Want to make a New Year’s resolution related to managing your diabetes more effectively? First, learn how to make a resolution that’s likely to be successful.
Happy holidays…..I’m Toby with Diabetes EveryDay…. Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel and I’d love to have you as a subscriber to my newsletter too. You can find that link on my website, diabeteseveryday.com.
So Christmas is over and maybe your diabetes management suffered some with all the food laying around since Halloween. Maybe the weather’s been unfavorable for your normal exercise.
Time for some massive changes….time for a comprehensive behavior turnaround by making that iconic New Year’s resolution. And really, could there be a better time to address all of your perceived lapses with diet and exercise in one swoop than January 1st, facing the worst of winter after having your whole life on a pandemic pause for 10 or 11 months? Throw in election adventures, uncertainty about a COVID relief package, stories about a mutated coronavirus….seems like the perfect time to overwhelm yourself with unreasonable expectations and guilt, doesn’t it?
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Well, of course, it’s not…New Year’s resolutions have a pretty poor record of success in the best of times. Every year I write about this and discourage us all to avoid promising ourselves things we can’t keep.
How can we keep up with our diabetes New Year’s resolutions?
Here’s a better idea……three easy steps. That is three small steps.
Step 1: choose which health goal you want to focus on. Start with one goal. Take some time to think it through. Don’t get hung up on New Year’s Day.
What’s most important to your health? Is it a healthy eating goal, a being active goal, or a checking blood sugar goal? These are just some examples. The key is to keep our goals small so they are achievable. So if you want to lose weight, know that is a big goal and in order to achieve it, we need to break down the behaviors into goals. So let’s use the example of overall wanting to lose weight as our big goal
Step 2: We want to make sure our goals are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Let’s look at the behaviors associated with our big goal of losing weight…We want to set up these goals following the SMART concept…
For a weight loss goal, We may want to try adding more activity to our day and set up our goal as “I will include at least 10 minutes of walking outside every other day and if the weather is not conducive, I will use an activity app or log into youtube for an exercise class in my house or apartment for at least 10 minutes every other day for the next four weeks.”
Step 3: Keep track– You know yourself best on what works and doesn’t work. To keep us on track we can set up reminders on our cell phones, calendars, apps, or an exercise journal for this particular goal we have set up. Once we have achieved the goal, it’s time to set up the next goal.
So…when we have been exercising for at least 10 minutes every other day, let’s move the time allotment to 15 or 20 minutes every other day or whatever feels comfortable to you for moving forward.
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I’ve just listed a three-step process for setting goals but there’s one more important point…have fun. If walking for 10 minutes doesn’t sound like fun, tweak the goal by adding a phone call to your walk to catch up with a friend or family member OR replace walking with dancing, put on some music in the house, and dance for 10 minutes.
We don’t want to feel overwhelmed as we typically won’t stick with our goal if it’s too big so if any of these ideas feel too overwhelming, scale it back to a smaller goal. Try not to get caught up in the New Year’s pressure, where commitments are likely to be spur of the moment, not specific enough, and too broad. Increase your chance for success….think it through first. Being successful will motivate you to set the next goal. I recently saw a quote that I love and want to share with you – Don’t wait until you reach your goal to be proud of yourself. Be proud of every step you take.
Until next time, Cheers to your health.
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