what we eat, what we wear, and the work and play of a whole nation.”
Calvin Coolidge

'Fortunately, most human behavior is learned observationally through modeling from others.' Albert BanduraClick To Tweet

“It's better to hang out with people better than you. Pick out associates whose behavior is better than yours and you'll drift in that direction.”
Warren Buffet

Laziness

At some point, everyone has to overcome their laziness and start doing what has to be done. If you don't move in the right direction, you won't be able to achieve your goals. Unfortunately, the first steps are often the most difficult and the “weaker self” can be a merciless opponent.

laziness quote
“Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired.”
Jules Renard

“There is no more miserable human being than one in whom nothing is habitual but indecision.”
William James

When we hold back out of laziness, that is when we tie ourselves into knots of boredom.
Walter Annenberg

“Habits, scientists say, emerge because the brain is constantly looking for ways to save effort.”
Charles Duhigg

Further Reading: 72 good night and sleep quotes 

Attitude

The truth is that a positive attitude allows us to enter spheres that we could never reach in any other way. And it is often our attitude that stands between what we are and what we want to be. Each of us is empowered to become a better person, and the first step in this direction is usually a change of attitude.

positive attitude quote
“The habit of looking on the best side of every event is worth more than a thousand pounds a years.”
Samuel Johnson

“Feeling sorry for yourself, and your present condition is not only a waste of energy but the worst habit you could possibly have.”
Dale Carnegie

'Winners make a habit of manufacturing their own positive expectations in advance of the event.' Brian TracyClick To Tweet

“We can gradually grow into any condition we desire, provided we first make ourselves in habitual mental attitude the person who corresponds to those conditions.”
Thomas Troward

Further Reading: 85 be grateful quotes and sayings

Small steps form a chain

For big goals, it helps to break them down into small steps. Instead of pursuing a big goal, you agree with yourself on small steps and make up little rewards for them. It is advisable to increase the distances between the rewards and to vary their nature. That way they do not become a routine and in consequence useless.

chain of habits quote
“The chains of habit are too week to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.”
Samuel Johnson

“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 happen naturally, like a good seed planted in a good spot.”
BJ Fogg

“True life is lived when tiny changes occur.”
Leo Tolstoy

'Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.' Vincent Van GoghClick To Tweet

“Do small things with great love”
Mother Theresa

“You need to be content with small steps. That's all life is. Small steps that you take every day so when you look back down the road it all adds up and you know you covered some distance.”
Katie Kacvinsky, Awaken

“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

Confidence in life

In the complex world, routines enable us to survive. Without automation, our brain would be hopelessly overwhelmed by the flood of triggers and situations.

The importance of routines for us becomes apparent in the first years of life. Behavioral researchers have shown that children who lack routines such as fixed eating times in everyday life later develop a fear of new and unpredictable situations. They also have less confidence in themselves than others. Only those who have repeatedly had the same good experience through routine develop trust.

useful life quote
“Choose the life that is most useful, and habit will make it the most agreeable.”
Sir Francis Bacon

“Tradition is the social equivalent of personal habit.”
Hassan Fathy, An Architecture for People by James Steele

'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 CraneClick To Tweet

“Don’t let the best you have done so far be the standard for the rest of your life.”
Gustavus F. Swift

“Nothing succeeds like success. Get a little success, and then just get a little more.”
Maya Angelou

Keystone habits

According to Charles Duhigg, “keystone habits” once established, can naturally put the rest of your life in order. Once you have managed the first step to establish a new trigger, the routine becomes automatic. People who exercise regularly are sooner or later eager to go outside for a run. People who are used to eating fruits will almost automatically crave these vitamin bombs after a while.

walk daily habit
“Daily walk promotes good health.”
Lailah Gifty Akita

Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very far.”
Thomas Jefferson

“When people exercise, we talk about endorphins, but endorphins are just short-term. The reason why exercise is valuable is it trains your brain to believe, ‘My behavior matters,' which is optimism.”
Shawn Achor

'Exercise is a keystone habit that triggers widespread change.' Charles DuhiggClick To Tweet

“So, if I'm cooking, I'll be steaming vegetables, making some nice salad, that kind of stuff.”
Paul McCartney

“Drinking water is like washing out your insides. The water will cleanse the system, fill you up, decrease your caloric load and improve the function of all your tissues.”
Kevin R. Stone

Thoughts

In our brain, thousands of thinking routines are running every day. We decide automatically what is morally right or wrong, what image we have of ourselves and others. When a new person enters the room, we automatically evaluate him or her with our thought patterns. Instead of giving each person a new value, we often fall into stereotypes.

