A Harvard Study Reveals the Secret to Success in 2017

Dacy Knight
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Daniel Zuchnik/Getty

Looking to become your best self in 2017? The solution might be more obvious than you think. A recent Harvard study that examined 75 years worth of data reveals a surprisingly simple and straightforward way to be happier and more successful in the New Year: Spend more time with people who make you happy.

The university's Grant and Glueck study tracked the physical and emotional well-being of 268 male Harvard graduates and 456 poor men growing up in Boston between 1939 and 2014. Generations of researchers analyzed the brain scans, blood samples, and self-reported surveys of these individuals over the years. Robert Waldinger, professor of psychology at Harvard and the Director of the center behind the study, says the conclusions are simple: Close relationships make or break a person's well-being.

So instead of focusing all your time investing in gadgets and gym passes to get on track to a better, happier, more successful you, consider investing in close, positive relationships. It's the quality of the relationships you have rather than the quantity, so take time to nurture your bonds with your friends, family, and loved ones. These relationships promote healthy brain functioning and can even help to reduce emotional and physical pain.

As Waldinger put it in a TED Talk last year, "The clearest message that we get from this 75-year study is this: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period."

Share your 2017 New Year's resolutions with us in the comments.

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