Monday, January 11, 2010

Making changes in 2010

Another new year has arrived and with it come resolutions for a healthier, happier more financially stable you. Some of the most popular resolutions are: Get in Shape, Lose Weight, Save Money, Buy a house and help others…

Every year, the resolution part is relatively easy, however it is the follow through that is most difficult. In my opinion, the reason we often do not achieve our resolutions is simple, we demand too much from ourselves. Creating a list of 20 life changing resolutions to accomplish in a year is easy on paper, but difficult if not impossible in our already hectic day to day life and will ultimately result in disappointment. So be real, focus on what is truly important and put together a specific yet simple plan that you can achieve. List out the small interim steps that will help you achieve your goal and will serve as a map to getting results. Make sure to put this plan somewhere you see it often and take necessary time each day to review it and determine where you are at and what is next. Most importantly stay positive and keep moving in the right direction.

So how does this relate to “walkable communities” you ask? As I stated at the beginning the most widely held resolutions are always: get in shape, buy a house, save money and get out of debt. A simple way to achieve a couple of the top ten resolutions is to make some minor changes in your lifestyle that over time will result in these outcomes. For example, instead of going to the gym which will only cost you additional money, resolve to ride your bike or walk to work. Start with just 2 to 3 days a week and build from there. This seemingly simple change will save you money, provide the exercise you need, help the environment, reduce traffic and increase your quality of life.

In Bellevue, City officials have recognized this demand and are working to make commuting via bike and feet safer, easier and faster. In the fall of 2009 City Planners conducted a survey of walkers and riders and found that a majority of them were commuting to work, (66 and 77 percent respectively). The study found the median length of commute approximately one mile for pedestrians and nine miles for cyclists. As a result, the City plans to make changes to infrastructure to further increase the safety and capacity of streets to handle the expected increase of pedestrian and cyclists commuters.

Oh, and one of my resolutions is to update this blog at least once a week so look for upcoming posts!!

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