20 Inspiring Quotes from “Atomic Habits” by James Clear


If you want to get your life back on track, Atomic Habits provides a simple framework for doing so every day. One of the world’s best experts on habit formation, James Clear, shares techniques to help you create healthy habits and break negative ones. You’ll also discover how small everyday behaviors may have a huge influence on your life and destiny.

If you find it difficult to modify your behaviors, the issue isn’t with you, but with your system. Your brain is built to perform things that are both simple and deliver the rapid reward. Fortunately, James Clear offers a tried-and-true strategy for changing your behaviors and taking your life to new heights. This book will teach you how to make time for new habits, overcome a lack of motivation and willpower, arrange your surroundings to facilitate success, and how recording your habits and finding an accountability partner may help you succeed.

Notable quotes

  • “Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become. No single instance will transform your beliefs, but as the votes build up, so does the evidence of your new identity.”
  • “You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.”
  • “You should be far more concerned with your current trajectory than with your current results.”
  • “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.”
  • “Goals are good for setting a direction, but systems are best for making progress.”
  • “Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement”
  • “All big things come from small beginnings. The seed of every habit is a single, tiny decision. But as that decision is repeated, a habit sprouts and grows stronger. Roots entrench themselves and branches grow. The task of breaking a bad habit is like uprooting a powerful oak within us. And the task of building a good habit is like cultivating a delicate flower one day at a time.”
  • “When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow, it will split in two, and I know it was not that last blow that did it—but all that had gone before.”
  • “Problem #1: Winners and losers have the same goals.”
  • “Be the designer of your world and not merely the consumer of it.”
  • “Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become.”
  • “The purpose of setting goals is to win the game. The purpose of building systems is to continue playing the game. True long-term thinking is goal-less thinking. It’s not about any single accomplishment. It is about the cycle of endless refinement and continuous improvement. Ultimately, it is your commitment to the process that will determine your progress.”
  • “Success is the product of daily habits—not once-in-a-lifetime transformations.”
  • “When you can’t win by being better, you can win by being different.”
  • “Professionals stick to the schedule; amateurs let life get in the way.”
  • “Some people spend their entire lives waiting for the time to be right to make an improvement.”
  • “You don’t have to be the victim of your environment. You can also be the architect of it.”
  • “In fact, the tendency for one purchase to lead to another one has a name: the Diderot Effect. The Diderot Effect states that obtaining a new possession often creates a spiral of consumption”
  • “If you want better results, then forget about setting goals. Focus on your system instead.”
  • “We imitate the habits of three groups in particular: The close. The many. The powerful.”