When you want to conquer your diabetes, you have to make some goals or targets to achieve success. You define your goals with the help of your doctor or diabetes educator. There are one or two long term goals. To achieve long term goals you have to work on many short term goals on day to day basis. These goals should not be abstract or non-specific. You need to make specific and realistic goals. Write down your goals on a paper or diary where you can see them frequently and keep reminding yourself about your goal so that you don’t steer away from your mission. Here are some examples of long term and short term goals for diabetics.
Long term goals:
1. HbA1c = 5.5%
2. Prevent complications due to diabetes.
Short term goals:
1. Fasting blood glucose =100mg/dl
2. Post meal blood glucose 130 mg/dl
3. Walk 30 min daily
4. BMI < 25
5. BP <130/80
6. Total Cholesterol < 160mg/dl
7. LDL < 100mg/dl
Goals should be time bound:
Be very specific about your goals, make them time bound for example “ I will bring down my HbA1c by 1% in 3 months time”. When your goal is time bound, you become more enthusiastic in working to achieve the results in a given time. You will put in maximum effort and results will be remarkable. On the other hand if you are non-specific and don’t have a time frame in mind, then your efforts will be half hearted and you will linger on, every day you will say to yourself that “I will start tomorrow”. And we all know that this tomorrow never comes…..
Make Realistic goals:
You should make goals keeping in mind your body. For example if a very fat woman says that “I will achieve a super-model like figure in three months”. It seems un-realistic. As a result of all her efforts she will not be able to achieve her goal, and this will make her lose heart and lose self-esteem. She will become disheartened and stop further efforts. On the other hand if she sets a realistic goal for example “ I will lose 10 pounds in 5 months”. She can achieve this goal easily with diet and exercise. When she achieves her goal, she will feel happy about herself. This will keep her motivated for future and after achieving the first goal she can set up a second goal which can be a little tougher than the first one. But her sense of achievement will keep her motivated.
Keeping a diary is very important. When you write your goal in bold letters on a paper, and display it in your room where it can be easily visible to you, you will make maximum effort to achieve the goal. Similarly if you make a diary or chart where you write every day with date and time what you did for achieving your goal.
For example make a “food journal” . Write down everything you eat in it with time and date. At the end of the day read the diary and you will realize what mistakes you made and next time you will be carefull not to repeat the mistakes.
Similarly you can make an exercise journal. Write down time and type of exercise in it with date. Review it at the end of the week. If you were able to achieve your exercise goal for one week, you can give yourself a reward and feel happy about it.
1. Eating goal: “ I will eat 1 roti instead of 2 rotis , on 5 out of 7 days for 1 week”
This goal is specific , number of roti is specified, and it is time bound 5 days, for one week. It will be easy to achieve this goal. In the second week you can add something else in this goal . Step by step these small goals will lead you towards achieving the big goal that is reducing your weight, and reducing your HbA1c.
2. Exercise goal: “ I will do brisk walk for 5 minutes , 5 days a week , for one week.”
This goal is also specific, realistic and time bound. Next week you can increase the time by 10 minutes. By making short term, achievable goals, there is high probability that will achieve your goal, there are less chances of failure and de-motivation as a result.
Reward is very important part of this whole exercise…..Whenever you achieve any short term or long term goal, you should feel happy and proud of yourself. To celebrate your achievement you must give yourself a gift.
For example, When you complete your walk target for one week, treat yourself to a scoop of ice-cream, or watch your favourite movie with a close friend, or buy yourself an expensive perfume.
When you achieve your weight loss target of three months, buy yourself a trendy new outfit.
When you achieve you HbA1c goal, you can go to a picnic or dinner with family.
Always celebrate your success; this will keep you motivated for future. At the same time set new targets as soon as you achieve your previous ones so that you don’t go back to your previous levels.