Using Zoning Laws to Protect Affordable Housing

After five years of negotiating with Mayor Mike Bloomberg's office, the New York City Council has approved extension of a zoning-law amendment aimed at protecting affordable housing units in several districts. Affected areas include the Garment District, West Chelsea and Hudson Yards – three areas that have seen a lot of new developments and increases in property prices.

The new zoning law prevents both landlords and developers from significantly changing more than twenty percent of existing units in multi-family buildings. Renovations and updates can be made, but can't significantly alter the unit's price.

Historically, when an apartment or townhome complex is renovated, the result is increased rental or purchase prices. The ability the charge higher prices is typically the motivating factor behind renovations and upgrades. While the city council doesn't want to interfere with a property owners right to make changes (or profits), it has also seen low-income people repeatedly forced to move out of renovated properties that they can no longer afford.

The Chelsea area, in particular, has become a popular place for new developments – both residential and commercial. City Council members were concerned that landlords – in an effort to capitalize on higher-end business – would renovate existing structures to the point that they would become unaffordable for current residents.

City Council members also hope the new zoning laws will preserve some of the older architecture in the affected districts. The new law extends an existing Special District amendment that was passed in 1974. It affects all multi-family buildings of three units or more that were built in 1974 or prior.

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9 Ways to Successfully Create Good Habits and 5 Reasons Why You Fail At Breaking the Bad Ones

9 Ways to Successfully Create New, Good Habits and the 5 Reasons Why You Fail At Breaking the Bad Ones

"Your net worth to the world is usually determined by what remains after your bad habits are subtracted from your good ones." – Benjamin Franklin

We all have habits. Some are good, healthy habits, while others are bad and possibly even dangerous. Throughout our lives we often set goals to try to create new, good habits or to break the bad ones we already possess. Many people try again and again to change their habits for the better only to meet with failure in the end. Learning a new habit can be just as difficult as breaking a bad one that you've struggled with for years. There are reasons for this and steps that you can take to help ensure your success.

Establishing good, healthy habits can enrich your life in countless ways. When an action becomes a habit, it becomes automatic and you don't really have to give it much thought. Some of the healthy habits that people try to develop include; eating healthier, exercising regularly, meditating, completing chores around the home, or simply taking time out daily for them-selves. These are just a few examples but, basically anything that you want to do on a regular basis that will enrich your life and make you happier can become a habit.

Here are nine, simple tips that are easy to follow and can help you to turn healthy activities into lifelong habits.

1. Take baby steps. – You cannot expect to just dive in and be successful when developing a good habit. Start with small manageable steps. If you would like to make healthy eating a habit, start by swapping out specific foods or meals for healthier options. If you make sudden, drastic changes to your lifestyle, the odds are good that you will not be successful.

2. Make yourself accountable. – Tell a friend or family member whose opinions matter to you. By telling a trusted friend or family member about your intension to develop a new habit you promote accountability. You will be more likely to stick to your habit if you know that you will have to answer to someone other than yourself.

3. Treat yourself. – You should be proud of the fact that you are trying to make positive changes in your life. Reward yourself regularly when you stick to your new habit. Treat yourself to a pedicure or a warm bubble bath. Spend a Saturday morning sleeping in, or play a few rounds of golf on the course. Whatever it is that you love … do it.

4. One habit at a time. – Work on developing one habit at a time. If you are anything like me, there are a ton of new, healthy habits that you want to incorporate into your life. Focus on one at a time so that you don't get overwhelmed. Developing a habit, like exercising regularly might seem like a small change but it's not. When you begin to develop a new habit of any kind you are changing the way that you live your life.

5. Make sure that you really want it. – The more you want to make even small changes, the more likely you will stick with them. Don't ever begin to develop a habit that you don't want just because you think, or have been told, that it's the right thing to do. If you try to force yourself to do something you hate, you will avoid it at all costs. If you hate going to the gym, don't do it. There are plenty of good habits that you can develop that will enrich your life and that you will enjoy.

6. Plan it out.- Sit down and make a list of the good habits you would like to develop. Prioritize the list and determine what habits you would like to develop first. Once you have this figured out, write out a plan. By putting this in writing you can refer back to it whenever you need a bit of extra motivation and it will help you stay on track.

7. Be very specific. – Don't just say, "I want to make it a habit to drink more water". Instead, say, "I want to begin drinking eight glasses of water each day". By being specific you know exactly what you have to do to develop your new habit and will not become overwhelmed. If you are too vague, you could easily rationalize that you drank more water today than yesterday, even if it wasn't your desired eight glasses.

