In the end of July, I visited to a friend living in Brookline, MA, during her birthday month. To celebrate and catch up, I invited my friend, whom I’ll call Greta, to a restaurant. As our orders arrived at the table, I took out my phone to snap pictures of the food. “This is for my July challenge,” I explained to Greta. “I have to share pictures of my meals with our Facebook group every day.”

Greta seemed puzzled, so I elaborated, “I created the 12 Months Younger program, where we embark on 12 monthly challenges to develop healthy habits. Each month, we focus on one aspect of self-improvement. In May, it was all about walking 10,000 steps. For June, it was staying hydrated and tracking our daily water intake. And now, in July, the challenge is to eat at least 7 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. It’s not as easy as it sounds. You should give it a try!”

To my surprise, my friend responded with unexpected skepticism, “Tania, this is silly. Why bother with all of this? I eat what I want, and I’m doing fine. Sure, I’ve gained some weight over the years, but it’s just a natural part of aging. There’s nothing anyone can do about it.”

Her dismissive attitude caught me off guard, and I couldn’t help but respond, “Nothing you can do about it? That’s not entirely true! While we can’t stop aging altogether, we can certainly influence the rate at which it occurs.”

Greta remained adamant, countering, “It’s all nonsense. All efforts to slow down aging are pointless.”

I disagreed, saying, “Maybe you can’t halt the process entirely, but you can certainly make a significant difference in how you age.” Despite our long conversation, I couldn’t change Greta’s mind. We remain on opposite sides of what is possible in the Age of New Beginnings (a term I discuss in detail in my upcoming book “Over 50 and Fabulous”).

This wasn’t the first time I had encountered such discussions with skeptics who doubted the potential for a vibrant life after the age of 50. Nonetheless, I remain steadfast in my beliefs. I see myself as the optimistic frog in the tale of two frogs trapped in a jar of milk. While the pessimistic frog gave up and drowned, I prefer to keep striving, just like the optimistic frog who turned the milk into cream and saved herself. To me, it’s all about embracing the possibilities and making the most of every moment. Yes, it also involves modifying your life by adding healthy routines and eliminating unhealthy habits.

So, which frog are you? Are you the one who embraces change, embraces possibilities, and takes charge of your own well-being, or are you the one who gives in to doubt and allows the currents of life to sweep you away?