If you are struggling to develop or maintain good habits, there are many motivating quotes out there that will help you along your journey in the right direction.
What are some motivating quotes about maintaining good habits? The best motivational quotes about good habits will help inspire you to pursue a proper course toward a happier, successful, and more fruitful life by developing good habits.
A motivational quote is really much more than words—though simple as they can be. Science and psychology have shown us that there is evidence that motivation does help us strive toward something greater than ourselves, so why not use that to develop good habits?
What is Motivation?
Motivation can mean different things to different people but ultimately leads to the same result. Motivation is essentially the reason someone has for acting or behaving a certain way. We can also define it as the general desire or willingness of someone to do something.
In other words, motivation is why we do things in life for the good or the bad. It is the power within to take action to achieve and succeed. It is how we get out of bed in the morning. Motivation is what drives us as humans to get off our rumps to do something.
Motivation consists of three main factors:
- Intensity is the hard work and dedication put into a process.
- Direction is about maintaining a clear thought process or plan that includes the goal and its objective.
- Persistence is someone’s ability to stay on task until they achieve their goal.
According to Wikipedia, “Motivation is the experience of desire or aversion, having an objective and an intrinsic or an extrinsic aspect.” It also pertains to the cognitive.
- Intrinsic – Our motivation comes from things such as enjoyment, a sense of accomplishment, or the internal drive to do something.
- Extrinsic – Our motivation comes from outward factors such as a paycheck, praise, or even by being recognized socially.
- Cognitive – Our motivation comes from beliefs, expectations, and goals.
But, how do aversion and desire both serve as motivation? Here are a couple of examples:
- Maggie really wanted that new phone, so she worked hard to earn money for it. Her desire to possess was her motivation.
- Lizzy was terrified of the large snake, so she ran from it as fast as she could. Her aversion was her motivation to run away.
The Psychology Behind Motivation
Psychologists have been studying motivation back as far as 1911. One of the first studies was Thorndike’s Law of Effort in 1911. This study displayed that if someone’s action led to some form of reward, that person is likely to repeat the same action. On the contrary, the study showed us that when our past actions lead to a negative effect, we are likely not to repeat that same action.
In 1943 and 1954, Abraham Harold Maslow (1908 – 1970) had theorized that humans are motivated to attain distinct needs and that some of them take priority over needs. His theory of needs consists of a five-layer model of human needs constructed using a pyramid.
Starting from the top of the pyramid:
- Self-Actualization – Achieving one’s full potential. This can include pursuing creative activities.
- Esteem Needs – Gaining prestige and the feeling of accomplishment.
- Belongingness & Love Needs – Intimate relationships with others.
- Safety Needs – Security and safety.
- Physiological Needs – Food, water, shelter, and rest.
Based on his theory, the needs at the bottom of the pyramid must be dealt with before the needs higher up can be attained.
According to this model, we can then divide the five levels into deficiency and growth needs. The lower levels are considered deficiency levels.
According to Maslow, needs that come from deficiency based on the deprivation of certain aspects of the pyramid will motivate a person to satisfy those unmet needs. He did go on later in life to clarify that it is not necessary for a need to be met 100% before the next arises.
Throughout the years, there have been many more studies pertaining to motivation. Listed below are four of the most well-known theories in psychology on the subject outside of Maslow’s work:
- Hertzberg’s Two-Factor Theory
- McClelland’s Theory of Needs
- Vroom’s Theory of Expectancy
- McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y
If you are interested in learning more about these theories of motivation, this site offers additional information.
The Power of Motivation
The power of motivation is simply amazing in what it can do. Take, for example, a teenager and their phone. If you take the iPhone away from them, what would they go through to get that phone back? Of course, there may be a major tantrum. However, after it’s over, if you asked them to rake the yard or clean the garage, it will get done. Why?
They are motivated by the desire to have that phone back. What would you do to get that new position that you saw posted at work? Would you work harder, stay later, or take on extra work?
The power that drives one’s motivation can indeed be a very powerful force. In order to achieve, we must first be motivated to attain.
What is a Good Habit?
A good habit is defined as “a behavior that is beneficial to one’s physical or mental health, often linked to a high level of discipline and self-control” (Medical-Dictionary). Examples of good habits include:
- Regular exercise
- Moderation of alcohol consumption
- Maintaining a balanced diet
How Does Motivation Influence Good Habits?
According to the Oxford Dictionary, “influence” is the “capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something, or the effect itself.” When we think of “influences,” we tend to think of peer pressure, how much power someone’s opinion has on something or someone, being under the influence of alcohol, drugs, and so on.
But what influence does motivation have on good habits? Motivation has an effect on the development of good behavior.
As many of us already know, good habits are not always easy to attain. In fact, they can be downright hard. If we had no motivation driving us, would we attain them? Most likely, we would not. So, how does motivation influence good habits?
Motivation is the fuel that helps aid us in reaching a goal—in this instance, achieving a good habit. If we are highly motivated, we will put forth more effort into learning and mastering our new good habit.
