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New Year, New Goals – Managing Your Diabetes in 2012, Part 2

Jane@Unity:
Welcome to the Unity Diabetes Online Community! I’m Jane Giambrone. I’m glad you could join us for our latest online chat today. Today I will share some more thoughts on setting goals – and achieving them – for managing your diabetes this year.
Jane@Unity:
Before we get started let me just tell you how we’ll address your questions and comments today. I answer questions one at a time, in the order that they are posted to the site, and there might be a slight delay as I respond to each question.
Jane@Unity:
It may take a few minutes for me to type answers to your questions, so please stay logged-in to the chat to see my response, even if it takes a few minutes. And you might need to refresh every few minutes to keep up with the latest posts in the chat if you switch to another application on your computer.
Jane@Unity:
Tonight we have a specific topic that we want to focus on for the most part, but please feel free to ask any questions you might have, whether they’re related to the topic or not – we want this chat to benefit you in any way possible! Let’s get started.
Jane@Unity:
I am a Certified Diabetes Nurse and a Certified Professional Coach. I want to assist individuals to reach their goals.
Jane@Unity:
Sometimes we can be unrealistic with setting our goal. We may be enthusiastic at first when we set the goal but then we are unable to follow and accomplish the goal we set for ourself; the result is disappointment. It is time then to “redraw the map plotted for ourself in order to find another route to our goal.”
Jane@Unity:
An example of this is recently in one of my Managing Diabetes classes. It is common that the participants set a goal for themselves. One woman said she set a goal of exercising 30 minutes 2x/day for 6 days. I thought it may be an unrealistic target for her with this goal. She was adamant in keeping this goal.
Jane@Unity:
When this woman came back the next week she was unhappy with herself because she did not accomplish the goal she set. I worked with her to help her find “another route to her goal.” She revised her goal to: Exercising 1x/day for 30 minutes 4x/week. This behavior she was able to change.
Jane@Unity:
She learned that it was valuable to make her goal more manageable.
kdf:
any tips to make a goal more manageable so you can meet it?
Jane@Unity:
Anybody have a dietary or exercise goal?
Jane@Unity:
Thanks kdf for that question. It is important to make the goal very specific, manageable, attainable, realistic and timely. (SMART goal) For example: “I will walk 10 minutes a day for 5 days."
kdf:
I've heard that acronym before – is that a common approach to help people with diabetes manage their diet, etc.?
Jane@Unity:
Another SMART goal would be...I will eat 2 fruit servings and 3 vegetable servings 2 days a week for 1 week. Then I will eat 2 fruit servings and 3 vegetable servings for 3 days the second week.
Jane@Unity:
Yes kdf. It is a GREAT way for people with diabetes to manage their diabetes.
Jane@Unity:
kdf, were you on the last online chat with me the beginning of January?
kdf:
Yes I was.
Jane@Unity:
Awesome!
Jane@Unity:
What was your goal back in January?
kdf:
I was trying to drink more water everyday.
Jane@Unity:
How did that go? Specifically, how much water did you put as a goal that you would drink a day?
kdf:
I think I said I would try to drink 3-4 glasses a day. It's going OK – some days I do better than others. The good thing is that I am trying to keep it top of mind every day!
Jane@Unity:
How many glasses a day did you drink/days out of the week?
kdf:
Probably 3 glasses about 4 days a week.
Jane@Unity:
Way to go! That is so good. It is probably better than what you were doing before.
Jane@Unity:
As you said, "You are keeping it on top of your mind every day," this is the beauty of goals. You become more aware on a daily basis of what you want to accomplish.
kdf:
I have some friends doing that Eat Well Live Well challenge from Wegmans – that's kind of like a SMART goal for diet and exercise isn't it?
Jane@Unity:
To make it more of a reality it is recommended to write goals down.
kdf:
Anybody else ever tried Eat Well Live Well?
Jane@Unity:
kdf, yes, it is like a SMART goal. There is a group working on the goals, the goals are specific and the goals are time framed. What is fun is having support.
Jane@Unity:
Another success story from my Managing Diabetes classes is with a man who never checked his blood sugar. One of his goals in the class was to start checking his blood sugar daily. He accomplished his goal and by the end of the class he even was checking his blood sugar 2x/day. He was glad he made this goal.
Jane@Unity:
kdf, thinking about the goal you set about drinking the water...were there any obstacles in attaining your goal?
kdf:
Really I just don't take the time to do it.
Jane@Unity:
How important is it for you to achieve this?
kdf:
It's pretty important because I know it will improve my overall health.
Jane@Unity:
I hear this is important to you. Starting this month will you be willing to take the time to do it?
kdf:
Yes – even making small progress makes me feel better about it.
Jane@Unity:
OK. Great! What will you do? Would you be willing to increase 3 glasses about 4 days per week to 3 glasses about 5 days a week?
kdf:
I'll try!
Jane@Unity:
I like that you are willing to try. I am going to challenge you to not try but to commit. Will you commit to drink 3 glasses 5 days a week for 1 month? I once heard you do not try; you either do or you do not.
kdf:
OK – I will do it!
Jane@Unity:
Excellent! Write your goal down and you are sure to achieve it!
Jane@Unity:
That’s all the time we have for today. I’ve really enjoyed our conversation and hope that I was able to provide some insight for you about setting goals for managing your diabetes this year.
Jane@Unity:
If we didn’t get to your question today or if you think of another question later on – feel free to jump into the conversation in the forum, or submit a question using our “Ask an expert” feature. Be sure to join us for our next chat Wednesday, February 15 at 7 p.m. with Dr. Rajamani. He’ll be answering any and all diabetes-related questions.
 
 
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