Goals: they’re incredibly important to establish and to write down. Do not forget the WRITE DOWN portion. Without having a visual reminder of what you want to change or improve on, it is not likely going to result in change.
That’s why day 29 of the #happydiabeticchallenge is all about setting goals and posting them for all to see! Hopefully the positive support and encouragement from the diabetes online community will help you reach and surpass your goals.
I’ve found that by posting my intentions, I was able to stick to them better. I needed that portion of accountability. Here are a few examples:
I didn’t always have great control. At the end of 2016, I really decided to transform my life. 2017 was really a year of experimentation with eating low carb and sticking to it. I wrote a blog post about that goals journey here. (You can also read about low carb basics, here.)
Finally, on to my goal for my future. I’m not putting an end date on mine. It’s a forever goal and it’s definitely attainable. I want to maintain an A1C below 5.5%. It is my ULTIMATE goal to reach the 4%’s though.
To reach my goal: I’ve said it a million times, but eating low carb has given me my life back. I am not constantly chasing high and low blood sugars. I am maintaining stable blood sugars, even after eating! It’s the law of small numbers: less carbs = less insulin = less fluctuation. There are two books that really helped motivate me, you can find them here. When I am diligent and thoughtful on what I put into my body, it is actually relatively easy for me to maintain normal blood sugars. It wasn’t always this way though.
Realize wherever you are on your journey, you’re going in the right direction! Maybe you simply want to test your blood sugar more often, that’s ok. Maybe you want to lower your A1C. There are so many things we can work on, so realize your goal is just as important as anyone else’s.
Tips to help you reach your goal(s):
- WRITE THEM DOWN.
- Make them SMART. Specific. Measurable. Attainable. Relevant. Timely.
- Be precise and descriptive. Why this goal? How will you reach it?
- Make your goals attainable. Don’t set something that you are not likely to reach, but also don’t be too easy on yourself.
- Involve others, if you want to. Making your goals known to others can help with accountability.
Here are some diabetes tips that have helped me:
- Control: lowering my “high” threshold on my CGM helped me be more cognizant of when my blood sugar was trending high. Factory settings on a lot of devices are 200+ mg/dl. When I first lowered mine, I put it at 150 mg/dl, then eventually down to 120 mg/dl (I would do 110 mg/dl, but Dexcom’s lowest setting is 120 mg/dl).
- Test: test your blood sugar, often. Even though I wear a CGM, I still like to test my blood sugar so that I know the device is accurate, especially if it’s acting funny. When I don’t have my CGM on, I am usually testing 10-12 times per day! Without data (blood sugars), you cannot make accurate decisions.
- Respond: take action on your blood sugar readings. If you’re out of range, get back IN range. For highs, take the correct amount to bring you back to normal range. Avoid stacking insulin, aka, wait for the first injection to run its course before injecting more insulin. Don’t over-treat lows. This is HUGE. Try not to eat the entire fridge. By using glucose tabs, you’re getting the scientifically fastest response, plus you’re not likely to over eat them. Refusing to “treat” lows is a healthy mindset.
- Food: I realize I am a bit more “intense” than others may want to be when it comes to eating low carb. However, replacing or eliminating certain problem foods can dramatically help gain control. It also takes the guessing game out of diabetes (for the most part). High blood sugar? Skip the pizza (forever). Easy Cheesy.
- Connect: getting to know so many people in the diabetes online community can be a tremendous help in not feeling alone. Sometimes just knowing that there are others out there with the same disease is uplifting. Share stories, share ideas, share friendliness!
I hope the above tips are helpful for you and you gain confidence to make goals and the skills to break them. I never would have imagined that I would be setting diabetes goals, but it has been a game changer!
Share your goal(s) below!
Let me know of your progress too.