But thought patterns also determine how we assess our own abilities and knowledge. And they decide whether, for example, you love keeping things in order or consider it important to be punctual.

Thought patterns determine whether we perceive rejection as something bad and how we deal with negative news or pain. For example, do we tend to worry too much or do we firmly believe that tomorrow everything will be better?

buddha habit quote
“The thought manifests as the word; The word manifests as the deed; The deed develops into habit, And habit hardens into character. So watch the thought and its ways with care, And let it spring from love Born out of concern for all beings.”
The Buddha

“Our thinking and our behavior are always in anticipation of a response. It is therefore fear-based.”
Deepak Chopra

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“Such as are your habitual thoughts, such also will be the character of your mind for the soul is dyed by the thoughts.”
Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

“It is not a bad idea to get in the habit of writing down one's thoughts. It saves one having to bother anyone else with them.
Isabel Colegate

Change

Somewhat easier than breaking with an old behavior is establishing a new one. The desired behavior must be linked to a clear trigger and then reinforced by reward.

For instance, early risers can place their running shoes right next to the bed and put them on immediately after getting up. This must be done very consciously at the beginning. The goal for our brain is to link getting up and spotting the shoes with running and then act automatically. This only works, however, if we succeed in creating a desire, and for this, we need a good reward. The vague prospect of becoming slimmer at some point is not enough. The reward must be concrete and direct, such as a nice breakfast.

charles duhigg habit quote
“The Golden Rule of Habit Change: You can't extinguish a bad habit, you can only change it.”
Charles Duhigg

“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”
John F. Kennedy

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. “
Margaret Mead

“The snake which cannot cast its skin has to die. As well the minds which are prevented from changing their opinions; they cease to be mind.”
Friedrich Nietzsche

'To change a habit, make a conscious decision, then act out the new behavior.' Maxwell MaltzClick To Tweet

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”
Barack Obama

“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”
Rumi

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be a reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.
Lao Tzu

Moderation

When you go through life with more awareness you immediately discover excess, consumerism and abundance at every corner.
Much of this has evolved from purely economic interests. The goal is to let people tap into the consumption trap every day anew. You are constantly reminded that you need certain things and preferably plenty of them. 

It goes without saying that such behavior cannot be described as “healthy” in any way. Old philosophers already knew that moderation is key in most aspects of life.

satisfaction
“One who knows that enough is enough will always have enough.”
Lao Tzu

“Most affections are habits or duties we lack the courage to end.”
Henri de Montherlant

“Excess on occasion is exhilarating. It prevents moderation from acquiring the deadening effect of a habit.”
W. Somerset Maugham

'Good habits result from resisting temptation.' Ancient ProverbClick To Tweet

“Moderation in all things, especially moderation.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Habits – the only reason they persist is that they are offering some satisfaction. You allow them to persist by not seeking any other, better form of satisfying the same needs. Every habit, good or bad, is acquired and learned in the same way – by finding that it is a means of satisfaction.”
Juliene Berk

Further Reading: 130 true friendship quotes and best friend sayings

Reading books

Reading gives you peace of mind, provides you with knowledge and inspires you with new ideas. It is also good training for the brain. In other words, reading is important, beneficial and wonderful. It's best to create a clear reading routine.

You could decide to read in bed every morning or evening. Your book or e-reader should be handy on the bedside table. In that case, nothing will stand between you and your book.

reading habit quote
“Be as careful of the books you read, as of the company you keep; for your habits and character will be as much influenced by the former as by the latter.”
Paxton Hood

“Before this generation loses the wisdom, one advice – read books.”
Amit Kalantri, Wealth of Words

'A world without books is like a body without a soul' CiceroClick To Tweet

“Access to books and the encouragement of the habit of reading: these two things are the first and most necessary steps in education and librarians, teachers and parents all over the country know it. It is our children's right and it is also our best hope and their best hope for the future.”
Michael Morpurgo

“We should get into the habit of reading inspirational books, looking at inspirational pictures, hearing inspirational music, associating with inspirational friends.”
Alfred A. Montapert

Further Reading: 68 inspirational quotes about reading books

Break

A study by scientists at Harvard University showed that New Year's Eve resolutions are not enough when people want to change their lives radically. Major behavioral changes are often associated with severe illness, divorce, job change or a new peer group.

