Happy New Year! It’s that time of year again to look back on the past and reflect. What health goals were you able to accomplish? Were any of your diabetes management goals unmet?
If you weren’t able to fully achieve your goals last year that is OK. This is a great opportunity to step back and reset. It’s important to know where you are going and to stay motivated until you get there. My goal is for you to have the tools and confidence to set and accomplish your diabetes management goals for 2023.
Step 1: Find Your Motivation
Think about what motivates you to make healthy changes. For example:
- You know someone who has suffered complications from uncontrolled diabetes that you want to avoid
- You want to be as healthy as possible to be there for your family
- You want to feel better and have more energy for playing with your children/grandchildren
- You’d like to reduce the number of mediations you currently take
Write down what motivates you on a piece of paper. Put this somewhere that you will see often as your reminder for why you are making this change.
Step 2: Set Goals that are Specific and Realistic
It’s important to make your goals specific. Setting a specific goal will help you know what you want to achieve and when you’ve achieved it.
Your goals should also be realistic. If you make your goal realistic, you are more likely meet it, and that success can help motivate you to set more goals and continue making progress over time.
For example: “I’m going to eat healthy” and “I’m going to exercise more” are two realistic goals, but not very specific. To make these goals more specific, I’d change make the following changes.
Instead of “I’m going to eat healthy” consider this:
- “I’m going to eat at 1 serving of vegetables with lunch and supper each day”
- “I will reduce my dessert intake from every night to only 3 nights per week”
Instead of “I’m going to exercise more” consider this:
- “I’m going to walk for 15 minutes after supper 5 nights each week”
- “I’m going to get up and walk for 5 minutes during TV commercial breaks while watching football on Saturday and Sunday”
Step 3: Set Up a Plan to Help You Achieve Your Goals
After you have set your goals, make up a plan to help you achieve them. By creating a plan, you are creating actionable tasks that can help you work towards achieving your goals.
For example: If your goal is to eat more vegetables, you might consider:
- Do you have vegetables available in kitchen or do you need to get to the grocery store?
- Do you need to look up any new recipes?
- Track your progress (journal, phone app, etc). This will help you stay on track and accountable over time.
Step 4: Join a Diabetes Support Group
A Diabetes Support Group is a great tool to keep you on top of your diabetes management and nutrition goals. Not only do you get great tips on managing your diabetes and making changes to live your life to the fullest, but you’ll also join a community of people working on the same nutritional goals as you.
I hope you can join us on January 12th for our first monthly Diabetes Support Group of 2023. There is a virtual meeting at 11am via zoom and an in-person meeting at noon where we will discuss successful goal-setting tips and set your own specific & realistic goals for the new year. If you are interested in attending either meeting, please call the NMC Health Diabetes Education office at 316.804.6147 or sign up below.