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Agency is defined as the ability to achieve your goals or fulfill your commitments. People usually think that they lack willpower that is why they can’t achieve their goals. But willpower is only one of the factors that play a role in building your agency. There are number of other factors that play an important role. These are discussed here.

1.Willpower:

It is defined as the ability to control one’s will and actions. According to psychologists it is the ability to control short term temptation in order to achieve long term goals. In a diabetic patient, willpower helps in resisting the temptation to eat sweets, to stick to a diet plan and to continue your exercise. Some people have more willpower than others and they can easily stick to their mission. But the good news is that will power is a limited resource that can be refilled, it can be increased by taking some easy steps like eating healthy, getting a good night’s sleep, meditation. Willpower is like a muscle that can be build up by repetitive exercise or practice. We often get ourselves trapped in the willpower trap by saying that I cannot achieve my goals because I don’t have much will power, however you can easily increase your will power plus there are number of other factors apart from willpower that will help you achieve your goals.

2. Skill power:

   You need to learn some new skills to achieve a certain goal. For example when you are diagnosed as a diabetic, you have to learn a number of skills like measuring blood glucose using a glucometer, self injecting insulin, counting calories and carbohydrates in certain foods, adjusting the dose of insulin according to blood glucose level. A person who has mastered these skills can control his diabetes and achieve his goals better than a naive person.

3. Instruments/gadgets:

 Some instruments, gadgets or tools help you in achieving your goals. In a diabetic patient, these instruments can be a glucometer that help to measure blood glucose, a weighing scale that helps you keep a record of your weight and motivate you to lose weight. A diet chart can act as a tool to help you modify your diet.

4. Environment:

 Whenever you make a goal, your environment should be friendly to help you achieve the goal. On the other hand if you have a hostile environment, it will be very difficult to achieve your goals, for example a buffet lunch table in a five star hotel is hostile for a person who’s trying to lose weight. A sweets shop or bakery is not a favorable environment for a diabetic; he will tend to get off the track by seeing so many distractions. Whereas a park or jogging track or gym is a favorable environment to stay motivated for exercise.

5. Journaling

Keeping a diary or writing your progress in a journal daily can help you stay motivated towards your goal. When you record your blood glucose level or record your HbA1c in a chart you will easily see whether you are going uphill or downhill. You can speed up your efforts towards achieving your goal. Maintaining a food diary will help you find out at the end of the day that where you went wrong, then you can amend your mistakes and start working with new enthusiasm the next morning.

6. Guide/guru:

The guidance by a mentor or a guru can be very helpful in achieving your goals. In diabetes you can get help from your doctor or diabetes educator, better still you can befriend a diabetic patient who has successfully controlled his diabetes and can help you achieve your goal by using the same techniques as they did.

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