If the crowded gyms and weight loss meetings in January are any indication, healthy living and weight loss are top resolutions for the New Year. Everyone wants to be healthier, more organized, and less stressed. When you are reviewing your goals for a “new year, new you,” do you set diabetes goals? Do you have to?
If you are helping to manage type 1 for your child, you are not alone in wanting to improve your child’s diabetes management. For example, do you want to lower your kid’s A1C? Of course you do, but, that is a big goal! If you want to increase the likelihood of reaching that goal, break it down into smaller, SMART goals you can periodically celebrate. SMART goals are:
- Specific. It is difficult to measure and see progress if your goal is too general. Make specific goals and write them down to help you commit. You could even put them on the refrigerator where you and your child can see them. REMEMBER: monitor your progress.
- Measurable. “Be healthier”, “better blood sugars”. What does that mean? How do you measure progress? Commit to something positive such as eating a green vegetable 5 nights with dinner, logging your blood sugars daily, or decrease missed meal boluses. You can better monitor both your progress and challenges so you can make adjustments accordingly.
- Attainable. Goal setting is not a time to be a dreamer – set goals you can reasonably attain. These small wins will help you stay on target to reach your ultimate goals.
- Relevant. Make sure your smaller targets are relevant to the end-game. Consider these smaller goals as steps up the ladder – if achieving the goal doesn’t help further your cause, find another one.
- Time-bound. Give yourself a deadline. This way you can measure your progress and you will be forced to see the shortening time period and work to achieve the goal.
If you want to increase your likelihood of success, make your child a part of the process. Your child may have an idea about how to reach their goals or they may even have a suggestion. Giving the child a mandate that they “need to do better” probably will not get the result you intend. If you get push back from your child or need a little guidance setting up a plan, ask your healthcare provider. You could even put the list of goals on the refrigerator where you and your child can see their accomplishments.
Remember, one of the best diabetes resolutions that you can make is to see your provider as recommended and make sure you and your child actively participates in the discussion. Then, go home and follow the advice!
Happy New Year from DYS. We hope you have a fantastic 2018!