All people eventually age, but not everyone will age equally.

Your quality of life in your senior years depends on how you take care of your physical and mental health. If healthy living feels elusive to you, your own mindset could be the only thing stopping you from a healthy life. Here are seven ways to change your mindset so you can take control of your wellness.

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1. The basics are important.

You already know these things, but it never hurts to be reminded that diet, exercise, and sleep are paramount to good health. This means eating clean food within your calorie range. It means buying lots of organic fruits and vegetables, grass-fed meat, and fresh baked goods without preservatives. It means exercising three times a week or walking every day. It also means getting eight hours of sleep each night.

 2. Your health matters more than you think.

The key to longevity is keeping your body in its best health, which means you’ll need good health care. If you see a doctor regularly to keep everything running smoothly and treat medical issues, you’re ahead of the game. If cost is a concern, remember that Medicare will cover your health care insurance to meet your medical needs at an affordable price, and a Medicare Advantage Plan can supplement your coverage in the New Year. Each state has different options, so be sure to find what’s available in yours.

 3. Age is just a number.

It might be a cliché, but there is truth to this phrase. Your age does not have to determine your physical condition or your body’s capabilities. You may have heard stories about seniors in peak physical shape doing extraordinary things. That’s because they believed age isn’t a deterrent from taking on a physical challenge. They tried because they knew they could do it, just like someone half their age.

 4. You’re as strong as your will.

If you decide you want to be physically fit or that you want to persist, then you can get through anything by sheer willpower. Whether it’s a 5K that you’ve always wanted to run or becoming a master chef in the kitchen, if you have the will to commit, you can do and be anything no matter your age.

 5. Happiness is a mindset.

Everyone feels down sometimes, but it can hit seniors even harder. You might find yourself longing for happier days again, but there’s no need to long for something you actually have control over. You can make the decision to be happy. You are the pilot of your emotions, and all it might take is some behavioral changes and personal responsibility for your feelings. If you think you might be suffering from depression, see a professional to get proper treatment.

 6. You can get through the obstacles.

There are some days when you might feel like the world is working against you and it’s time to quit. Remember, every obstacle is a problem you need to solve so you can reach the reward on the other side, and every challenge is a test of your will. Know that these setbacks are only temporary, and you’ll eventually push past them to a victorious finish. The more you fail along the way, the farther you’ll succeed in the end.

 7. Goal-setting will get you somewhere.

Regardless of your age, you can always find a reason to reach a personal goal. Maybe it’s looking good for your daughter’s wedding, getting healthy for an upcoming physical, or reaching a number on the scale. Whatever the reason or occasion, write down your goals and take small steps to achieve them.

 Bonus: The only thing in your way is you.

Negative self-talk, laziness, fear of failure, or a “can’t” attitude tend to get in the way of progress. These things are controllable if you learn to get out of your own way. Let go of the feelings of defeat, and let the confidence shine through.

All it takes is that first step to push you to move forward and the courage to keep going if you hiccup along the way.

Article submitted by Karen Weeks of Karen believes nothing is off-limits to seniors, and created her website after retirement to help spread the word!