Are you trying to lose weight, sustain a regular exercise routine, eat better food, or generally lead a healthier lifestyle? Are you relying on willpower to avoid temptations, form good habits or stop bad habits? As I’ve mentioned before in my blogs willpower is not an infinite resource, and therefore you need to employ other strategies to help you succeed in your wholesome objectives.
One such strategy is to spend less time with friends who have a negative influence on you when it comes to making poor food or drink choices (your partners in crime), and increasing your time spent with friends who engage in behaviours that you want to emulate. Peer pressure has extremely powerful effects on behaviour change, for example; having obese friends increases your chances of following suit by 57% claimed Christakis & Fowler, 2007.
You could call the ‘bad influencers’ your accomplices, and the ‘good influencers’ your friends. It may seem like an uncomfortable decision to make to avoid your accomplices, but the long term goals that you’re working hard to achieve must take priority in your mind and drive your rational choices. Your true friends will support you in your aims, help you drop unhelpful habits and encourage your new positive habits. They will stand by your belief that you can do it, and help you to see that it’s worth it.
Seek out these friends who understand what you are going through, who empathise with you, want you to succeed, care about your feelings and cheer you on.
(See also blogs entitled Mindless Eating solutions for everyday life, Willpower!, Secrets to exercise and healthy eating adherence, and Goals and social support)