If you have diabetes, you know it can be a challenge to manage blood glucose levels on a day-to-day basis. In order to successfully manage blood glucose levels, you have to make adjustments and implement different lifestyle choices on a continual basis, not just at New Year’s.
Instead of focusing on New Year’s resolutions that involve specific lifestyle choices that you implement once a year, try focusing on implementing tools that will help you get focused and stay on track with your diabetes management all year round.
In this article, we’ll present some tools that you can incorporate into your diabetes management plan this year to help you succeed in making lifestyle changes and therefore help you successfully manage blood glucose levels.
Start the New Year with a New Insulin Pump
Today, insulin pumps come with convenient features that help individuals with diabetes manage blood sugar levels more easily, and that can also help prevent potential health complications. For example, an insulin pump with smartphone styling that can predict and help prevent blood sugar lows. With this insulin pump, the ability to see trends in blood glucose levels throughout the day can help you stay on track and be aware of any downward and potentially dangerous trends in blood glucose levels. If you see that your previous readings are decreasing, you can make the appropriate adjustments to avoid a hypoglycemic episode (severe low blood sugar). Talk to your doctor about trying out a new insulin pump and how modern features can help you prevent potential health complications.
Enroll in Educational Classes
Learning about diabetes and new methods in diabetes care is a great way to take control of your health. Some hospitals offer a series of diabetes education classes for patients. Classes may include information on how diabetes develops, meal planning, and the importance of properly managing blood glucose levels. You can also look for a diabetes education center in your area by searching the American Association of Diabetes Educators website.
Follow the S.M.A.R.T System
If you need to make a lifestyle change that will help you better manage your blood glucose levels, like getting more exercise, try setting goals that you can stick to and that are attainable. The S.M.A.R.T system for goal setting is a great tool to help anyone looking to make changes in their life approach goals in a motivational and attainable way.
S.M.A.R.T stands for:
Specific: your goal should outline exactly what you want to accomplish; for example, “I want to take a walk in my neighborhood for 30 minutes, every day for the next three months to lower my A1C levels.”
Measurable: outline how you will measure your progress and if you’re meeting your goal.
Achievable: the goal should be attainable, even though it may require an extra effort. You may want to have a plan in place for how you can achieve your goal; for example, “I’ll take my walk after getting home from work, before cooking dinner.”
Relevant: choose a goal that is realistic and results-based so that you’re capable of achieving it. For example, “I want to bench press 150 pounds in 2 weeks,” if you’re not currently physically active, is not a realistic goal.
Time-bound: Set a deadline for accomplishing the goal.
If you’re interested in trying the S.M.A.R.T goals method, you can download a worksheet template here.
Finding support is a big part of diabetes management. Let your friends and family know about new goals you’ve set for yourself and how you want to improve your diabetes management plan. That way, on days when you don’t feel very motivated, or if you feel frustrated, you can turn to them for support.