The beginning of a new year is a perfect time to think about establishing new personal goals, or change habits. Some would say: “My New Year’s resolution is to take care of my overall health, especially managing my diabetes”. By saying these words and working on a plan, the beginning of a new year can be seen as a new beginning.
Diabetes resolutions for the New Year are a good way of getting back on the diabetes management track, especially after the holiday season. Diabetes management can be very daunting. Managing diabetes means: making healthy food choices; watching weight and glucose level targets; taking medication; being physically active; and coping with stress levels. Even for people who are aware of how to improve their health and manage diabetes, figuring it out and learning how best to fit it into the daily routine can be a big challenge. What part of the management process do you wish to start on?
The following points may assist you with diabetes in making this decision:
1. What piece of the diabetic management process is important to you and your health?
2. Choose one goal to work on first.
3. Identify the steps to take to reach the goal, such as a walk a day. How long can you walk for? What time of the day works best? Where can I go for a walk? What clothes do I need to wear?
4. Do not give up. Change takes time. Please remember - it is very hard for a person to change and adapt immediately. Sometimes the change starts to occur, so it may become one step forward to change and then two steps back. Consistent change can take a long time to occur. Sometimes up to seven times of one step forward to two steps back behaviour before effective permanent change.
5. Looking at the goal and the steps to reach the goal as an experiment. If the experiment does not work the first time, review and change and establish a new experiment. Viewing it in this way may decrease the expectation and feeling of failure when consistent change does not occur.
What or who can help with your New Year’s resolution?
1. Talk with your family members, friends, and/or work colleagues about your resolution. You may find others who want to go for walks, lose weight or want help as well with managing their diabetes
2. Join a type 1 or type 2 support group
3. Discuss your plan with your diabetes team nurse, dietitian, pharmacist, social worker, physiotherapist, and/or endocrinologist
4. Write down your plan and post it on the fridge
5. Congratulate yourself on any progress
6. Remember small steps