Healthy behavior change is a team sport! If you’re not accountable to anyone, it’s easy to slip and make excuses.
Be open about starting on the Blue Zones Life Plan with your family, friends, and coworkers. If your colleagues know that you are cutting out foods like sweets and soda, they might bring you some nuts instead of a candy bar when they make a pit stop at the vending machine. The same goes for your family and friends when they are planning dinner parties or choosing a restaurant venue.
Extend your support team to social media and far-away friends. Share photos of your experiences or tracking sheets on social media. Or send a text at the end of the day to your buddy or buddies. Dan Buettner, the founder of Blue Zones, has been part of a daily email group from the Blue Zones Project in the Beach Cities, CA. For five years, he and his group have emailed each other their weight every day.
The world’s longest lived people chose–or were born into–social circles that supported healthy behaviors, Okinawans created ”moais”–groups of five friends that committed to each other for life. Research from the Framingham Studies shows that smoking, obesity, happiness, and even loneliness are contagious. So the social networks of long-lived people have favorably shaped their health behaviors.
“The people you surround yourself with influence your behaviours, so choose friends who have healthy habits.”