Diabetes Solutions, Not Resolutions!

Stay on track to achieving your goals all year long

By Jen Nash, DClinPsych

How are those New Year's Resolutions going? Each year, research shows that many people's commitments to new goals are a distant memory by the second week of January, so if yours have gone too, don't despair. You're not alone!

A different and more achievable approach to goal setting is "solution seeking," particularly if your New Year's goals relate to health. After the excesses of the holiday season, many people have the motivation to set health-related resolutions, which of course can have a really positive effect on diabetes control.

So don't despair if you've broken those health-related resolutions already. We can often get caught up in a negative cycle of thinking about our "failure" to reach the goals we set for ourselves. To some extent this is natural. However, when it becomes the only way of responding to distress, it can become a negative spiral of low mood. Even when things are bad and everything feels like it's going wrong, there are days when things aren't quite as bad. Try rating your mood on a scale of 0-10, where 0 is very bad and 10 is excellent.

Creating Solutions

Start noticing what is different about the days when your mood and resolution-orientated behavior is a little better:

  • Who are you seeing or not seeing?
  • How much sleep have you had?
  • How much healthy food have you eaten?
  • What thoughts are you having?
  • What books are you reading?
  • What TV programs are you watching, or not?
  • What exercise have you done?
  • How much alcohol/how many cigarettes have you had?
  • How many interesting conversations have you had?
  • How much fun, have you had or not had?

Start noticing this for a week and see if there are any patterns. Try putting aside 10 minutes at the end of each day to sit down with a journal and write down the answers to these questions.

Do more of what helps you and less of what doesn't and your resolutions will live on throughout the whole year!

Dr. Jen Nash is a clinical psychologist who has lived with diabetes for more than 20 years. She runs www.PositiveDiabetes.com, an education, therapy and coaching service that supports people with type 1 and 2 to manage the emotional and psychological impact of day to day life with diabetes.

Read Dr. Nash's biography here.

Read more of Dr. Nash's columns.

NOTE: The information is not intended to be a replacement or substitute for consultation with a qualified medical professional or for professional medical advice related to diabetes or another medical condition. Please contact your physician or medical professional with any questions and concerns about your medical condition.

Last Modified Date: February 24, 2014

All content on dLife.com is created and reviewed in compliance with our editorial policy.

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56 Views 0 comments
by Brenda Bell
Many people say that depression is a side effect or complication of diabetes. Without discounting the association of the psychological condition with the physical one, I'm not convinced that our high and/or unstable glucose levels are directly responsible for that change in our mental state. My belief is that the unrelenting need for self-care, for following the sort of care schedules that can drive licensed, professional caregivers crazy, is what overwhelms us...
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