Living with Diabetes can be very overwhelming, especially in the beginning. No matter if you are diagnosed with Type 1, Type 2, or gestational diabetes, there are some changes in diet and lifestyle that must happen. Understand that change takes time and it is important to find ways to implement goals to fit your new lifestyle.
It is important to set lifestyle goals because they give you a purpose and something to strive for. We make goals all the time, such as regularly studying to graduate college or going to the gym three times per week. Goals should be catered to your life and achievable to the individual.
One way to create achievable goals is by following S.M.A.R.T. goals
Specific – What do you want to achieve? How long will it take to achieve?
Measurable – Decide how you’ll measure the goal.
Achievable – Tracking progress can help you realize if this goal is achievable in your life
Realistic –You want to feel that you will be able to reach the end goal. If it seems unimaginable you could make smaller goals along the way to make it easier and feel successful.
Timed – Create a timeline to stay motivated to reach your goal
You can read more about How to Set and Achieve SMART Goals — in Life and Diabetes.
We know that one of the first goals for a person with diabetes is to keep their blood sugar levels under control. But what comes after that? Here are some Long-Term goals to think about:
1. Manage Cholesterol Levels
We need cholesterol but more of the HDL “good” than the LDL “bad”. We can do this by:
- Avoiding trans-fat and limit Saturated fats in the diet
- Avoiding smoking
- Having regular physical activity
- Talking to your doctor about medication regimens
Check out a full list of Fatty Foods and Diabetes.
2. Stop Smoking
- Increase the risk of heart disease
- Increase the risk of eye problems
- Create poor circulation of blood flow
3. Check up with your health care providers
Eyes and Feet can be seriously affected by diabetes over time. Make sure you follow these routine exams:
- Check your feet daily for wounds
- Have a doctor examine your feet at every visit
- Have a dilated eye exam once a year to lower the risk of eye conditions like glaucoma or cataracts
Check out a full list of What You can do to Protect Your Eyes.
4. Manage chronic stress
Find something that you like to do and find time for it daily or several times a week. Some activities that help with stress management are:
- Going to the gym and/or running
5. Maintain a healthy weight
- Set a goal to increase physical activity if your weight has plateaued
- Get enough sleep
- Set aside time to destress
If you are struggling with weight right now, check out our expert’s tips on weight management during COVID-19.
6. Keep a record of your blood sugar levels
- Allows your doctor to know how you are doing
- Allows you to know how your blood sugar responds to foods, exercise, and stress levels