Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Staying motivated to address the responsibilities of diabetes management day after day isn’t easy, but I have 10 tips to share that might help. And these tips come courtesy of Dr. Beverly Adler, clinical psychologist, diabetes care and education specialist, and, like me, a person trying to stay motivated every day to manage her own diabetes. How’s that for credibility?
How to Stay Motivated
Today’s video really hits home for me as it probably will for most people – how to stay motivated to manage your diabetes.
I’m lucky enough to have a friend and colleague, Dr. Beverly Adler, who is a clinical psychologist and a diabetes care and education specialist AND has diabetes too. She has shared with me 10 great tips for staying motivated. And, just to let you know, these tips can work for other behaviors. I turned to these tips recently as I started playing two new physical activities that have been on my bucket list… pickleball and golf.
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10 Ways to Stay Motivated to Manage Your Diabetes
Here is Dr. Bev’s list of 10 ways to stay motivated to manage your diabetes.
- Believe in yourself. Self-confidence and a belief in your own ability are essential. Research shows this attitude results in an ability to view difficult goals as a challenge instead of being beyond your abilities. For you to achieve your goals, you must be self-confident and believe in yourself. And of course to have self confidence you have to learn how to successfully manage diabetes.
- Positive thinking. It’s important to look at things positively. Your thoughts can have a major influence on whether you succeed or fail. Negative thoughts can derail your efforts at diabetes management before you even give it a try. Challenge your negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones. A positive outlook leads to a positive outcome.
- Set goals. First, determine your direction through effective goal setting. Your goals should be clear, measurable, specific and based on behavior, not outcomes. Goals should be difficult enough to be interesting, but not so difficult that you can’t reach them. Monitor your progress towards your goals. For you to achieve your goals, you must set up “baby steps” for success.
- Worry less. Worrying about the future with diabetes doesn’t take away tomorrow’s troubles, it takes away today’s peace. For you to achieve your goals, you must be a warrior, not a worrier.
- Take it one day at a time. If you need to break down one day at a time even further, take it one activity at a time or one meal at a time. When you look at it from that perspective, it’s not so overwhelming. For you to achieve your goals, taking things one day at a time can keep your life, and your diabetes, very manageable.
- Be kind to yourself. Treat yourself with compassion. Self-compassion is the ability to soothe yourself, recognize your mistakes, learn from them, and motivate yourself to succeed. Self-compassion is also correlated with reduced levels of anxiety, depression, stress, and shame. For you to achieve your goals, you must learn to treat yourself as you would treat others in need – with kindness, warmth, and respect.
- Keep a sense of humor. Humor can be used as a healthy coping strategy to help motivate and manage your diabetes. Psychologists see humor as a character strength. Humor can help reduce stress, which can help lower blood glucose levels. For you to achieve your goals, humor can be used as a healthy strategy to help overcome challenges and enhance your life and your motivation.
- Nobody is perfect. Perfection is a myth. Nobody can manage their diabetes perfectly. With that understanding, you can let go of feelings of guilt and frustration and anger. For you to achieve your goals, you must try to do the best that you can, without focusing on being perfect.
- Don’t compare yourself to others. It’s your diabetes to manage. If you listen to “horror stories” about somebody’s grandmother, you can start to feel helpless and assume that a similar fate awaits you. If you listen to success stories, you can feel hopeless and discouraged in comparison to your own management. For you to achieve your goals, you must empower yourself and individualize your management at your own pace.
- Never give up. For you to achieve your goals you must remember: diabetes won’t quit, neither can you.
These are absolutely perfect, and remember this professional advice comes from someone who thrives with diabetes every day. All I can add is a couple of simple reminders about diabetes management. First, it’s never too late to start. Second, every little bit helps…. it’s about averages. Watch my recent video “5 Basic Must-Dos For Managing Your Diabetes” to make sure you’re on the right road.
My thanks again for this priceless advice to Dr. Adler, and I’ll see you next time.
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