September 27, 2019
Have you reached a milestone age yet? Say 40, 50 or 60 and asked questions about your life and achievements?
At milestone ages (multiples of ten), we evaluate our lives and what we have achieved .
When we ask questions about how far we’ve come and how happy we are with life, we tend to evaluate life domains such as family, goals, marriage, health and career.
But which domain leads to the highest ratings of happiness and life satisfaction as we reach milestone ages?
Research shows it’s out health and predominantly how healthy we feel, which is our subjective rating of how healthy we are that contributes to our happiness levels .https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0133254
Our health at the ten year increments makes the biggest difference between “I’m satisfied with my life” and “I have regrets and life isn’t so great”.
Most of us probably fall in the middle of these two responses, but I want to encourage you (and me) to make habits and choices now so we can say “my health is great and I love my life” when we turn 40, 50, 60 and beyond.
But how do we become our healthiest selves and have time for our responsibilities and the rest we need?
We care about other people.
We love our children.
We need to work, make money and contribute to our world.
We’re busy. We’re responsible.
We have other habits to maintain so we can live our best lives. Habits like healthy thinking, living to our purpose and being positively productive.
Becoming and staying healthy is a challenge because there are legitimate reasons we don’t go for a walk, attend the local pool, eat veges and fruit or drink the amount of water on our to do list. it’s because we do care about our lives and we are living to the standards of our best selves.
These are all important and necessary, but our health impacts our ability to function in the above areas. Our health makes these demands more possible and enjoyable.
Our health habits now predict how happy we will be later on, notably at milestone years .
Researchers here looked at how satisfied people are with their lives when they reached ages of whole tens.
They note that people tend to evaluate their lives more at these ten year increments and health was the strongest predictor of life happiness and satisfaction, even more so than day to day happy emotions.
They did mention that positive emotions do relate to satisfaction with life, but less so when people take stock of their lives at milestone ages.
I’m not a personal trainer, dietitian or doctor. But I’ve worked in the health and fitness industry prior moving into allied health. I’ve had some health issues myself and I always feel better when I come back to basics and simple plans for health. This article isn’t health advice that is tailored to your medical history, so it’s a good idea to see a doctor or health professional to take your history and make a tailored plan.
The goal of this article is to encourage you to prioritize your health.
As we get a bit older, this habit multiplies our returns of happiness and satisfaction with life.
This is a question prompt to try.
Imagine you wake up tomorrow and you’re in the best state of health you can imagine. What does your life look like?
Miron-Shatz T, Bhargave R, Doniger GM (2015) Milestone Age Affects the Role of Health and Emotions in Life Satisfaction: A Preliminary Inquiry. PLOS ONE 10(8): e0133254. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0133254
Pitch your tent, grab a drink and meet us by the campfire as we catch up on what it means to explore the wilderness of our wellness challenges.
When you join, you’ll receive the Campfire self-care ebook for free. Then each month you’ll get a love letter and exclusive field notes on living with hope, resilience and purpose.
back to top
I’m the creator of Minutes to Happy and your go-to counsellor and wellness coaching companion.
I’m here to guide you in becoming your bravest self (no matter what wellness worries and chronic health challenges are plonked in your path).