New Year’s resolutions from MAPC

Need a New Year’s resolution for 2012? The best resolutions are those that you can actually stick to, and sometimes that requires a little extra help. Here are some commitments to make to yourself that MAPC can help support you with:

1. Get some exercise during your daily commute.

Instead of vowing to go to the gym six days a week or hire an expensive personal trainer, why not start biking or walking to work/ school a few days a week? By framing a physical fitness goal in this way, you get added green bonus points for reducing your carbon emissions at the same time.

To help you reach your goal:

2. Get involved in your community

[pulledquote] Civic engagement can have a positive effect on your well-being.[/pulledquote] Studies show that social connections, including civic engagement, have a strong effect on people’s emotional well-being (PDF).Commit to being more involved in at least one aspect of your community in 2012. You can help your community prepare for the effects of climate change, new economic development, transportation expansion, clean energy projects, etc.

To help you reach your goal:

  • Check our calendar of events and schedule of public meetings to find upcoming dates of meetings in your area. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates throughout the year on specific opportunities to get involved in your community.
  • Sign up for our monthly email updates on legislative action opportunities for issues of transportation, smart growth, and climate change (email)
  • Join Friends of MetroFuture and find out about upcoming MetroFuture Walks and Talks, year-round events that involve speakers and topics of relevance to the goals of MetroFuture; and hear about ways you can help us progress towards the goals of MetroFuture

If you’re already involved in a municipality or community organization, consider joining our Sustainable Communities consortium, taking advantage MAPC technical assistance opportunities, like help with applying for Green Communities grants; or save money for your community through our collective procurement program.

3. Get to know your community

How much do you really know about your neighborhood? What are its economic, environmental, public health and safety attributes? How is it changing? This goal could go hand-in-hand with getting involved in your neighborhood, or maybe be the intermediary step towards getting involved with an issue you care about.

To help you reach your goal:

  • Utilize the MetroBoston DataCommon mapping tool. This free, online service allows you to create your own geographic data maps. Explore the community snapshots, or create a custom map. You can filter by all kinds of data: arts and cultural activities, environmental hazards, renewable energy projects, public education stats…the list goes on and on. Start playing around with the site right away, or come in to MAPC’s Boston office for a free, hands-on training (held once a month, check our calendar).
  • Sign up for our upcoming Data Day 2012 event at Northeastern University on January 27. Learn about Data Common and other data tools, and new ways that you can access and utilize these public sources of information.

MAPC wishes you a happy and healthy new year in 2012!