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Diabetes Education: Goal Setting In The New Year

headshot of liz wilson elizabeth wilson in dark blue shirt with polka dots smiling

Written by Elizabeth W., Diabetes Educator

Elizabeth is a Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist at NMC Health.

New Year’s is often a time of reflection and for a time for goal setting.  The most popular New Year’s resolution tends to be focused on living healthier.  When it comes to diabetes management, this might include getting your blood sugars in target range, getting your A1c below 7%, making a follow-up doctor’s appointment, or looking to set a goal focused on keeping your diabetes in control this year.  

Self-managing diabetes can be challenging at times.  Still, you can achieve your goals and live a long healthy life by taking small steps towards your goals each and every day.  

Get started by setting SMART Goals.

Start by being specific with what you want to accomplish.  Ask yourself: What do you hope to accomplish?  Who needs to be involved?  When do you want to do this?  Why are you wanting to do this?

To determine if your goal is measurable, ask yourself these questions:  How much will you do?  How long will you do this for?  How often will you do this?  Quantifying your goal will make it easier to track progress. 

Goals should be within reach, not too easy but also not too difficult.  Planning and accomplishing small goals one step at a time will help you experience achievement and build momentum.  Ask yourself:  How can I achieve this goal?

Set realistic goals and be realistic about change.  Ask yourself: Is this goal realistic and within my reach?  Am I able to commit to achieving this goal?

Set realistic timelines.  If a goal is not time constrained or have a deadline, there is less urgency and less motivation to achieve the goal.  Ask yourself:  Dose my goal have a deadline?  When do I hope to accomplish this goal?

SMART Goal Examples:

  • I will eat a piece of fruit instead of ice cream after dinner on 4 days each week for the next month. 
  • I will walk for 15 minutes during my lunch break on 5 days each week for the next month. 
  • I will choose unsweetened tea instead of soda when dining out a restaurant for the next month. 
  • I will check my blood sugar twice daily, fasting and 2 hours after supper, for the next month and store in my logbook. 
  • I will make an appointment with my ophthalmologist for a dilated eye exam by the end of this month and yearly thereafter to prevent serious vision problems.

Be sure to join us on the second Thursday of the month for diabetes support group as we discuss how to better manage your illness.  

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