8. Use tools. – Utilize every resource that you have at your disposal. You can make lists, journals, charts, spreadsheets … anything that will help you to keep track of your goals. I often use sticky notes around the house. I will place reminders on walls, mirrors, the refrigerator, and anywhere else that I think they may be helpful. They may not look pretty but they help me to stay motivated.

9. Don't berate yourself for slip-us. – We all slip up from time to time. Just yesterday, I was snacking on a few potato chips while watching television. Before I knew it, the entire bag was empty! It happens to everyone. Realize this, and don't be too hard on yourself. Remind yourself of why you wanted to develop the habit in the first place, and then start again

"A man who can't bear to share his habits is a man who needs to quit them." – Stephen King, The Dark Tower

Why is it so difficult to break bad habits? There are things we do on a daily, or even hourly basis that we know aren't good for us. We bite our fingernails, smoke cigarettes, make unhealthy food choices, procrastinate, lead sedentary lives, etc. Every one of us has a bad habit that we would love to break, but we often have difficulty doing so. This is because, once a habit is developed, we rarely even notice we are doing it. It becomes part of who we are. If we want to improve our lives, breaking bad habits is a wonderful place to start.

Here are 5 common reasons why we often fail at breaking bad habits.

1. We expect results too quickly. – We didn't develop our bad habit in one day, and we certainly can't expect to break it in one day either. Breaking a habit takes time. We must be patient and persistent in our goals.

2. We have a low level of self-awareness. – I have been a nail biter for the majority of my life. I do it without even thinking and am usually not even aware that I have been chewing on them until I feel pain or see blood. This is because I am not always self-aware. We often go through life on autopilot, but when we are trying to break a habit, we need to slow down and pay attention to everything we are doing. We must make an attempt to really live in the moment. If we develop a stronger sense of self-awareness, we can head off our bad habits as soon as we begin doing them.

3. We use our habits as an emotional crutch. – Many of our habits, like smoking or turning to food when we are in need of comfort, serve as a coping mechanism for emotional stress or pain. We need to look for other, healthier substitutes for these habits. When I was trying to quit smoking, I would often exercise whenever I would feel an urge. The exercise took my mind off of my immediate craving and helped me to relieve my stress in a healthy way.

4. We don't tell anyone we are trying to break our habit. – Breaking a bad habit is extremely difficult. It is even more difficult when we do not have the support of our friends and family. We often fail to tell them out of fear. We think that by not telling them, we can avoid disappointing them if we fail. In order to successfully break a bad habit we must tell those we love and trust. They will give us the support we need and they will also make us accountable for our actions.

5. We are too hard on ourselves when we slip back into old patterns. – Just as developing new habits is hard, breaking old ones is extremely difficult. We will all slip up from time to time. We must stay positive and remember why we want to break our habits. Do you want to be a better role model for your children? Do you want to avoid a second heart attack? Do you want your nails to be beautiful for your wedding day? Whatever your motivation is, remember, there is a very good reason why you decided to break your bad habit in the first place. When we slip up and fall back into our bad patterns, we must take a moment to remember why it is important to break the habit. Then, we must start again.

I hope that these tips will help you to feel guided in having motivation to break habits you're not happy about or develop new ones you're proud of.

"Successful people are simply those with successful habits." -Brian Tracy

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How To Determine If A Moving Company Is Trustworthy

There are many household and commercial movers in the United States and they all try to lure you with extremely cheap prices, promising high quality services. But not all of them are honest and you can be deceived if you do not know how to choose a competent mover. We want to present you the main factors to consider when looking for reliable moving companies. Check the following guide!

– Experience. For a new company it is hard to pretend that they offer high quality services at lowest price. They do not have the experience and tools to do an effective operation in minimum of time, thus consuming less fuel and working hours that must be paid to the employees by the company. On the opposite, if you find a company that has many years of experience, it likely that they have developed strategies and effective planning and human resource management. Always go with a well-established mover.

– Tools. Again, a high quality company has an arsenal consisting of modern tools and vehicles. They usually talk about these tools on their website, sometimes even presenting them in a photo gallery. Reliable companies like to advertise their brand on their moving vehicles. If you find a company that tells you that it offers the lowest price, but it does not mention a word about their equipment, chances are that it does not have a modern one or it has a few tools. It would be wise to ask about equipment before signing any paper.

– Public Image. Reputable movers want to have a clean public image and they want to make them known through various marketing campaigns. You will know that a company is good if you hear about of them more often than other companies. Usually they can offer cheap prices because they want to be ahead their competitors by providing promotional prices while they promote their image through marketing campaigns.

– Feedbacks. Positive feedbacks are also a good sign for quality results. If you find a company that has affordable prices and has good ratings and testimonials, you should check them closer. Nowadays it is easier than ever to check for ratings and general customer satisfaction. Besides checking the complaint ratio, you can access several websites and see what current and former customers have to say about the company. Naturally, a mover with numerous positive reviews should be your top priority.

