10 Ways to Stay Motivated to Manage Your Diabetes



Self-motivation is the force that keeps pushing you to go on to achieve your goals. 


Here’s a list of 10 ways to stay motivated to manage your diabetes.

  1. Believe in yourself. Self-confidence and self-efficacy are essential. Self-efficacy was defined by Albert Bandura, a psychologist from Stanford University, as a belief in our own ability to succeed and our ability to achieve the goals we set for ourselves. According to Bandura’s research, high self-efficacy results in an ability to view difficult goals as a challenge, whereas people with low self-efficacy would likely view the same goals as being beyond their abilities. For you to achieve your goals, you must be self-confident and believe in yourself. 

  2. Positive thinking. It’s important to look at things positively. Your thoughts can have a major influence on whether you succeed or fail. Negative thoughts can derail your efforts at diabetes management before you even give it a try. Challenge your negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones. For you to achieve your goals, you must think positively. A positive outlook leads to a positive outcome. 

  3. Set goals. First, determine your direction through effective goal setting. Your goals should be clear, measurable, specific and based on behavior, not outcomes.  Goals should be difficult enough to be interesting, but not so difficult that you can’t reach them. Monitor your progress towards your goals. For you to achieve your goals, you must set up “baby steps” for success. 

  4. Worry less. Worrying about the future with diabetes doesn’t take away tomorrow’s troubles, it takes away today’s peace. For you to achieve your goals, you must be a warrior, not a worrier.

  5. Take it one day at a time. If you need to break down one day at a time even further, take it one activity at a time or one meal at a time. When you look at it from that perspective, it’s not so overwhelming. For you to achieve your goals, taking things one day at a time can keep your life, and your diabetes, very manageable. 

  6. Be kind to yourself. Treat yourself with compassion. Self-compassion is the ability to soothe yourself, recognize your mistakes, learn from them, and motivate yourself to succeed. Self-compassion is also correlated with reduced levels of anxiety, depression, stress, and shame. For you to achieve your goals, you must learn to treat yourself as you would treat others in need – with kindness, warmth, and respect.

  7. Keep a sense of humorHumor can be used as a healthy coping strategy to help motivate and manage your diabetes. Psychologists see humor as a character strength.  Humor can help reduce stress, which can help lower blood glucose levels. For you to achieve your goals, humor can be used as a healthy strategy to help overcome challenges and enhance your life and your motivation. 

  8. Nobody is perfect. Perfection is a myth. Nobody can manage their diabetes perfectly. With that understanding, you can let go of feelings of guilt and frustration and anger. For you to achieve your goals, you must try to do the best that you can, without focusing on being perfect. 

  9. Don’t compare yourself to others. It’s your diabetes to manage. If you listen to “horror stories” about somebody’s grandmother, you can start to feel helpless and assume that a similar fate awaits you.  If you listen to success stories, you can feel hopeless and discouraged in comparison to your own management. For you to achieve your goals, you must empower yourself and individualize your management at your own pace. 

  10. Never give up. For you to achieve your goals you must remember: diabetes won't quit, neither can you. 


About Dr. Bev:

Dr. Beverly S. Adler (also known as "Dr. Bev") is a licensed clinical psychologist and Certified Diabetes Educator. She has a successful private practice in Baldwin, NY, where she specializes in treating the emotional issues of people with diabetes. Dr. Bev has also lived successfully with type 1 diabetes for 43 years.


Posted in Diabetes Educator, Guest Authors, Mental Health

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