I am an advocate of adopting new habits all year long, and not waiting for New Year’s Day. That said, calendar events (birthdays, the start of a month, and the start of a year) can inspire people to focus on personal development.

And with a new year on the horizon, I want to share information from one of the most encouraging health articles I read this year.

Adopt 5 Healthy Habits, Live 12 to 14 Years Longer in the New York Times told of researchers analyzing two large databases with 34 years of detailed health and lifestyle information on more than 123,000 men and women.

The scientists calculated that, on average, a 50-year-old man who adopted five health habits would live 12 years longer than a man who took on none. A woman with the same five habits would live an average of 14 more years than a woman with none of them. The more low-risk factors a person had, the longer his or her projected life span. For example, a 50-year-old woman with four healthy factors could expect to live, on average, to around 89, those with three to 87, and those with two to 84.

Three of the five habits are made up of multiple behaviors: eating a healthy diet, getting regular physical activity, and maintaining a normal weight. The other two: not smoking and moderate alcohol consumption.

As readers of this blog know, the way to make these big goals happen is to break down each of them into small pieces and work on one at a time for the 21 days it takes to create a habit.

This study is the first I have seen with such specific life-extension expectations. I hope it will serve as motivation for you to adopt the habits necessary to impact your health, your healthspan, and your lifespan.

What is the next habit you are going to adopt? Please join the conversation with your comments…

Best regards,