coach, community

New Year New Start

Community Coach Blog, Dan Rous, 13 January 2022

Welcome to the first Community Coach blog of 2022. Another year working in this role with restrictions still hanging around us, but another year of opportunity for me to work alongside you, the lovely people of Camelon and Tamfourhill.

I know this blog is coming out almost 2 weeks in to the new year, but how are you feeling as we enter 2022? Is it still “same old same old” as far as you’re concerned? Same stuff just another day? Or are you looking to make a positive change this year however small that may be?

If we’re to believe the hype, moving into a new year is a the time of reinventing yourself and living by mantras such as “new year, new me.” You may have set some new years resolutions or made a conscious move to do something new or stop doing something. You might choose to get fit(ter) or healthier? You might choose to take up something new or to give up something that isn’t doing you any good.

But what if, instead of completely changing our ways and trying to be someone we aren’t and possibly won’t ever be – which quite often ends in failure – we simply rebuild the foundations within us that may have lost their strength a little bit recently?

All these things that tell us that we should suddenly live a completely new (and demanding) lifestyle the minute the clock strikes midnight on Hogmanay are not sustainable for our mental health. Neither is setting long-term goals without any structure or progress markers. You want to get fitter but how, by when, and to what extent? Getting fitter could be anywhere from going for a short walk a couple of times a week to running a marathon. You need a structure and you need points to celebrate along the way.

I don’t know about you, but my social media timelines are full of ads for January fitness challenges: run this far for this charity this month; do so many miles for this charity; give this up this month. I’m not saying anything bad about the charities involved here, but if you’ve not engaged in physical activity like this before, this is probably one of the worst months to do so with the miserable weather and dark nights. This, I believe, is part of the reason why new years resolutions – especially those to do with fitness – are unsustainable and completely counter productive. Very quickly in the new year we reach a point of failure and if your mental health isn’t strong enough, you can easily be dragged down – potentially even to lower than you were before.

So, may I suggest that instead of completely reinventing ourselves, how about we just take small and trackable steps towards a new way that will bring benefit to us? The best way to do this is simply to slowly and consciously build new habits and routines into our life, and allow plenty of time to rest and recover too. This is more than about starting or stopping something. This is about you taking control of you.

The graphic below, courtesy of, shares some really helpful and important strategies to help you to reclaim your power in 2022. Stripping away the jargon here, what that really means is putting things in place that will make the most of all your communication, standards, and most importantly, your mental wellbeing.

Of course, just because we’ve come into a New Year doesn’t not necessarily mean that you have to change anything. It also isn’t the only time that you can make changes. Power and control of ourselves can drop at any given moment but crucially, you can reclaim it at any given time too. But sometimes, just the idea of a fresh beginning, whenever in the year that might be, can just give us the motivation we need to actually take action.

So if you want to make a change, however small, how can you do that? Simply, set some goals. That’s it! But make them specific and easily measured. Moving aside of the stereotypical healthy stuff, maybe you want to attend a new group. What kind of thing is that about? Where is it and how often will you go? Maybe you want to take on some new learning? What about? How will you do that – online or in person? What will that lead to? You see the thing I’m getting at here? For both of those things there are points you can celebrate. Signing up for the group or course – celebrate. Attending a first session or lesson – celebrate. Going back for the second part – celebrate. And so on. Reward yourself at each milestone and if you slip up, simply go back to the previous milestone and rebuild from there. That’s okay. And crucially, it’s not about starting right from the beginning again which can be so demoralising.

People much cleverer than me, tell me that when setting goals, the Greek Philosopher Aristotle believed that it doesn’t even matter if we achieve them or not. He believed that the active pursuit of a goal or virtue is the very definition of happiness, not the end state.

There is some debate about this statement as probably, most of us set goals that we want actually want to make happen and for that reason, motivation is critical which is where the milestone celebrations come back into play. As long as you know what you want, my advice is to set goals whenever you like. Set them the right way, by exploring your own powerful why, and make sure they speak to your values. According to the experts (people like you and me), that’s what matters most.

If you want to explore any of this further, or need some help in setting and being held accountable to your goals, then I’d love to walk this journey with you. Give me a shout and we’ll chat through your options so that I can help you to find your way to reach your potential in 2022.

Until next time….

Dan Rous
Community Coach
07444 873151

camelon, coach, community, development, lockdown, Our Place, tamfourhill

The power of Community

Why are we here?! Okay, that’s a big question to start off this blog with. But let me pull that apart a bit. Why are you where you are? Why do you live in this community? Why do you get involved in the things you do? Or conversely, why do you choose not to get involved? What is it about this community that holds you here? Who is your community?

Sorry for all the questions but I think they are important ones to address as we work to develop things in this area. Arguably, community is the one of the most important things in life and can be the biggest tool for personal growth. Before I go on, have a look at this short video:

Okay, so I’m not asking you to walk around in groups of 6 holding a grapefruit! (For those who didn’t watch the video that will not make any sense! It might be worth popping back and having a quick watch!) The message of the video is about how different people groupings can work together to be a community with a common goal. No matter your age, race, religion, sex, or interests – it is absolutely possible to be in community together. If you are isolated (I’m talking generally – not through shielding), you only have one perspective on life – yours. It’s streamlined and very specific. By linking up with others, you can expand that perspective to introduce other passions, interests, fears, issues, gifts etc. When people mingle together they create something bigger plus you also get to see a new side of yourself based on feedback from others from what they see in you.

As we slowly begin to come out of lockdown, we will all have had a different level of experience over the last few months to bring with us into whatever the world is going to look like. Many will have spent more time than usual in the community. You may have taken more walks around the area – seen parts of the area in a different light or even for the first time. You may have seen different people – maybe even said hello to them. But that is all it takes to take a step into community – a smile or a simple greeting.

John and I will talk a lot about growing ‘community’ over the coming months. That can take many different forms and involve all types of people from all different backgrounds. But anything we get involved in will be for the express purpose of enhancing our community and all those who live within. In order for this to work, we all need to learn to love the community around us – warts and all – and allow ourselves the opportunities to grow. If we miss out on community – we miss out on encouragement and so much more.

Look at the world around you. Look for your community. Find the people. Invest in each other. Together, we can make Camelon and Tamfourhill even better.

When you think about it, there is one skill at the centre of any healthy community: the ability to see someone else deeply, to know another person profoundly, and to make them feel heard and understood.

David Brooks

Until next week…..