Certain things may be beyond your control -- the weather, the stock market or whether your favorite team wins or loses its next game. However, new findings show that possessing an optimistic attitude makes you more likely to take charge of your life in key ways -- from healthy eating and visiting the doctor annually, to planning ahead and getting more accomplished at work.

This could be good news for the country. According to the Measuring Optimism, Outlook and Direction (M.O.O.D.) of America study, conducted by Lincoln Financial Group, 80 percent of Americans are optimistic about their future, and 78 percent are optimistic about their financial future.

The study, which polled more than 2,300 Americans, finds that a majority of people, almost seven in 10, feel “in control” of their lives. They take proactive steps to re-charge their mental batteries by pursuing hobbies or spending time with family and friends. They are also more likely to focus on building financial security, such as putting away money for retirement.

Specifically, the majority of those polled view being debt-free, staying within a budget, paying credit card bills in full each month and putting money away for retirement as very important financial steps to take to gain control.

“Financial preparedness is best when it is rooted in optimism that leads to action,” says Dennis R. Glass, president and CEO of Lincoln Financial Group. “No step taken is too small.”

Experts say you should start preparing for the future by incorporating a proactive approach to financial endeavors.

Where can people turn to for help? The M.O.O.D. study finds that the advice of a financial professional tops the list as a preferred source of information. Thirty-eight percent of those polled say they use advisors or planners for financial advice, compared to other leading sources, like information obtained from online searches (35 percent), spouses or significant others (31 percent) or friends (24 percent).

“There are more sources of information to choose from today than ever before,” says Will Fuller, president of Lincoln Financial Group Distribution. “Study results clearly show that a trusted advisor is the most desirable source of guidance, and that’s because the knowledge and expertise they bring to the table can help people achieve their goals.”

By being proactive and seeking sound help, you can gain control of your finances and your future.