With New Year’s Eve only days away, we’re likely to find ourselves reflecting on the ups and downs of the past year. For the diabetics among us, it’s worth also reflecting on the successes and failures in our diabetes management. After all, the importance of effective diabetes management can hardly be overstated; failing to effectively manage blood sugar levels over a lifetime can lead to very severe complications, while persistent, effective treatment can allow for a relatively healthy and normal life.

In this article, we provide some food-for-thought to help you pick some resolutions that your future self will thank you for, as well as some tips on following through to accomplish whichever goals you set this year.

Sticking to Your Goals

Setting resolutions is a piece of cake but sticking to them is another beast entirely. To avoid finding yourself in the same position this time next year, consider the following tips for seeing your resolutions through.

Set small, achievable goals

There’s some truth to that old saying that Rome wasn’t built in a day. Setting lofty or abstract goals like “be healthier” or “find yourself” might feel good in the moment, but the difficulty of approaching these ambitious aims may cause you to procrastinate or abandon them entirely.

Instead, try to break your larger goals into smaller milestones with well-defined goals for success. Lay out the steps needed to meet each goal (and be specific!) and put them in a list. Converting big goals into many small, specific tasks removes a lot of the resistance to getting started and will allow you to tackle your problems in manageable chunks.

Ask for help

There’s no reason you should have to tackle your challenges alone. Recruit a few trusted friends or family members who you feel can be relied on for support. Share your goals with them and ask that they help hold you accountable. Sharing your goals will make them feel real, making you less likely to default on the promises you made to yourself.

Track your progress

Without a record of your results, it’s easy to convince yourself that you’ve been more successful than you really have. By deciding on objective metrics to track (like number of pounds lost, number of steps taken each day, or number of visits to the doctor), you can see precisely how effective your efforts have been in bringing you closer to your goal.

2023 new years goals

Resolution Inspiration

Get in shape

Just as obesity can contribute to developing type 2 diabetes, obesity also causes diabetes to worsen faster. Part of the problem is that obese people tend to have fatty deposits in the liver, where excess blood sugar would otherwise be stored. The excess sugar stays in circulation, causing strain to the pancreas and making the body less effective at producing or responding to insulin. Fortunately, the opposite is true here: losing weight can be beneficial to diabetes and keeping a healthy weight can limit your reliance on diabetes medications.

If you’re still not convinced, consider that diabetes and obesity both cause greater risk of heart disease, so if you have diabetes, it’s especially important to avoid excess weight. Staying active will also give your circulatory system a workout, making it more efficient and stronger, and less likely to experience heart disease or other circulatory conditions.

The ADA recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of exercise per week[1] to keep your heart healthy and your body active. Daily exercise for 30 minutes, 5 times a week, is a simple, easy-to-track resolution that will likely pay dividends by this time next year. Try adding this to your list this year!

senior exercising

Re-connect with your healthcare providers

New Years can be a time to reflect on all the important relationships in our lives, and to resolve to strengthen those we neglect. We recommend including your doctors and other healthcare professionals in mind during this reflection, as these relationships can often fall victim to our busy schedules.

If you’ve been avoiding the doctor, resolve to schedule a check-up in the new year. Talk to your doctor about how often you should be seeing each other, and set a goal to keep up to date with your appointments. Your doctor will likely want to see you anywhere from 2 to 4 times a year, depending on how well your diabetes is being managed currently and the stability of your health overall.

Don’t forget to spread the love to the various specialists you might need to see, like your podiatrist, optometrist, and dentist. Certain parts of the body, like the gums, eyes, and feet, can be particularly prone to disease in diabetics, so seeing specialists in these areas regularly is an important part of keeping complications at bay.

Make a meal plan (and stick to it)

Dietary control is one of the core elements of successfully treating diabetes, so resolving to whip your eating into shape this year could be a good call.

There is no shortage of differing opinions on the best approach to eating. Some experts suggest that a diet that is high in lean proteins and healthy fats and relatively low in carbs (especially simple, refined sugars) can be an effective way to slow the release of sugar into the bloodstream. Others advocate for intermittent-fasting and other time-restricted techniques that aim to improve insulin sensitivity. Ultimately, you should seek the advice of a trusted healthcare professional who can advise you on your situation.

The bottom line, however, is that adopting a well thought out and reasonable plan for your food intake can help you avoid the chaos of eating whatever and whenever you want. And the good news about trying a diet is that, if it doesn’t work for you, you can instantly move on to greener pastures until you find an approach that works for you.

Healthy Cooking

Improve your hygiene habits

Most people could probably stand to be a little neater (teens, we’re looking at you). For diabetics, however, poor hygiene can bring about serious health complications. While no one likes to be criticized about their hygiene, resolving to adopt new