Positive thoughts from Lockdown #7

In this week's positive thoughts:

馃専 advice on how to create a habit;

馃専 what we can learn about living in the present from a WW2 veteran;

馃専 how to make the most of the remaining weeks in Lockdown;

馃専 plus a good news story from a former client!

I hope you find these inspiring and motivating 馃挅

As ever, I'd love to hear your thoughts - email me on


You know WHAT you want to do.

But it can be so hard to actually DO it...

If this is the case, you might be an Obliger.

Gretchen Rubin, a habits researcher, has defined 4 ways people respond to obligations.

"OBLIGERS" are good at meeting obligations set by others (eg work deadlines).

But they're NOT so good at at meeting obligations set by themselves (eg meditating 3 times a week).

This is the most common Tendency, and often appears in those with jobs that involve "service".

The solution?


1锔忊儯 Make your habit goal public

I gave up smoking successfully on the first try because I told all my friends and family I'd stop when I left university. This taps into that sense of external duty.

2锔忊儯 Find a habit goal buddy

Involve someone else in your goal, eg a running buddy. You will not want to let them down, so you will go. (During lockdown this obviously has to be virtual!)

3锔忊儯 "Future You"

Think about the person you are letting down if you don't stick to this goal: "Future You". This can be a powerful motivator.

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit" (Aristotle)

Good luck! 馃挭

馃敟 Are you good at sticking to new habits?

2. 鉁达笍 WHO INSPIRES YOU? 鉁达笍

I cried last night.

Watching a programme on WW2, I learned about Fergus Anckorn, who was a prisoner of war on the infamous 鈥淒eath Railway鈥.

He worked as slave labour 18+ hours a day on 60g of rice.

At one point he refused to do what a guard told him, and had creosote thrown over him.

He blistered all over - but being sent back from that camp to hospital saved his life.

All his friends were dead 3 weeks later.

He said,

鈥淚 used to tell myself, 鈥榳hatever happens, get through today鈥. That's what I did for the best part of four years.鈥

He was eventually freed after the war ended in the Far East.

He weighed 5 stone...

When he got home, Fergus' perspective on life had been influenced by his experiences:

鈥淟ook at the grass, how green it is. Look at the trees, the way the leaves are waving. So lovely to see. Listen to that bird.

People don't realise what a wonder it is to see life going on all round you, and you're part of it."

馃専 On the eve of VE Day, thank god for the people that sacrificed so much so that we have our freedom today.