For the first of our free monthly meetings in 2012, we looked at What are the actions you’d love to take this year to help build your own and Tooting’s resilience, sustainability, wellbeing?

This took us into the territory of New Year Resolutions – maybe easily made, and maybe hard to act on?

We shared some of our own hopes for action in 2012 – personal and / or communal.

We looked at some
meanings of resolution:
making a decision…
reaching consensus…
and getting things into
focus, as in ‘high-resolution’

We all need inspiration to make bold plans, especially in a challenging period of complex change, when we often need to act without being sure what will take place en route. To encourage us, we shared two exciting stories where Tooting people took action when ‘what would happen next’ was not guaranteed.

Liz described One Little Wheel, a cycle trip between Europe and Thailand last year.

Jake described his own experience of non-violent direct action, as shown in the film Just Do It.

Finally, bringing what you would love to do in 2012 back to the experience of the meeting participants, Belinda outlined a set of keys to happiness to explore what supports each of us to act.

One Little Wheel:

Woven into the Liz and Catherine’s cycle ride between Europe and Thailand was an extra goal, beyond getting there safely.
They committed themselves to stop often and talk with people they met about the local experience and impact of HIV / AIDS, which is a challenging if necessary conversation.

See their website at for their experience of raising this subject in schools, in the street, with the groups they met all along their journey.

Just Do It:

We showed some of the new documentary Just Do It: see It is a ‘Tale of Modern Day Outlaws’ which describes environmental activism from the insiders’ viewpoint. Jake is in the film, and talked about his own experience.  
Jake also described the new campaign he is involved with now, which focuses on fuel poverty in the UK: see 
There are events to join, planned from 27th – 30th January.
Both of these vivid and very personal stories were worthy of much longer sessions of course – and we were really grateful to hear them and be able to chat with Liz and Jake about what they learned. At the same time, we are not all going to cycle through Asia, or superglue ourselves to the RBS head office…. Given that the example of these stories can prompt us to be brave when taking our own local action, on whatever scale, what can help sustain us as we act?
12 keys to happiness:
As one way of looking at our own prompts for action, Belinda offered 12 keys to happiness- a set of behaviours such as appreciating, being active, optimism derived from wellbeing research and practice sources including the New Economics Foundation and the NHS. Each of us selected and discussed a key which we felt would support us to continue to act in 2012 on the things we want to do.

As a practical experiment, we’ll continue working with these keys thoughout 2012 at each TTT meeting as a way to measure the keys’ usefulness as a tool. We also hope to provide baseline information on community wellbeing.
We’ll explain more about this idea soon.

Happy New Year!