Ready for a second act? Having a strong purpose in life makes you happier and healthier. Here are 45 ways to get started.

Having a purpose in life may be protective against stroke. At Chicago's Rush University Medical Center, brain autopsies showed that older people were much less likely to have evidence of strokes in their brains if they'd felt a strong purpose in life. Other studies show that a life purpose is linked with living longer, slowing Alzheimer's disease, lower risks of depression and heart attack – and even a better sex life!

But what defines a life purpose? Researchers say that's up to you. It might mean constantly learning and bettering yourself or contributing to your community. Inspired to find yours? Here are 45 ways to get you started.

Start

Put pen to paper

The process of writing down what you find meaningful will set you on the right track. Try making these lists.

1 List your core values. What do you believe in? What is most important to you?

2 List things that fascinate you. What captures your interest? What would you like to know more about?

3 List your skills. What are your special talents? What do you enjoy doing?

4 List all the reasons why you got up this morning!

5 Seek therapy. Feeling daunted by the task of finding your life's meaning on your own? Trained therapists can actually guide you through the process. Yes, life-purpose counselling is a thing!

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