Five SMART Tips for Achieving Diabetes Management Goals

When you’re challenged to begin a new routine, it always takes some time to adapt. Temptations often reel us back into our old ways, or familiar behaviors. Adjusting to the extra work that managing diabetes requires, and a new routine and new schedule, staying consistent is challenging. Things need to evolve with our new choices. Its a fact that you’ve got to embrace to be successful.

Once you overcome these common stumbling blocks, the rewards are numerous. Not to mention living an awesome life.

At One Drop we say “diabetes is hard, it doesn’t have to be.” Here are five easy tips for being SMART in achieving your diabetes management goals. (SMART = Specific Measurable Accountable Realistic Timeframe)

Specific

Goals are easier to meet when they are clearly defined. For example, “I am going to have protein-packed eggs for breakfast this week instead of a high-sugar cereal.” Take the time to write down your specific goals for staying in range. In a study on goal-setting, Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at Dominican University in California, found that participants were 42 percent more likely to achieve their goals just by writing them down.

PRO TIP: Use “My Settings” in the One Drop app to define your Glucose Range, then use the gray line in the ME stream graph to view your progress each day – “in” the line is in-range, “out” of the line is out of range.

Measurable

You know that tired feeling or spike you get sometimes after a big meal? That response can be traced straight back to your food choices and activities from earlier in the day. Measuring your behaviors is one of the easiest ways to stay one step ahead of a high or low. Start by saying, “I’m going to shoot to stay in range all day today.” Recording your levels, meals, insulin or meds, will help you measure your success.

PRO TIP: While logging your moments in One Drop, notice how your body responds to your choices. As you conquer your day like a true diabetes badass, use this holistic picture to inform your decisions.

Accountable

You’re not in this alone. Share your diabetes management goals with a friend and ask them to hold you accountable – but it’s ok to ask them to give you a break once in a while too. The American Society of Training and Development found those who shared their goals with a friend were 65 percent more likely to succeed. By having a follow-up conversation about their progress, the probability of achieving their goal increased to 95 percent. Now those are pretty awesome odds!

PRO TIP: Utilize One Drop for community support. Find similarities and comfort in viewing the journey of others just like you. Everyone on One Drop struggles with the same choices. See someone doing a great job? Give stickers to others to offer a virtual “fist bump” and send positive encouragement.

Realistic

If you do not exercise frequently, don’t set a goal of running three miles per day, seven days a week. Not going to happen right away. Diabetes is a marathon not a sprint. Unrealistic goals can cause you to become discouraged. Set goals that are realistic and achievable. Start by walking 30 minutes per day, three times per week. Once you’re consistently exercising three days a week, give yourself a new challenge. Then, up your game!

PRO TIP: View all your activity progress over time in One Drop’s “Personal Analysis” view.

Timeframe

According to Phillippa Lally, health psychology researcher at University College London, it takes an average of 66 days for a new behavior to become automatic. Therefore, give yourself a reasonable timeframe to accomplish your goals. Two months may seem daunting now, but your dedication will have great reward. Never give up — great things take time.

PRO TIP: Don’t beat yourself up if you miss an entry or two in One Drop. Our friendly notification reminders will get you back on track.

Of course the most important factor in achieving your goals is celebrating milestones. Treat yourself for making progress each step of the way. No accomplishment is too small!

Use each prick of your finger as a “sharp reminder” to fully appreciate each and every moment in your life. This is an opportunity to be empowered, mindful, and motivated to make the most of every day. Seize it!

Stay SMART!

If you haven’t downloaded the iOS app yet, here it is. Also, Share your diabetes “lifehack” stories with us at just@onedrop.today for the chance to be featured in an upcoming blog post, and thanks!

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Jeff Dachis
Jeff Dachis

Jeff Dachis is CEO and Founder of One Drop. Type 1 LADA since September, 2013. Low carb, Pescatarean. Skier, Runner, Cyclist. DJ. West Side Story fanatic. Cheese lover. @jeffdachis