Why Who You Hang With Matters For Your Health

Have you ever heard that you are a combination of the five people you hang around with most? It's a quote by personal development expert, Jim Rohn. He once said our associations are subtle and powerful. And he was so right!

Think about it for a second. If you spend time with a friend who likes to skip the gym in favor of happy hour, guess what you might do? What if your friend loves to cook healthy recipes and swap those recipes with you? Yep, you're going to be influenced positively.

Now, I'm not saying you have to ditch your friends (or even ditch happy hour all the time), but it's definitely smart to think about what the five people you hang around with most have you saying and doing. How are your five most important peeps influencing you? Are you OK with that?

When it comes to your health, it's challenging enough to make the best decisions on your own, but it's even harder if you surround yourself with people who bring you down, encourage you to join them in junk food and want you to skip your workouts. My friend Darren Hardy, publisher of SUCCESS magazine, has three great ways to evaluate your associations.

Evaluate and shift your associations into three categories:

1. Disassociation

There are some people you might need to break away from completely. This might not be an easy step to take, but it's essential. You have to make the hard choice not to let certain negative influences affect you anymore. Decide the quality of life you want to have, then surround yourself with the people who represent and support that vision.

2. Limited Associations

There are some people who you can spend three hours with, but not three days. Others you can spend three minutes with, but not three hours. Decide how much you can afford to be influenced, based on how those people represent themselves.

3. Expanded Associations

Whatever area of your life you want to see improvement in, find those who represents the success you want, the parenting skills you want, the relationship you want, the lifestyle you want, and spend more time with them. Join organizations, clubs, businesses and health clubs where these people are and make friends.

Such great advice from Darren . . .

So, start paying attention to who you are letting influence you. What you feed your mind, who you spend your time with and your surroundings constantly shape you. Seek out people whose habits you want to emulate. Spend time with people who are into health and fitness like you are. Partner up with a friend, spouse or family member so you can have company as you exercise. Set your boundaries down with people who are always trying to get you to join them in dessert or a second helping or want you to skip exercise with them. Have someone to swap healthy recipes with and fitness tips. Proactively develop a supportive network and an environment that lifts you up. Go for more positive influences in your life. Read encouraging books, blogs and articles. Follow inspiring and motivating people on Facebook. Listen to empowering webinars and videos. Watch TV shows or movies that inspire, not depress. Print out some motivational quotes or images that really fire you up and put them in your house where you spend a lot of time.

Take a little bit of control of your overall environment by being more involved and selective in what you feed your mind, who you spend your time with and your surroundings. View your associations as a powerful way to keep positivity and support all around you as you continually make choices to live a healthier life.

I'd love to hear from you. Let me know how changing your associations has changed your life!

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