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Diets and Their Issues

What does the word diet mean? According to the oxford dictionary the word diet means the kind of food people eat. This can clearly be the case because according to the company Boots there are over 100 many types of diets, from the alkaline diet, to the zone diet. There are a vast majority of them, with their benefits and their downfalls. However are these diets successful? Are they long term? Do we lose weight on them?

As we all approach the festive season, and the New Year, people at this time are looking at what foods they want to cut down on, or what new fad diet they would like to try. But overall will these work in the long term?

According to the magazine psychology today, researchers tested this methodology on various clients, it was found that there were other aspects to health, not just dieting, and weight loss, but also reduced blood pressure and cholesterol. The clients did not lose weight, however they had a positive attitude about themselves. In that respect diets can be a positive awareness, or on the other end of the spectrum diets can be seen as negative. For example a study carried out by Leicester City Council concluded that due to a poor diet they were unable to achieve the healthier diet that is recommended by the health professionals. A poor diet can mean lack of essential vitamins and minerals. Lack of vitamins and minerals can cause an array of problems. From feeling tired, to poor vision at night time, dry skin, fatigue, and soft bones. In relation to the popular diets out there each of the diets have problems if they are not followed properly, or not researched for suitability.

The Dr Dukan diet was set up by Pierre Dukan in 2000. His aims and objectives were:

To increase a higher intake of protein.

To have a no limit of calories or the types of food you can eat, therefore people can eat whatever and whenever.

However there are some known issues of this diet, this includes:

The cost of purchasing the higher protein foods, i.e. meat, chicken, pork, nuts and seeds

The suitability for people on a restrictive diet for example, vegetarians or gluten free clients.

However there are some positives of this particular diet, one of them is that it is high in protein, which is important for the growth of new cells in the body, this can include hair, skin and nails. Another feature is that there is no limit of the amount of calories or types of food you can eat. Finally there is a limit on the amount of foods high in sugar, as excess sugar can lead to weight gain.

Another example of this is the cheater’s diet. This was created by Paul Rivas. He stated that by basing the meals on a Mediterranean style diet during the week, at the weekend cheat days are highly encouraged. Rivas explains that by having cheat days there is no restriction on having food and drink that consumers love to have, which include foods that may not be the healthiest of products. The diet is also supported by encouraging exercise.

According to a journal published by the European Journal of clinical nutrition, the writer Robinson explained that there were other factors that affected diet and lifestyle. While educational attainment had the strongest effects on diet, age, number of children living in the home, the number of people that smoked and the number of hours spent watching television, all were the contributing factors on the amount of exercise completed daily.

From the study it was concluded that the barriers that identified the issues facing diet and lifestyle, were to improve the quality of life, and not just based on weight loss alone. A study carried out by Yardley et al demonstrated that a combination of web based and health professional support for weight management could potentially offer a cost effective means of motivating obese patients to achieve a meaningful weight loss. It is important to be mindful that suitable diets that are recommended by Health Professionals including Dietitians, and Nutritionists are sourced by the National Clinical Governance Of Excellence (NICE). This is an organisation set up to provide guidance to improve the health and wellbeing in the United Kingdom.

Overall diets can be successful, especially for the better. As long as the vitamins, minerals as well as the macronutrients are not detrimental towards a poor diet, any diet can be positive long term, with the support of qualified health professionals.

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Staycation Guide: 5 Places In The UK That Will Make You Feel You Are Abroad

Staycations are again on the rise more, and more Brits are deciding to stay home for their holidays. But where in the UK should you go if you have never had a staycation before or fancy trying something new? Here is my staycation guide is here to help.

The UK is a dynamic place full of history, natural beauty, dramatic coastlines and historical cities. Every corner has such an individual identity that no two places are alike. Some UK destinations might even give you a little taste of Europe! Here is how:

Love The Algarve? Try Devon

Branded "the English Riviera", Devon is fantastic for families and beach holidays. It is also home to five areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, UNESCO Sites and Natural Parks.

For a cultural city break, try Plymouth or Exeter, both rich in Roman history. It it's the relaxed coastal life you want, try South Devon. For surfing, go for North Devon and Exmoor. And for the true Riviera experience, try Torquay, Paignton, and Brixham. There are also many smaller towns and villages worth exploring if you fancy going for a drive.

Love Tuscany? Try Lancashire, Yorkshire And Cumbria

North West England and the region of Tuscany in Italy share two things in common: beautiful green panoramic views and maxing food.

