73 Atomic Habits Quotes And Summary (Book By James Clear)

By Maxime Lagacé

Maxime is the founder of WisdomQuotes. He has been collecting quotes since 2004. His goal? To help you develop a calm and peaceful mind. Learn more about him on his about page.

QuotesSummaryIs Atomic Habits actually helpful?

Here are 73 of the best Atomic Habits quotes, plus a summary.

Why should you read this book by James Clear?

But most importantly, you’ll learn:

  • How to create new habits effortlessly
  • Why habits can make or break your life
  • Why you should have systems instead of goals

I hope you’ll enjoy these quotes as much as I did.

Let’s get started!

atomic habits james clear
Buy the book here: AudioHardcoverPaperback

atomic habits quotes james clear practical way change what wisdom

The most practical way to change who you are is to change what you do. James Clear

Focusing on the overall system, rather than a single goal, is one of the core themes of this book. James Clear

Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement. Getting 1 percent better every day counts for a lot in the long-run. James Clear

If you want to master a habit, the key is to start with repetition, not perfection. James Clear

This is the meaning of the phrase atomic habits — a regular practice or routine that is not only small and easy to do, but also the source of incredible power; a component of the system of compound growth. James Clear

Make your habits as easy as possible to start. Anyone can meditate for one minute, read one page, or put one item of clothing away. James Clear

The only way to make progress, the only choice I had, was to start small. James Clear


atomic habits quotes james clear big things small beginnings single decision wisdom

All big things come from small beginnings. The seed of every habit is a single, tiny decision. James Clear

The process of behavior change always starts with awareness. You need to be aware of your habits before you change them. James Clear

Be the designer of your world and not merely the consumer of it. James Clear

The only way to become excellent is to be endlessly fascinated by doing the same thing over and over. You have to fall in love with boredom. James Clear

Sometimes success is less about making good habits easy and more about making bad habits hard. James Clear

The costs of your good habits are in the present. The costs of your bad habits are in the future. James Clear

Never miss twice. If you miss one day, try to get back on the tracks as quickly as possible. James Clear

atomic habits quotes james clear should concerned trajectory results wisdom

You should be far more concerned with your current trajectory than with your current results. James Clear

The greatest threat to success is not failure but boredom. We get bored with habits because they stop delighting us. James Clear

Professionals stick to the schedule; amateurs let life get in the way. James Clear

The most effective way to change your habits is to focus not on what you want to achieve, but on who you wish to become. James Clear

No single instance will transform your beliefs, but as the votes build up, so does the evidence of your new identity. James Clear

It’s better to do less than you hoped than to do nothing at all. James Clear

With a big enough why you can overcome any how. James Clear

A lack of self-awareness is poison. Reflection and review is the antidote. James Clear



atomic habits quotes james clear action take person wish become wisdom

Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become. James Clear

Redesign your life so the actions that matter most are also the actions that are easiest to do. James Clear

Decide the type of person you want to be. Prove it to yourself with small wins. James Clear

Goals are good for setting a direction, but systems are best for making progress. James Clear

If you want better results, then forget about setting goals. Focus on your system instead. James Clear

The problem with a goals-first mentality is that you’re continually putting happiness off until the next milestone. James Clear

Good habits can make rational sense, but if they conflict with your identity, you will fail to put them into action. James Clear

atomic habits quotes james clear environment shapes behavior wisdom

Environment is the invisible hand that shapes human behavior. James Clear

Success is the product of daily habits — not once-in-a-lifetime transformations. James Clear

Ultimately, it is your commitment to the process that will determine your progress. James Clear

Really successful people feel the same lack of motivation as everyone else. The difference is that they still find a way to show up despite the feelings of boredom. James Clear

One of the most effective things you can do to build better habits is to join a culture where your desired behavior is the normal behavior. James Clear

One of the most practical ways to eliminate a bad habit is to reduce exposure to the cue that causes it. James Clear

The amount of time you have been performing a habit is not as important as the number of times you have performed it. James Clear

Repeating a habit leads to clear physical changes in the brain. James Clear


atomic habits quotes james clear process building becoming yourself wisdom

The process of building habits is actually the process of becoming yourself. James Clear

The road less traveled is the road of delayed gratification. James Clear

Good habits make time your ally. Bad habits make time your enemy. James Clear

The first mistake is never the one that ruins you. It’s the spiral of repeated mistakes that follows. James Clear

Each habit is like a suggestion, ‘Hey maybe this is who I am.’ James Clear

Quite literally, you become your habits. James Clear

Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate. Carl Jung

atomic habits quotes james clear shape identity wisdom

Your habits shape your identity, and your identity shapes your habits. James Clear

Motivation is overrated, environment often matters more. James Clear

When you fall in love with the process rather than the product, you don’t have to wait to give yourself permission to be happy. You can be satisfied anytime your system is running. James Clear

Your outcomes are a lagging measure of your habits. Your net worth is a lagging measure of your financial habits. Your weight is a lagging measure of your eating habits. […] You get what you repeat. James Clear

Instead of trying to engineer a perfect habit from the start, do the easy thing on a more consistent basis. You have to standardize before you can optimize. James Clear

One of the most satisfying feelings is the feeling of making progress. James Clear

The holy grail of habit change is not a single 1 percent improvement, but a thousand of them. It’s a bunch of atomic habits stacking up, each one a fundamental unit of the overall system. James Clear

atomic habits quotes james clear rise level goals fall systems wisdom

You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems. James Clear

The Four Laws of Behavior Change are a simple set or rules we can use to build better habits. They are (1) make it obvious, (2) make it attractive, (3) make it easy, and (4) make it satisfying.

