How to find your WHY in diabetes management
There is a reason that we choose one thing over another, one path vs another.
I go to the dentist to prevent cavities; I take my car with oil changes and maintenance to keep it running well and prevent a breakdown. I, like many people go to the gym. Why? Some go to lose weight, some for rehab after an injury, some to keep their heart healthy…there are a lot of reasons.
It boils down to a goal which starts with an IF/THEN type of plan. IF I go to the gym, THEN I’ll look good at my class reunion, prevent weight gain, etc. Everyone makes a choice to get to a final goal.
When you live with a chronic condition like diabetes, we make lots and lots of little choices every day that all equate to one goal – a glucose value that we feel good about.
What about long term though – do you know why you make the decisions day to day that you do for management? Have you defined a long term why or even just a short term one?
I’ve found personally, and professionally with all the people I have the privilege to work with, that if a goal is defined it makes it easier to achieve. And, if that goal is a personal one that really means something to you, speaks to you, then you are more likely to stick with the changes you’ll implement to get to that goal and stick with it long term.
Think of all the things you do every day. Think how diabetes fits in and what you have to do to manage. Sometimes it can be overwhelming and sometimes you feel defeated in what happened versus what you tried to achieve. If you had a goal that you can keep in the front of your mind, or a mantra to recite to keep you on track, would that help? Most often, the answer is yes – the goal keeps you going even after a less than perfect outcome along the way.
Now, try to think of one definable reason you are doing all these things to manage your glucose through the day. What is it that drives you to “keep on keeping on” with these day to day variables? I have many reasons…I want to prevent those complications we hear so much about, I want to maintain insulin sensitivity, I want to have a healthy heart, I want to be around to see the beautiful boys I have grow into wonderful men. I could go on and on, however, I choose to pick one thing to focus on as my WHY about every 2 months. I keep it fresh as a focus, so I don’t lose my long-term goal – healthy life with diabetes.
This month I am focusing on logging food intake. What is my WHY? I want to move into the holidays with solid habits I can stick with while so many other things get in the way.
Everyone’s WHY is different – a woman might pick their WHY for something like planning a healthy start to pregnancy, a teen might pick their WHY for improving performance in their favorite sport, a person with a family history of heart attacks might want to keep their heart healthy, etc. The same thing won’t work for everyone, even though we all have the same goal with diabetes – glucose control. Evaluate what you need to work on and define a WHY for yourself that speaks to you personally. If you do something now than in the long run, you’ll be one step ahead to your goal.
If you just can’t find a focus and need some help defining what is important to you, give us a call at Integrated Diabetes. We all live with diabetes; we’ve defined our own WHY many times and have helped a lot of people define theirs for healthy long-term outcomes.
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