They happen when the context changes. In these so-called “teachable moments”, routines are temporarily broken. You have to reorient yourself, reflect on your own behavior and search for information. Those who strive for change have the best chance in these teachable moments.

break habits
“One of the ingredients of forming good habits and breaking bad ones is focusing on what you want to do and not on what you want to stop doing.”
Joyce Meyer

The more severe the pain or illness, the more severe will be the necessary changes. These may involve breaking bad habits, or acquiring some new and better ones.”
Peter McWilliams, Life 101

'It is easier to prevent bad habits than to break them.' Benjamin FranklinClick To Tweet

“It's always hard to deal with injuries mentally, but I like to think about it as a new beginning. I can't change what happened, so the focus needs to go toward healing and coming back stronger than before.”
Carli Lloyd

Eliminate something superfluous from your life. Break a habit. Do something that makes you feel insecure.”
Piero Ferrucci

Persistence

Until you have established a new pattern in your brain, you have to torture yourself and fight your weaker self in a disciplined way.  If you have done this for about a month, it will become easier to fight your weaker self from day to day. After two months setbacks will appear only seldom, after half a year they may hardly appear again.

shine your kitchen sink habit quote
“Even in a chaotic kitchen, the cleaned-out sink delivers positive reinforcement to the person who cleaned it.”
Marla Cilley, Flylady

“On average, it takes more than 2 months before a new behavior becomes automatic — 66 days to be exact. And how long it takes a new habit to form can vary widely depending on the behavior, the person, and the circumstances.”
James Clear

“The biggest reason people fail at creating and sticking to new habits is that they don’t keep doing it.”
Leo Babauta

'Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.' Jim RyunClick To Tweet

“Everything you are used to, once done long enough, starts to seem natural, even though it might not be.”
Julien Smith

“Do something every day that you don't want to do. This is the golden rule for acquiring the habit of doing your duty without pain.”
Mark Twain

Further Reading: 87 motivational quotes about setting and achieving goals

Excellence

The more often we do something, the more we get used to it, and the easier it will be for us to do it. In other words, the more powerful behaviors we have, the easier it will be for us to perform the activities necessary to achieve excellence. And the fewer daily challenges we face, the higher our chance to succeed.

excellence is a habit
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
Aristotle

“Excellence is not a singular act, but a habit. You are what you repeatedly do.”
Shaquille ONeal

'Habit is the intersection of knowledge (what to do), skill (how to do), and desire (want to do).' Stephen R. CoveyClick To Tweet

“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

“Moral excellence comes about as a result of habit. We become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts.”
Aristotle

Love

A strong relationship is one where you and your partner share good behavior, of course. If you’re picking up each other’s bad behavior, it may be a sign that your partner doesn't help you grow. A sign that your relationship is truly one of the good ones is, when you pick up your partner’s good quirks, like their music, travel, preference for eating a salad as a starter or enjoy their hobbies.

love habit quote
“Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit.”
Peter Ustinov

“True love doesn't happen right away; it's an ever-growing process. It develops after you've gone through many ups and downs, when you've suffered together, cried together, laughed together.” 
Ricardo Montalban

“In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.”
Khalil Gibran

'The habit of giving only enhances the desire to give.' Walt WhitmanClick To Tweet

Love is the hardest habit to break and the most difficult to satisfy.”
Drew Barrymore

“Travel is a new experience that can transport you out of your everyday routine to create memories with the ones you love.”
Brian Chesky

Further Reading: 78 deep love quotes for her and him 

Character

Our feelings and actions are formed by our character. While the majority of people believe that character is unchangeable, psychological and neurobiological studies show that it is possible to shape character. In that context self-awareness is the most important premise. With special practices and routines, one can then develop areas such as inner strength, creativity or discipline.

habits form character quote
“Every grown-up man consists wholly of habits, although he is often unaware of it and even denies having any habits at all.”
Georges Gurdjieff

