Do you have a goal for your Diabetes management? Is it a small goal, or a large goal? Is it something that you need to do before even starting to take care of yourself? The AADE 7 Self-Care Behaviors, are seven behaviors designed for you to focus on specific areas that you would like to improve. (1) The seven behaviors are; Healthy Eating, Being Active, Monitoring, Healthy Coping, Reducing Risks, Problem Solving, and Taking Medication. What is your goal? 

setting appropriate goals for diabetes managementMost individuals focus on healthy eating and being active, however remember three things affect your blood glucose, food, activity and medication. Missing medication is a huge problem most people are facing. Whether they have difficulty remembering, or simply ignoring it, we need to take our medication. 

What area do you want to work on, or think you need improvement in? What is your goal? Pick one goal; make it simple, specific and achievable. 

Healthy Eating:

Have you ever taken any healthy eating classes or carb counting classes? Do you know how certain foods affect your blood glucose? Are there changes that you can make to your diet that will help your diabetes? 
Healthy eating is important when trying to control your glucose levels. If your goal is healthier eating, make it specific.  

Examples of healthy eating goals: I will eat vegetables nightly at dinner. I will stop drinking soda. I will switch from whole milk to 1% or skim milk. 

Being Active: 

What do you like to do? Walking, swimming, and running are examples of being active. Remember when starting a new program, speak with your physician and start slow and gradually increase your activity duration over time. Physical activity can improve cholesterol, blood pressure and glucose levels. Find something you like to do, and move. If being more active is your goal, be specific about how you want to be more active. 

Examples of being active goals: I will join a gym and go three times per week. I will take a walk for 30 minutes three times per week.

Taking Medication:

It is very difficult to manage your diabetes if you’re not consistent when taking your medication. It is important to work on timing and correct dosing of your medication. Are you taking your insulin correctly? Are you priming your pen? Make sure to ask questions when you meet with your Diabetes Educator.  Remember type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease, and at some point you may need additional medication. If you don’t take your medication consistently, this should be one of your goals.

Examples of taking medication goals: I will put my pills in a pill box. I will carry my insulin with me. I will put a reminder note to bring my medication near the front door.

Healthy Coping:

Are you dealing with a lot of stress and or depression? These things can make it substantially more difficult to manage your diabetes. Have you lost your motivation? Is it a challenge to do every day activities like taking your medication or checking your glucose? Discuss your feelings with health care provider. If you have difficulty with depression or anxiety, make healthy coping one of your goals. Depression is common in people with diabetes – learn more about diabetes and depression

Examples of healthy coping goals: I will make time for myself. I will discuss my feelings with my doctor. I will be proactive with my mental health.

Monitoring:

Do you know how food, exercise and medication affect your glucose levels? Are you checking your glucose daily? Do you know the best times to check your glucose? Do you carry your meter with you? Do you know your glucose goals? If you can’t answer ‘Yes’ to each of these questions, monitoring should be one of your goals.

Examples of monitoring goals: I will check my fasting glucose daily. I will check my blood glucose 2 hours after my largest meal. I will check my glucose before each meal. I will know my blood glucose goals and strive for them daily. 

Problem Solving:

You live with Diabetes on a day-to-day basis. Do you know how to problem solve effectively; what to do if your glucose is high or low?  Have you problem solved lately? It’s important to know what to do when certain situations arise. If you aren’t sure what to do if your glucose is low, or high, or how to treat it; problem solving should be one of your goals.

Examples of problem solving goals: I will treat low glucose properly. I will check my glucose 2 hours after certain foods to see what happens.

Reducing Risks:

Have you had a recent flu shot, or an eye, dental or foot exam? Have you had your yearly physical? It significantly helps prevent complications from Diabetes, by having routine exams. If routine exams and appointments with certified diabetes educators, your primary doctor and specialty doctors aren’t typical for you-make reducing risks one of your goals.

Examples of reducing risks goals: I will schedule an eye exam. I will schedule a dental exam. I will visit the podiatrist. I will make my appointment for a yearly physical.

Tracking your progress is an important step to help achieve your goals and stay on track. Sign up for our free Diabetes MyCare Tracker to start tracking your blood glucose levels, diet, exercise and medication. Keep with your goals and make real progress. Good luck!

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