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The single resolution that could help you have a healthy year, according to science


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Photo: Stocksy/Trinette Reed

Regardless of whether or not you believe in New Year’s resolutions (the time to make a change in your life is always right now, IMO), the calendar shifting forward does have a sneaky way of getting into your head and making even the grinch-iest among us (me) take a second to introspect. And if you do make good on one resolution in 2018, according to a new study published in Journal of Health Psychology, it should be finding your purpose in life.

“Participants reporting a higher sense of purpose also reported a greater likelihood to enact all health behaviors of interest and higher self-rated health.”—Dr. Patrick Hill, lead study author

The study surveyed 749 people from the time they were in elementary school to present day (the participants’ average age is now 60), and, according to the study’s lead author Patrick Hill, PhD, “Participants reporting a higher sense of purpose also reported a greater likelihood to enact all health behaviors of interest and higher self-rated health.”

The study also found a correlation between people’s sense of their life’s purpose and their likelihood to participate in other types of healthy behavior, including healthy eating, exercise, and quality of sleep. Essentially these findings point to “the importance of considering healthy lifestyle habits as a prominent explanation for why purposeful individuals experience better health outcomes,” Dr. Hill said in the press release.

So resolving to find your purpose in life in 2018 is kind of like a goal catchall, akin to wishing for unlimited wishes. Setting a healthy foundation for your life may allow for unlimited success in all the other resolutions you may aim to follow.

Start your New Year on an organized note by taking this quiz to see what type of calendar you need, or pick through these beautiful 2018 planners.