If we have little to no motivation, then we are putting less effort into our goals. Motivation influences good habits by driving our thoughts and our goals to attain something. It is much like a car, give it some gas, and it will go; give it more gas, and it will fly down the road.
The Power of Quotes
One of the oldest quotes recorded is one by Pythagoras, an Ionian Greek mathematician and philosopher who lived from 570-495 BC:
“Do not say a little in many words but a great deal in few.”
In other words, do not take all day to say hardly anything. Instead, use a few words to speak volumes. Make your words count for something.
We have to give credit where credit is due. It is obvious that there is a great deal of power and wisdom in quotes. How else could something as ancient as this quote still be applicable to us as much now as it was then?
Quotes have been around for centuries, not because they were dug up from an archeological pit. Instead, many have been passed down by word of mouth or written throughout time. Why? Because they are words and phrases worth remembering. They have a purpose, life, and inspiration. They are words of wisdom that are worth recalling.
35 Quotes About Good Habits
By combining the power of motivation and quotes, hopefully, the following 35 quotes about good habits with their related explanations will help you get moving toward being a better you!
1. “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks, but I do fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” – Bruce Lee
A person who has practiced one kick 10,000 times is much more dangerous than one who has practiced 10,000 different kicks one time. In other words, practice makes perfect. Better focus on ONE habit and improve it up to perfection over time than to spread your efforts across many habits.
2. “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” – Jim Rohn
The desire for something is what gets you started, while the ingrained ability you have learned allows you to persevere. In other words, motivation, at times, fizzles out; it is the consistency of our habits that see us through to a goal. James Clear also mentions in his book Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones*: “You do not rise to the level of your goals, you fall to the level of your systems”.
So the best way for you to make exponential progress is to put in place and MAINTAIN good habits over time.
3. “There is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs.” – Zig Ziglar
You build your success by accumulating small wins. According to Charles Duhigg in The Power of Habit*, your daily good habits are the small wins that will set you up for success.
4. “Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.” – Warren Buffet
You don’t realize how strong a bad habit it is until you need to break it.
5. “Good habits formed at youth make all the difference.” – Aristotle
Learning good habits while we are young allow us to perfect them as we go through life; it also makes them easier to learn and accept as normalcy in our everyday life.
6. “Your character is the harvest of your habits.” – Adrian Rogers
Our habits, good and bad, tend to relate to our overall attitude, actions, and behavior in life; this is thus revealed in our character.
7. “Consistency creates habit, and our habits shape our life.” – Anonymous
Working repeatedly at something creates a habit. The habits we have reflects on how we live our lives. Hence, our habit are what makes us and helps us shape our future.
8. “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.” – Gandhi
Start with a goal in mind and follow through with your words and actions to create habits that will get you there.
9. “Depending on what they are, our habits will either make us or break us. We become what we repeatedly do.” – Sean Covey
Learning good habits such as working hard, even if we don’t want to, versus bad ones, like quitting when we are challenged, can make us successful or leave us as failures for the lack of trying.
10. “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
A habit is a learned behavior that becomes an automatic part of us. It is something we do without thinking. Rules are things we have to follow and are not as natural to ourselves; therefore, we must pay attention to them. Following the rules is something we have to focus on, whereas a habit automatically allows or prevents you from an action, therefore keeping us in place.
11. “Habit is a cable; we weave a thread each day, and at last, we cannot break it.” – Horace Mann
This means that every day that we work on creating a habit, it becomes stronger until it’s so strong it becomes a normal part of our routine that is unbreakable.
12. “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
This speaks of our habits. We cannot change our life for the better without first changing the daily habits that drive us.
13. “By developing and practicing good habits each day, you affirm that you do have control over the very core of your life in the midst of the chaos.” – Stephen Guise, Elastic Habits
This quote can be seen in two different ways. The first is that by developing and practicing good habits, we will be able to move through our days in an orderly fashion according to them.
Secondly, during times of turmoil, our habits being second nature will help us maintain a sense of normalcy.
14. “All people are the same; only their habits differ.”- Confucius
People are all made up of the same matter: skin, blood, and bone. It is our habits that make us different than one another.
15. “Choices are at the root of every one of your results. Each choice starts a behavior that, over time, becomes a habit.” – Darren Hardy
The choices we make in life, good or bad, are what eventually develop into habits.
16. “In essence, if we want to direct our lives, we must take control of our consistent actions. It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently.” – Tony Robbins
To direct our lives, we must first govern our actions, because unknowingly, the little things we do can become a habit. This habit then determines how we act in our life.
17. “The moral virtues, then, are produced in us neither by nature nor against nature. Nature, indeed, prepares in us the ground for their reception, but their complete formation is the product of habit.” – Aristotle
While this speaks to moral virtues, it also applies to good habits. We were not born with habits. We were given a mind that is receptive to training and learning. And we do not attain those habits without first taking steps to achieve it.
