Break the routine

We all probably have a preferred route to work, a favorite grocery store or even a favorite place to sit at home. They’re our favorites because they’re well-known and comfortable. A self-defense situation can take place in any one of those locations. While there are some benefits to being in a place you know well, the detractor is we can become somewhat complacent. (Have you ever driven home from work, for example, and not remembered the drive once you’re home?)

This week, break that routine. Go a different way home from work. Go to a different store. Sit on the front porch instead of the back patio or visit the USCCA Community on your phone instead of your computer (or vice versa).

What stood out when you broke the routine and did something differently than usual?


I will freely admit I am a creature of habit. When I do things differently than before I do find myself being more aware, and less comfortable.


Great idea and thank you. Here at home there is about 3 different ways to anywhere you desire to go somewhere or travel to. I drive a VW and I had to drive defensive and was followed. Not any more, the U-TURNS are not a great thing to do, it is dangerous due to others driving 65 in a 40 zones and in and out driving.

Thanks again for your help !

I usually “take the scenic route” and get asked by my wife, “did you miss a turn?”
I don’t always take the same entrances and exits when there are multiple options available.
To and from work, I sometimes take the alley or main street. Depending on traffic, I take three different freeway exits.
Knowing I have options come in handy when there are road closures due to accidents or flooding, and now, street protests.


Haha… actually nothing new for me :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: I’ve been avoiding routines whole my life. My wife is surprised we are still together. :crazy_face:
I love changes, I cannot stand things to be the same for a longer time.

OK, there are some routines for sure - I sleep in the same bed, use the same bathroom, drive the same car for 3 years… but these cannot be changed without be kicked out of the house :upside_down_face:


This is something I learned to do while in the Army. I was in Germany from 80 to 85 and the cold war was still very much alive. We were taught how to take different routes even if it took longer to get there (made for nice site seeing trips taking secondary roads).

We had legal spies back then SMLM (Soviet Military Liaison Mission) with special license plates on their vehicles, man could they move. I was following one on the Autobahn once while driving a 914 Porsche, I never had a chance.

This is where I learned all about situational awareness and how to always be aware of things around you without trying to be obvious about it. My 5 years in Germany taught me a lot of things I have been able to use the rest of my life and I know it has kept me out of situations more than a few times.

You also have to remember to not make a routine out of your varied routine.

Sorry about the rambling, its been a long day and time for bed.



Great topic Dawn. Just a couple weeks ago my wife and I started doing this with our daily dawg walk. Not only have we noticed things that we never noticed before, our dawg realizes the new setting as well, and is hyper-sensitized.

I’m also blessed to have some flexibility at work regarding start and stop times. So I’ve not only changed up my routes, but also the timing. I’ve discovered roads that are less crowded, have more “escape” options. Also discovered new police “hiding spots” along the road. During my drives, I’ve started turning off my radio and Waze. For me, they tend to distract me and cause me to have those drives I don’t remember!

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