Jotting quotes about success and good habits in your journal can remind you to do what it takes to reach your goals. Stephen Covey has many inspirational quotes that can help motivate you to push through obstacles and get started on your tasks. His words can help you achieve your goals and continue your journey to living the life of your dreams.

Covey strived to teach others how to find success through good habits. The things he said help fulfill your dreams and live your best life. You can write Stephen Covey quotes in your journal for a daily reminder of what he teaches about success.

His habits focus on values such as fairness, integrity, honesty, and human dignity. He ignores trends and builds his success around things that always work.

Stephen Covey believes that no one can find lasting success if they can’t do the following:

  • lead themselves
  • influence others
  • engage and collaborate with others
  • continuously improve their skills
  • learn the newest technologies related to their goals

Fifteen Stephen Covey Quotes About Good Habits

stephen covey

Stephen Covey was a non-fiction author, businessman, educator, and public speaker who reached success in every area. He is known for his book, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.” Through his written works and public speaking events, Covey offers many quotes helping you find success, leadership advice, and good habits.

1 – “You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage—pleasantly, smilingly, nonapologetically, to say “no” to other things. And the way you do that is by having a bigger “yes” burning inside. The enemy of the “best” is often the “good.”

As Stephen Covey explains, the first step is determining your priorities. Then, you must have the courage to put your goals first and say no to anything that could interfere. Focus on what you want and what will get you closer to your goals, and choose that over anything else.

2 – “It is one thing to make a mistake, and quite another thing not to admit it. People will forgive mistakes, because mistakes are usually of the mind, mistakes of judgment. But people will not easily forgive the mistakes of the heart, the ill intention, the bad motives, the prideful justifying cover-up of the first mistake.”

Everyone makes mistakes, but not all of us can admit them. When you can own up to your mistakes, people are more understanding. However, denying your mistakes can cause people to question you and set you back on your goals.

Additionally, people are more willing to forgive mistakes that weren’t malicious. If you have dishonest motives, people may not be open to forgiveness. Plus, they might not forgive lies that cover up your mistake. Because of this, you should be careful of the mistakes you make. If you know better and purposefully want to do something malicious, make a better choice and walk away. Innocent mistakes are forgivable and allow you to continue your journey to success.

3 – “Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.”


When there’s a time limit, you might focus too much on those things. Doing this sets you back on the essential things that can get you further in life. As Stephen Covey explains, doing what is necessary rather than what others say is urgent can make a difference.

4 – “Make small commitments and keep them. Be a light, not a judge. Be a model, not a critic. Be a part of the solution, not the problem.”

Don’t overcommit yourself and fall short because it can stand in the way of your success. It can also let other people down, causing hardship for them and leading to them doubting you. Additionally, consider being a guide to others without judging or criticizing.

5 – “But until a person can say deeply and honestly, “I am what I am today because of the choices I made yesterday,” that person cannot say, “I choose otherwise.”

The choices you make each day contribute to who you are and where you are in your life. You can’t choose a better life if you don’t work on being better each day. The things you do today contribute to who you are now and tomorrow.

6 – “Look at the word responsibility-“response-ability”-the ability to choose your response. Highly proactive people recognize that responsibility. They do not blame circumstances, conditions, or conditioning for their behavior. Their behavior is a product of their own conscious choice, based on values, rather than a product of their conditions, based on feeling.”

Successful people don’t blame circumstances or other people for their responses. You control your reactions to every situation, and taking ownership promotes success.

Acknowledge that how you react involves your choices rather than anything else. When you can do this, you’ll be more likely to find success.

7 – “If I really want to improve my situation, I can work on the one thing over which I have control – myself.”

You can’t control anyone but yourself, and focusing on your improvement is the only way to grow. Consider letting go of worrying about other people and thinking about being the best you can be instead. It can help you remember to prioritize yourself and limit comparison if you write this quote while journaling.

stephen covey

8 – “To begin with the end in mind means to start with a clear understanding of your destination. It means to know where you’re going so that you better understand where you are now and so that the steps you take are always in the right direction.”

Thinking about the bigger picture and desired results requires thinking about what you want out of your efforts. It’ll help you make the best decisions for your life if you know what you’re working toward. It’ll take you down the path that leads you to your dreams.

9 – “Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.”


You can’t effectively communicate with others if you don’t trust them. Without trust, you can’t have a beneficial professional or personal relationship. It is what holds every relationship together, leading to successful results.

10 – “We immediately become more effective when we decide to change ourselves rather than asking things to change for us.”

You can’t expect things to go your way if you’re unwilling to create good habits and then work for them. Deciding to make beneficial changes for yourself makes more of a difference than anything else you could do. Please don’t wait for things to come to you when you know that it requires action on your end.

11 – “Two people can see the same thing, disagree, and yet both be right. It’s not logical; it’s psychological.”


You can’t always expect people to agree with your opinion or perspective. Understanding that you can disagree with people without anyone being wrong can help you find success. It allows you to work well with others, using disagreement to compromise and understand one another.

12 – “Begin each day with the blueprint of my deepest values FIRMLY in mind then when challenges come, make decisions BASED on those values.”

As you get ready for your day, recall your values. Make these values the foundation of everything you do each day. If you can think with this mindset and push away everything else, you’ll find fulfilling success that helps you find meaning in all you do.

13 – “Free your heart from hatred – forgive. Free your mind from worries – most never happen. Live simply and appreciate what you have. Give more. Expect less.”

Focusing on hatred or worries can hold you back from finding success. Think about forgiveness, focusing on the present, and appreciating what you have in life. As Stephen Covey explains, give what you can and expect less from life if you want a happy balance.

14 – “Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he can and should be and he will become as he can and should be.”

Writing this Stephen Covey quote in your journal can help you in a few ways. First, it can remind you to treat people as they can be, and you’ll help them reach their full potential. Additionally, it can help you remember to be the best you can be rather than treating yourself as if you can’t go further.

15 – “We are free to choose our actions, . . . but we are not free to choose the consequences of these actions.”

As Covey explains, you can make whatever choices you want. However, you can’t choose the results of your decisions. Consider thinking about what might happen because of your actions. If you’re okay with the consequences, follow through on your idea. Otherwise, make a new plan and follow through with the action that you can accept the results of.

good habits

Final Thoughts on Stephen Covey Quotes to Jot into Your Journal

Stephen Covey found success in many areas, allowing him to advise everyone. He knew how to make things happen in his life and achieved whatever he set his mind on. His advice can help you find success and reach your goals. Jot these quotes in your journal so you can remember them each day as you develop good habits and work toward your dreams.