This study found one thing can make a huge impact on your future quality of life. 

A simple Google search of how to lose weight brings up pages and pages of tips, tricks, recipes, and fad diets. Sure, the ideas might be helpful, but you can't successfully make 40 changes in one day. It almost seems helpless, and most of these tips are missing the one very simple thing you can do to kickstart your weight loss. 

A recent study published in JAMA Psychiatry found that people who self reported keeping personal goals were more physically fit and could maintain this fitness over time. The study looked at aging adult's grip strength and walking speed over a four year period, and found that those who had a meaningful life by setting goals had a 14 percent decreased risk of developing slow walking speeds and a 13 percent decreased risk of developing weak grip, both signs of declining physical ability and risk factors for disability. 

By setting goals, our feeling of purpose in life increases. This in turn helps aging adults maintain their independence and improve many other aspects of their wellness. Studies have found that those who set goals and give purpose to their lives live longer, have lower risk for disease, sleep better, have better impulse control, and maintain overall healthier behaviors. 

The study, performed by researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, had adults fill out a survey about personal goals and purpose in life and perform a fitness test. The adults then returned four years later to complete the same survey and tests. Aging adults who had a purpose of life and personal goals had a lower chance of declining in physical ability. Some adults with high levels of purpose even increased their walking speed as they aged. 

You can increase your overall meaning in life and weight loss success by setting personal goals and also cultivating relationships, focusing on new hobbies, volunteering, and practicing mindfulness.