New Years 2014 Diabetes Care NetThe start of the New Year is often full of visions on achieving an improved self. Many people start the year with a New Year’s resolution. Do you know the best ways to make and keep your resolution for the year? Have you thought of possible resolutions that may help with your diabetes? Let’s discuss more about this and end with seven potential New Year’s resolutions to help you motivate and succeed at self- improvement.

Let’s start by all being on the same page with the definition of a New Year’s Resolution. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, it is a promise you make to yourself to start doing something good or stop doing something bad on the first day of the year.(1)

Many people make resolutions and then break them in a short period of time because they are difficult to keep. According to research conducted in 2012, approximately 45 percent of Americans usually make a New Year’s resolution.(2) Facts are that only 8 percent achieve their resolution and another 49 percent have infrequent success. It is discouraging to hear that 24 percent of people never succeed with their New Year’s resolution.(2) Thinking about these statistics, if you make a resolution, what are ways you will be more successful at keeping your promise to yourself to do something good or stop doing something bad?
  • Be explicit and very clear about the resolution you make. When people do this they are 10 times more likely to attain their goals.(2) 
  • Reach has shown that men and women need to follow slightly different paths statistically to obtain their goals.
  • Men are 22 percent more successful when they follow goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time based (SMART). Mini goals should be made and progress tracked.(3) An example of a diabetes related SMART goal is:
(I will first call my healthcare professional on January 2, 2014 to ask if this goal is safe for me.)

I will walk every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday for 15 minutes after finishing my breakfast and dinner. I will start my walk within 30 minutes of my last bite of food. After walking I will test my blood sugar.  I will set my timer on my telephone to remind me to walk. I will do this for the Months of January and February and then evaluate if I can add walking after lunch as well as breakfast and dinner on the last day in February. I will track my walking on my calendar every day.

Men need to focus on the end product of the resolution. When writing goals, they should also write down or have an actual picture of all the benefits of the resolution for yourself and those around you. You should have this list posted somewhere you look at it every day.(3) 

A few examples of benefits might be: 
  • Walking for 15 minutes after meals especially dinner will help to lower blood glucose for three hours or more. This will help reduce my blood glucose readings.(4)
  • For people with type 2 diabetes-Walking after eating a meal is more effective at lowering the glycemic impact of my meal compared with pre-meal exercise. It may help blunt my post meal blood glucose highs.(5)
  • For people with type 1 diabetes-Walking significantly impacts my postprandial excursions.(6) 

The University of Wisconsin La Crosse, has an excellent worksheet for planning your goals using the SMART approach.
  • Women are 10% more likely to be successful when they share their resolutions with others and when encouraged not to give up if they have a temporary lapse or setback.(3) Social support is found to be very helpful.
Women may also want to set SMART goals and to share them with others.

Seven Suggested New Year’s Resolutions for People with Diabetes
  1. On Sunday afternoons starting January 6th, I will plan my week of menus and go shopping for the ingredients. I will evaluate my success on the last day of January. (Benefits: you will better be able to stay on your meal plan.)
  2. Every Sunday night I will fill my weekly pill box with my oral medications prescribed and recommended by my physician. ( Benefits: by using a pill box, you will find it easier to keep track of medications taken) 
  3. I will check to make sure I have my glucometer and a supply of fast acting glucose with me before I go to the gym to exercise. I will start doing this immediately. (Benefits: for people on medication, such as insulin, that can potentially cause hypoglycemia- this insures they have supplies available to handle a hypoglycemic episode).
  4. I will take one hour on January 7th, 2014 between 2-3 pm to make appointments related to my diabetes for January, February and March. (Examples are your endocrinologist, eye doctor, foot doctor and diabetes educator. Benefits are that your appointments are made.)
  5. If weight loss is needed: I will call my diabetes educator/ dietitian on January 7th, 2014 and make an appointment to set up a meal plan to help me reduce my weight by 4 pounds per month. I will follow-up with the dietitian as she/he advises and work on a resolution with his/her advice. (Benefits- I will lose needed weight in a healthy way.)
  6. I will sign up for the community band on January 9th that meets every Thursday night at 7:00. PM to help me reduce stress. I will attend at least 3 times a month. (Benefits- I will reduce stress and meet new people.)
  7. Every Monday at 8:00 pm I will spend one hour reviewing the latest diabetes articles at diabetescare.net. (Benefit- I will keep up with the latest research on diabetes.) 
We here at diabetescare.net are very interested in you. Please let us know if you made a diabetes related resolution and share it with us. It may help you keep your resolution!

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6