The secret to getting results that last is to never stop making improvements. It’s remarkable what you can build if you just don’t stop. James Clear

Happiness is the absence of desire. Happiness is not about the achievement of pleasure, but about the lack of desire. It arrives when you have no urge to feel differently. It’s the state you enter when you no longer want to change your state. James Clear

Small changes in context can lead to large changes in behavior over time. James Clear

Rewards require sacrifice. Sacrifice always precedes the reward. You only get the runner’s high after the hard run. The reward only comes after the energy is spent. James Clear

Our expectations determine our satisfaction. If you expect $10 and get $100, you’ll feel great. If you expect $100 and get $10, you’ll feel disappointed. James Clear

atomic habits quotes james clear small shift direction change destination wisdom

A very small shift in direction can lead to a very meaningful change in destination. James Clear

The work that hurts you less than it hurts others is the work you were made to do. James Clear

Maximum motivation occurs when facing a challenge of just manageable difficulty. James Clear

Building habits in the present allows you to do more of what you want in the future. James Clear

Success is not a goal to reach or a finish line to cross. It is a system to improve, an endless process to refine. James Clear

Habits are like the atoms of our lives. Each one is a fundamental unit that contributes to your overall improvement. James Clear

Your culture sets your expectation for what is “normal.” Surround yourself with people who have the habits you want to have yourself. James Clear


atomic habits quotes james clear dont add compound wisdom

Small habits don’t add up. They compound. James Clear

Breakthrough moments are often the result of many previous actions, which build up the potential required to unleash a major change. James Clear

Becoming the best version of yourself requires you to continuously edit your beliefs, and to upgrade and expand your identity. James Clear

Incentives can start a habit. Identity sustains a habit. James Clear

The human brain evolved to prioritize immediate rewards over delayed rewards. James Clear

Create an environment where doing the right thing is as easy as possible. James Clear

A genius is not born, but is educated and trained. James Clear

Conclusion: Atomic Habits Quotes

atomic habits quotes james clear change take year happens once wisdom

Change can take years before it happens all at once. James Clear

Summary – What Does Atomic Habits Say?

  • You’re a habit machine.
  • The quality of your habits is the quality of your life.
  • Goals are great. But systems are better.
  • Consistency is better than intensity. Have the mindset of “putting in the rep”.
  • Willpower is important. But tweaking your environment is smarter.
  • Building a habit is not about time. It’s about repetition.
  • To make a habit stick, make it obvious, make it attractive, make it easy, and make it satisfying.
  • To break bad habits, do the opposite of the previous tip.
  • Making daily improvements is what ultimately brings success.

Is Atomic Habits Actually Helpful?

Atomic Habits is truly helpful.

It teaches you two of the most important skills in life:

  • creating new and good habits
  • breaking bad habits

Another good thing about this book is that it’s easy to understand and apply.

You don’t need a master’s degree.

You simply need to read, take notes, and apply.

Hope you’ll like it as much as I did.

atomic habits james clear

Buy the book here: AudioHardcoverPaperback

Further Readings

Pin this image!
atomic habits quotes james clear pinterest wisdom

I hope you liked these Atomic Habits quotes by James Clear. If you did, please share them with a friend today who could benefit from having better habits!

Do you have bad habits? What’s your favorite Atomic Habits quote? And remember: words can transform your life, if you find the right ones.

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!
Don't forget to share!

Author Bio

maxime lagace

Maxime Lagacé started collecting quotes in 2004 after he lost his girlfriend in a car accident.

In search of meaning, he dived in the self-improvement world, psychology and trail running.

Books, blogs, quotes and nature became his guide.

He started journaling, reflecting, writing his thoughts, feelings and quotes.

His goal was to understand his pain, his depression, his fears, his lack of motivation and inspiration.

He finished his software engineering degree in 2007 at the École de Technologie Supérieure de Montréal.

A few years later, he started his first website to share his love of quotes.

Maxime is a father of two, husband, and INFJ.

Other notable interests of Maxime are health (mental and physical), meditation, bananas, SEO, human potential, and education.

You can find him on X, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube.

Last update

November 21, 2022

Disclaimer: This article may include affiliate links to books and products we think are useful for our readers. If you choose buy through links on this page, we may earn a little commission at no extra cost to you. In the end, this will help WisdomQuotes become better. Thank you.