“Habit, my friend, is practice long pursued, that at last becomes the man himself.”
Evenus

'Men's natures are alike, it is their habits that carry them far apart.' ConfuciusClick To Tweet

“People's character is their behavior – we're all capable of good and evil.”
Bertie Carvel

“Stay away from negative people, they have a problem for every solution.”
Albert Einstein

Further Reading57 best self-love quotes on self-acceptance

Destiny

Lifestyle and habits are not destiny but a choice. It is you who have chosen them. And they can be changed. Think about your purpose and your most important goals in life. Develop the right routines that match those goals and you can shape your fate in a favorable way.

habits shape destiny quote
“Sow and act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny.”
Frances E. Willard

“Act the way you'd like to be and soon you'll be the way you act.”
George Crane

“Your behavior is a choice; it isn't who you are.”
Vanessa Diffenbaugh

'Thoughts lead on to purposes; purposes go forth in action; actions form habits; habits decide character, and character fixes our destiny.' Tyron EdwardsClick To Tweet

“All human actions have one or more of these seven causes: chance, nature, compulsion, habit, reason, passion, and desire.”
Aristotle

“Your beliefs become your thoughts. Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your values. Your values become your destiny.”
Mahatma Gandhi


Do you want to learn how to create sustainable routines to boost your energy levels and maintain a vibrant body without spending a fortune or invest hours in your kitchen? To see what I'm talking about check out my E-Course!

Further Reading: Top 12 motivational books about health and happiness


Get your free quotes about change 

free habit quotes cards

Start small!

A very promising approach to change is as mentioned above is starting with tiny, daily behaviors. Those tiny bits are repeated and automated until success becomes inevitable: “Dream big, but start small”.

Think about it!

It's not so much about always doing your best work, but it's about doing the best you can on a consistent basis. For warming up with this interesting field of positive psychology grab here the inspirational cards in a pdf file for instant download.

9 Habit Quotes
9 quotes about change

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to print out your words of wisdom:

You'll find 4 sets of cards with inspirational sayings featuring:

  • habits
  • change
  • positivity and
  • blanc cards

Use the blank cards to formulate your favorite quotes. These sayings about change, and positive reinforcement will help you nourish your mind and keep you motivated for making healthy routines stick.

  • Print them out (use heavier paper)
  • Cut out the cards
  • Keep them on your desk, in your purse or just attach them on a mirror or fridge.

Please use these quotes, reflect and take action based on how they impact your life. Then inspiring words will always work for you.

Click here to print out your motivational cards!

Give yourself and everyone who sees it the little psychological boost we all need to enjoy a healthier and happier life.

ADDITIONAL WORDS OF WISDOM YOU MIGHT ENJOY

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7 thoughts on “91 habit quotes about change to inspire and nourish your mind + free cards”

  1. Dear Sara,
    sorry for your inconvenience!
    If you haven’t received this confirmation email first check your spam folder or the Promotions tab, if you use Gmail.
    If you find a LeanJumpStart email there,simply drag and drop it into the Primary tab.
    Click “yes” when Gmail asks you about future messages from me.
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  2. You are welcome Catherine! I’m glad that you like the inspirational habit quotes and I feel privileged that you plan to leave those all over your new house:)

    Congratulations to your wonderful daughter – what a great inspiration approach! Children learn and adopt healthy eating and fitness habits really quickly. And in only a few years it will be your little daughter reminding you staying on the healthy track. You will challenge, inspire and learn from each other! But you are right, the foundation has to be laid by the mother.

    BTW, Have you signed up for my free 52-week clean eating habits challenge yet?

  3. Thank you for the cards!!! I’m going to be moving into a new house soon & can’t wait to leave these all over the house. I am a single mom of a wonderful daughter (who just turned 1 in November), and she’s my motivation! I never really had a fitness role model growing up (mom doing the occasional Richard Simmons vid didn’t count in my book… lol) and I want to give her the healthy role model I never had. I wonder every day where I’d be if i’d just had 1 person to look up to in regards to fitness. Probably not 31 years old & trying to lose 100 pounds, tone up & be healthy!

  4. My husband and I have wedding to go (and that he will be a groomsman for) in December of 2014. We are using this to motive our overall need to change to more healthy eating habits.

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