Habits are automatic routines of behavior that are repeated regularly, without thinking. They are learned, not instinctive, human behaviors that occur automatically, without the explicit contemporaneous intention of the person. The person may not be paying attention to or be conscious or aware of the behavior. When the behavior is brought to the person's attention, they may be able to control it.
- Habit is a compromise effected between an individual and his environment.
- Samuel Beckett (1906–1989), Irish dramatist and novelist. Proust, Grove Press edition (1957), p. 7.
- Every habit makes our hand more witty and our wit less handy.
- Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900), German philosopher and critic. The Gay Science (1882), Third Book, 'Habit', aphorism 247.
- How use doth breed a habit in a man!
This shadowy desert, unfrequented woods,
I better brook than flourishing peopled towns.
- To uproot an old habit is sometimes a more painful thing, and vastly more difficult, than to wrench out a tooth.
- Samuel Smiles, 19th C Scottish author and reformer. 'Character: The True Gentleman', Self-Help (1856), Ch 13.
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations 
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 436-47.
- A civil habit
Oft covers a good man.
- Beaumont and Fletcher, Beggar's Bush, Act II, scene 3, line 210.
- Consuetude quasi altera natura effici.
- Habit is, as it were, a second nature.
- Cicero, De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum, V, 25, Tusculanarum Disputationum, II, 17.
- Habit with him was all the test of truth;
"It must be right: I've done it from my youth."
- George Crabbe, The Borough (1810), Letter III.
- We sow our thoughts, and we reap our actions; we sow our actions, and we reap our habits; we sow our habits, and we reap our characters; we sow our characters, and we reap our destiny.
- Clavus clavo pellitur, consuetudo consuetudine vincitur.
- A nail is driven out by another nail, habit is overcome by habit.
- Erasmus, Diluculum.
- A man used to vicissitudes is not easily dejected.
- Samuel Johnson, Rasselas, Chapter XII.
- Habits form character and character is destiny.
- Joseph Kaines, address (Oct. 21, 1883); Our Daily Faults and Failings.
- Consuetudo consuetudine vincitur.
- Habit is overcome by habit.
- Thomas à Kempis, Book I, 21.
- Small habits, well pursued betimes,
May reach the dignity of crimes.
- Hannah More, Florio, Part I.
- Sow an action, reap a habit.
- Nil consuetudine majus.
- Nothing is stronger than habit.
- Ovid, Ars Amatoria, II, 345.
- Abeunt studia in mores.
- Pursuits become habits.
- Ovid, Heroides, XV, 83.
- Morem fecerat usus.
- Habit had made the custom.
- Ovid, Metamorphoses, II. 345.
- Ill habits gather by unseen degrees,
As brooks make rivers, rivers run to seas.
- Ovid, Metamorphoses, Book XV, line 155. Dryden's translation.
- Frangas enim citius quam corrigas quæ in pravum induerunt.
- Where evil habits are once settled, they are more easily broken than mended.
- Quintilian, De Institutione Oratoria, I, 3, 3.
- Sow an act and you reap a habit. Sow a habit and you reap a character. Sow a character and you reap a destiny.
- Consuetudo natura potentior est.
- Habit is stronger than nature.
- Quintus Curtius Rufus, De Rebus Gestis Alexandri Magni, V, 5, 21.
- Vulpem pilum mutare, non mores.
- The fox changes his skin but not his habits.
- Suetonius, Vespasianus, 16.
- Inepta hæc esse, nos quæ facimus sentio;
Verum quid facias? ut homo est, ita morem geras.
- I perceive that the things that we do are silly; but what can one do? According to men's habits and dispositions, so one must yield to them.
- Terence, Adelphi, III, 3, 76.
- Quam multa injusta ac prava fiunt moribus!
- How many unjust and wicked things are done from mere habit.
- Terence, Heauton timoroumenos, IV, 7, 11.
- In ways and thoughts of weakness and of wrong,
Threads turn to cords, and cords to cables strong.
- Isaac Williams, The Baptistry, Image 18.
Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895) 
Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).
- Habit if not resisted soon becomes necessity.
- Augustine of Hippo, p. 296.
- Give a child the habit of sacredly regarding the truth—of carefully respecting the property of others — of scrupulously abstaining from all acts of improvidence which can involve him in distress, and he will just as likely think of rushing into the element in which he cannot breathe, as of lying or cheating or stealing.
- Henry Brougham, 1st Baron Brougham and Vaux]], p. 295.
- Centres, or centre-pieces of wood, are put by builders under an arch of stone while it is in the process of construction till the key-stone is put in. Just such is the use Satan makes of pleasures to construct evil habits upon; the pleasure lasts till the habit is fully formed; but that done, the habit may stand eternal. The pleasures are sent for firewood, and the hell begins in this life.
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1st Baron Brougham and Vaux]], p. 295.
- Infinite toil would not enable you to sweep away a mist, but by ascending a little you may often look over it altogether. So it is with our moral improvement; we wrestle fiercely with a vicious habit, which could have no hold upon us if we ascended to a higher atmosphere.
- Sir Arthur Helps, 1st Baron Brougham and Vaux]], p. 296.
- The diminutive chains of habit are seldom heavy enough to be felt, till they are too strong to be broken.
- Samuel Johnson, p. 296.
- A large part of Christian virtue consists in right habits.
- William Paley, p. 295.
- Every sinful act is another cord woven into that mighty cable of habit, which binds the spirit to the throne of darkness.
- David Thomas, p. 296.
- Nothing so needs reforming as other people's habits.
- Habits are soon assumed; but when we strive to strip them off, 'tis being flayed alive.
- The law of the harvest is to reap more than you sow. Sow an act, and you reap a habit; sow a habit, and you reap a character; sow a character, and you reap a destiny.
- A single bad habit will mar an otherwise faultless character, as an ink drop soileth the pure white page.
- Habits are like the wrinkles on a man's brow; if you will smooth out the one, I will smooth out the other.
- Habit is ten times nature.
- It takes a son of a bitch to break a habit.
- Habit is the most imperious of all masters.
- I will govern my life and my thoughts as if the whole world were to see the one and to read the other; for what does it signify to make anything a secret to my neighbor, when to God (who is the searcher of our hearts) all our privacies are open?
- The will that yields the first time with some reluctance does so the second time with less hesitation, and the third time with none at all, until presently the habit is adopted.
- It is almost as difficult to make a man unlearn his errors as his knowledge.
- Habits, though in their commencement like the filmy line of the spider, trembling at every breeze, may in the end prove as links of tempered steel, binding a deathless being to eternal felicity or woe.
- I will be a slave to no habit; therefore farewell tobacco.
- First, we make our habits, then our habits make us.