ROUTINES - why habits matter

The pandemic unravelled everyone from their established routines and comfort zones.  For some, this was a good thing, for others devastating.  For many, it was a mix of both.  But one thing we have all learned over the past three years is that we cannot make plans or control our futures through predicted pathways like before.  As we face climate crises for real, a downturn economy, a world at war, in flux and unsettled with volatile governments that change at whim, many have struggled with mental health as their sense of control has been ripped away.

For myself, this time has had a fantastic side-effect.  Having been crippled with anxiety and toxic, downright abusive situations for most of my life, the pandemic finally allowed me to jump off the roundabout and to do the work I should have done years ago to stop the cycle continuing.  Breaking and changing my habits has been the hardest and most liberating thing ever.  In a world where we are constantly told, indirectly and directly, we have no control, I wanted to share with you all: IT IS NOT TRUE.  If you can control yourself, your own impulses, you can control the world.

This whole process has also enabled me to pick up key signs in helpful and unhelpful people.  Most people will say they are positive and like positive people and you can be a long way down the road in a relationship before you realise the reverse is true.  So I thought I would share my SatNav for positivity and toxicity with you.  

Positivity is not a personality type.  It's a committed course of action.  We are the sum of the actions we DO  - not a sum of the feelings we feel.  If someone says they love you yet repeatedly do things which prove the opposite, guess what?  They don't.  Likewise, someone does not have to be explicit in order to be a supportive, helpful and nourishing person.  Habits take a long time to form, they take a lot of effort to make and break but the cumulative effect of a consistent effort to change results in transformation.  Every single leader, regardless of class, education or circumstances, is an example of this.

Anyway, bin this if of no use but thought I'd share in case it is. It would have saved me a lot of time and heartbreak (and money!) if someone had given me this decades ago!



  1. They start the conversation with themselves.
  2. They derail you from your goals.
  3. They discredit or doubt your abilities.
  4. They disrespect your stated boundaries.
  5. They diminish their lies or put-downs.
  6. They encourage you to join in with critical or hate talk
  7. They only have time for you when they need you.
  8. They complain constantly.
  9. They feel entitled to be prioritised.
  10. They have poor personal habits regarding finance, diet, lifestyle or emotional health i.e. they have low self-respect.
  11. They construct volatile scenarios or drama to keep the attention on them.
  12. They use shame to control.


  1. They listen to you.
  2. They make you feel safe.
  3. They are not scared off by uncomfortable conversations.
  4. They pay attention and remember the details.
  5. They keep their promises – even when it hurts.
  6. They respect your boundaries and standards - as well as stating and keeping their own.
  7. They accept the current you.
  8. They give you their time.
  9. They look you in the eye.
  10. They have balanced, two-way and regular conversations with you.
  11. They will celebrate and gas you up – ALWAYS!
  12. They have good personal habits of health, finance and emotional well-bring regardless of their bank balance, class or education. In other words, they know how to take care of themselves and respect themselves.