Longevity [9 Power Habits]
[9 Power Habits]
SUPERHUMAN SCORE: 8.25
“Blue Zones” refer to specific regions where people live much longer than average.
These 5 regions include: Okinawa (Japan), Sardinia (Italy), Nicoya (Costa Rica), Ikaria (Greece), and Loma Linda (California, USA).
Here are the 9 habits found among Blue Zone populations…
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1. Move Naturally: People in the Blue Zones live in environments that encourage physical activity. They prioritize walking and daily routines of movement (like gardening).
2. Have Purpose: Ikigai is the Japanese concept of finding purpose and fulfillment at the intersection of:
- What you love
- What you're good at
- What the world needs
- What you can be paid for
Knowing your purpose or why you wake up in the morning is crucial for mental health and overall well-being.
3. Down Shift Daily: Stress is a part of life, but how one manages it is essential. People in the Blue Zones have routines to shed stress—be it through napping, prayer, or meditation.
Sidenote: Create a short shutdown ritual to end your workday (hat-tip to Cal Newport). Close your laptop, plug in the charger, and spend 2 minutes tidying your desk. Then say, “shutdown.” Separating your work and life is key.
4. Follow the 80% Rule: “Eat until you're only 80% full.” The rule prevents overeating and the health-related risks of obesity. By eating slowly, people can better calibrate their fullness.
5. Eat Mostly Plants: A majority of the diet in the Blue Zones is derived from plants. Beans, including fava, black, soy, and lentils, are the cornerstone of most centenarian diets. Meat is eaten on average only 5x per month.
6. Wine @ 5: Most Blue Zone residents drink red wine moderately and regularly (except for the Seventh-day Adventists in Loma Linda). The key is moderation.
7. Belong: Being part of a faith-based community and attending services 4x a month can add 4-14 years to life expectancy.
8. Put Family First: Blue Zones residents prioritize family. This might involve living in the homes of their children or grandchildren, committing to a life partner, and investing time and love in their relatives.
9. Find Your Tribe: The world's longest-lived people chose—or were born into—social circles that support healthy behaviors. The people you surround yourself with influence your habits and outlook. So choose wisely.
Bonus Habit: Buettner also prominently featured sleep in his book: “In the blue zones, most centenarians go to bed shortly after sunset and wake with daybreak, which gives them eight hours of sleep. In at least three of the blue zones, a half-hour nap is also a daily ritual—very different from our routines.”
Now, how do you build the “Blue Zone” habits?
Try theming your months (in 2 steps):
1. Identify the 3 habits you're experiencing the greatest deficit.
2. Match one of these habits to each of the remaining 3 months in 2023. (You'll finish the year strong and build momentum.)
My focus areas are to move naturally (October), eat mostly plants (November), and downshift daily (December).
I think about this quote from Brad Stulberg often:
If there’s one lesson from the Blue Zones, it’s this: The secret to long-term health is to surround yourself with healthy people.
BRINGING IT HOME
My favorite part about the “Power 9” habits?
They're not just about living longer but living well.
That’s my wish for all of you.
All systems go,
P.S. Purpose is crucial because it has positive cascading effects on every area of your life. I found mine by writing online. I’m now offering 1:1 private coaching to executives, founders, and entrepreneurs ready to become thought leaders on LinkedIn. I’ll teach you how to contribute at scale, get paid for your expertise, and build your dream lifestyle business.
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