Longevity Researcher Reveals New Habit You Should Start on Sunday
Ditch your New Year's resolutions and consider focusing on this instead.
New year, new you. But if you've already slipped up on your New Year's resolutions, you're not alone. Dan Buettner, longevity researcher and founder of Blue Zones LLC, highlighted a concerning statistic about these resolutions in a new interview with Insider: According to 2019 data from the fitness tracking app Strava, "over 70 percent will fail by Jan. 19," Buettner said. That's why the researcher is saying you should forget about your resolutions and instead introduce one healthy habit on Sundays.
Buettner has spent more than 20 years researching five regions of the world where people are more likely to live past 100. Known as the "Blue Zones," these are Ikaria, Greece; Loma Linda, California; Sardinia, Italy; Okinawa, Japan; and Nicoya, Costa Rica.
Through his work exploring the lifestyles and diets of people living in these places, Buettner told Insider he has honed in on one healthy habit that he thinks would serve as an ideal New Year's resolution for people all over the world in 2024.
"Instead of making the resolution, 'I'm going to get on a diet to lose weight,' which never works, spend January—a week of Sundays—and cook healthy food with your family," he advised.
According to Buettner, you should identify 12 new recipes you want to try before the month is over. Based on the recipes he's collected from the Blue Zones, it's important that these recipes are healthy, delicious, and filling at the same time. You can seek out a whole food, plant-based cookbook to draw inspiration from.
"Cook three recipes every Sunday for a month, recipes that look delicious to you," Buettner said. "At the end of the month, you'll have achieved three things: The skills to cook 12 meals; You'll know you have the hardware to cook those because you'll have cooked them; and you'll have the experience of tasting them."
Of course, a major part of this resolution working is that you have a better chance of fulfilling it than a broader, more dramatic New Year's resolution. With that in mind, don't get too strict with yourself on exactly when you cook these meals.
According to Buettner, the Sunday part of the plan is just about creating a specific, actionable routine. You can modify this habit for whatever works for you and your own schedule.
That flexibility means you can either prep multiple meals on Sunday for the rest of the week, or simply use that day to bookmark three new recipes you want to make at some point during the week.
"As long as you can get to four or five meals that you like that are whole food, plant-based, you're on your way to eating to 100," he told Insider.