18. “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
This means that to master the bigger things in life, we must first master the little things. Excellence is something that we achieve by consistency in practicing a positive forward-moving attitude (an example of a good habit), one that overcomes rather than concedes to defeat or setbacks.
19. “If you want to cultivate a habit, do it without any reservation, until it is firmly established. Until it is so confirmed, until it becomes a part of your character, let there be no exception, no relaxation of effort.” – Mahavira
If you want to have or create a good habit, you must work at it wholeheartedly. Do it without doubt or hesitation; keep at it daily until it is something that you do without thinking. Do not allow anything to prevent you from doing this. Do not skip days, and do not stop trying.
20. “Any act often repeated soon forms a habit; and habit allowed, steady gains in strength, at first it may be but as a spider’s web, easily broken through, but if not resisted it soon binds us with chains of steel.” – Tyron Edwards
If we do not pay attention to our actions, they can become bad habits, and you won’t realize it until it is too late.
21. “We can do anything we want to if we stick to it long enough.” – Helen Keller
While a simple phase, it lends great weight to learning a good habit. We can do anything we want if we make a habit of working for it and do not give up.
22. “To enjoy freedom, we have to control ourselves.” – Virginia Woolf
Think about this quote for a moment. Essentially, by learning good habits, we are free to enjoy life without constantly needing to pay attention to what we say or do because our basic behavior is already ingrained within us from having taken the time to have learned good habits.
23. “Creativity is a habit, and the best creativity is the result of good work habits.” – Twyla Tharp
This really cannot be truer! To create something and bring it to completion, our good habits will need to bring us there. In this case, perseverance is one such good habit; another could be an attention to detail.
24. “Good habits are worth being fanatical about.” – John Irving
It takes time, practice, and repetition to form a good habit. They are worth extra diligence to achieve.
25. “Don’t try to rush progress. Remember—a step forward, no matter how small, is a step in the right direction. Keep believing.” – Kara Goucher
Don’t rush trying to do something. Taking the effort in the right direction, no matter how small, is one step closer toward moving in the direction you would like to go.
26. “Habits are powerful but delicate. They can emerge outside our consciousness or can be deliberately designed. They often occur without our permission but can be reshaped by fiddling with their parts. They shape our lives far more than we realize—they are so strong, in fact, that they cause our brains to cling to them at the exclusion of all else, including common sense.” – Charles Duhigg
This is a powerful message. The quote tells us that while habits are powerful, they are delicate enough to sneak into our lives and daily processes without us being aware that it is happening, or we can deliberately learn them. They often end up being something that we have learned without even realizing that we did so.
A habit has such influence in our daily lives—much more than we realize—and can become so ingrained within our brain, that we will fight to maintain the habit even if we know that it is negative or wrong.
However, we can reshape them into a more becoming habit by working bits and parts of it to be a positive rather than a negative influence.
27. “The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude.” – Oprah
It can be liberating to know that a person can change by changing their attitude in life. This applies to habits too!
28. “People who cannot invent and reinvent themselves must be content with borrowed postures, secondhand ideas, fitting in instead of standing out.” – Warren Bennis
People who cannot learn to change themselves as they go throughout their lives must settle with who and how they are. By refusing to do nothing to make themselves different than others around them, they will live in mediocrity instead of achieving better things because they lacked the willingness to try.
29. “The best way to change it is to do it, right? And then after a while, you become it, and it’s easy.” – Ursula Burns
If you want to change, then do it. After a while, the change becomes a part of your nature as a habit, and no longer do you have to think about it. Therefore, it becomes easy.
30. “Good habits, once established, are just as hard to break as are bad habits.” – Robert Puller
A good habit, once learned, is as hard to break as a bad habit. In other words, once you have picked up a good habit, it is likely that you will never lose it.
31. “We first make our habits, and then they make us.” – John Dryden
We work to form our habits, and then, after having to learn them, they work as a guiding force in our lives.
32. “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
Habits exist to give us some form of pleasure. Regardless of whether they are good or bad, they are created based on the same principles.
33. “A large part of virtue consists in good habits.” – Barbara Paley
Virtues are qualities that are inherently good. By practicing good habits, you can encompass good virtues.
34. “Powerful indeed, is the empire of habit.” – Publilius Syrus
Habits are very powerful things once we form them because they can drive our daily lives.
35. “It seems, in fact, as though the second half of a man’s life is made up of nothing but the habits he has accumulated during the first half.” – Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky
We spend time during our younger years learning and creating habits. By the later years, our life consists of mostly habits we have learned on that journey.
While it may be hard to pick up and maintain good habits, we are fortunate enough to have little pearls of wisdom and inspiration to help reaffirm belief in ourselves and our goals. Quotes also have the ability to work on our level of motivation if we have them readily at hand. Or better yet, somewhere we can see them daily to give us strength and a reminder of what we are striving for.
Ultimately, what we can hope to achieve can be endless if we have belief in ourselves and the motivation to take the first steps.