Famous for its artisan food, locally sourced produce and niche eateries, the counties of Lancashire, Yorkshire and Cumbria, will entice any foodie traveler with their food festivals and farm shops galore. To work up an appetite, you can visit the castles, museums, theaters or seafront towns or you can go hiking and take in scenery so beautiful that Queen Elizabeth is reported to have said she would like to retire here.

For more active travelers, highlights are the Yorkshire Dales, the Pennines and the Lake District, where you can try all sorts of sports from golfing to sailing and paragliding. For those wanting a peaceful hideaway, try smaller market towns such as Kirby Lansdale, Hebden Bridge or Clitheroe. And if it's a sea you seek, try Whitby, Scarborough or Lytham St Annes.

Love Switzerland? Try Scotland

If you a partial to mountain ranges, lakes and a pair of skis, then Scotland is the perfect staycation for you. With beautiful scenery, imposing castles and interesting cities thrown in for good measure, both Switzerland and Scotland will give you jaw-dropping views. Switzerland has some of the most famous ski resorts in the world, Scotland has the best ski resorts in the UK. The Swiss have the alphorn and Schnapps; the Scots have the bagpipe and their world-famous Scotch whiskey. Hell, the Scottish accent might even make you feel you're abroad!

Jokes aside, Scotland is indeed a beautiful country, with intriguing and grand history, beautiful landscape and stunning natural reserves. Even Her Majesty has a residence here, Balmoral Castle. For a city break, both Glasgow and Edinburgh are famous for their nightlife and culture. And if you like to drive, we would highly recommend the drive from Glasgow to Dundee. The views are to die for.

Love Rome? Try York

The Italian city of Rome is one of the most famous destinations in Europe, known worldwide for its rich history and vibrant culture. In the UK we have our little version thanks to the Romans themselves.

Although York existed as a settlement before the Roman invasion, it was during that period that it was declared a city of importance. Constantine the Great was proclaimed a Roman Emperor here. Even going out for a pint will yield a history lesson in pubs that used to be churches or monasteries. In recent years, York has become famous for its retail and nightlife as well as its history, and although it's much smaller than Rome, you will have plenty to do and see.

Love Berlin? Try Liverpool

Berlin and Liverpool share many commonalities. Both have witnessed their fair share of political and social change, but are today UNESCO Heritage Sites and European Capitals of Culture.

In the UK, Liverpool is the city with the most galleries and national museums outside of London. The birthplace of the Beatles, it also boasts a very strong art scene. On a more outrageous note, it has been said that the Liverpudlian velvet tracksuit is as infamous as the German beach thong! Liverpool is a vibrant and dynamic city, ideal for any art, fashion or music lover.

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Altrincham – Cheshire – Facts About the Town

The market town of Altrincham – Cheshire is located in the Metropolitan Borough of Trafford in England. The Trafford Metropolitan Borough is part of Greater Manchester. Altrincham is located 16 kilometres from eastern Warrington, 5 kilometres from the southwestern part of Sale, and 13 kilometres from the southwestern part of Manchester city. The landscape around Altrincham is relatively flat.

Established in 1290, Altrincham was once a part of Cheshire. Around this time, the economy of Altrincham relied on agriculture. Up to this day, farming is still a major activity of the Altrincham community. The market that was established in 1290 is still being used. The construction of the Bridgewater canal brought a lot of development to the town. Growth in population and settlements began soon when construction of the canal started in 1765.

The introduction of the railway line in 1849 provided further expansion, and soon many industries began to sprout. The expansion reached villages in the outlying areas of Altrincham. The Dunham Massey Hall became a part of Altrincham as development increased. The Massey Hall has been turned into a tourist location with its upgrading to Grade 1 building status. The Hall is the former residence of the Earl of Stamford. A deer game park has been integrated near the Hall.

Altrincham has grown into a big town, thanks to its road and rail network. The town is serviced by the Metrolink, and most of the population are middle class. The middle class population has been steadily rising since the nineteenth century. The town hosts a number of sporting clubs, namely Altrincham Football Club, Manchester Phoenix and the Elite Ice Hockey Club.

Altrincham has a lot of historical significance. Existence of human activity has been traced back to prehistoric ages. Archeologists discovered arrowheads of the Neolithic era. The place is a rich source of historical artefacts, with many discoveries having been found in Dunham and Trafford. Ruins of Roman roads passing through Broadheath have been found. Broadheath is a location in Altrincham. After the temporary Roman invasion of Britain in the 5th century, the town was known as «Aldringeham». This is translated to «homestead of the Aldrere’s people». During this time, Britain was ruled by the Anglo-Saxons. The name has changed over time, but by the late nineteenth century, the modern name «Altrincham» was being used interchangeable with the name Altringham.

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