How will 2022 be different for you? Many people, including people with diabetes (PWD), set new year’s goals. Yet, research shows that success rates at achieving resolutions drop throughout the year. In addition, as you know, in the last two years, the coronavirus pandemic has tugged at many people’s stress barometers. The coronavirus tested your conviction and creativity to be in the best health possible. And, according to the most recent data, PWD are still at an increased risk of getting coronavirus. But, you are still here for reasons, and you have managed your blood sugars during one of the lengthiest and most stressful nationwide experiences. So, if you feel like you’ve been on a continuous roller-coaster, how will you achieve the health you want in 2022?
Taking Life Back in 2022 and Beyond
Here are five open-ended questions to help you take your life back in 2022 and beyond.
Who or what is the reason for my health changes? If you are changing your health because of a family member, friend, an event, or your health care provider said so, what happens if that person is no longer in your life or when the event is over. As healthcare providers, we often link behavior change with a significant person in someone’s life to increase goal success. But, ultimately, for sustainable health, the change has to be for you, and if it’s not, the first step is to figure out why.
What beliefs do you hold about new year’s resolutions and goals? Instead of using the words new years resolution, what if you asked yourself, "how will I love myself this year and years to come?" And whatever you think about yourself will be evident in your efforts. For example, if you see yourself as a failure, your experiences will likely mimic your thoughts. So instead, see yourself as a life-long learner. Learners don’t fail. They grow from their experiences.
What works for me? Many guides will show you a path to achieving and sustaining health. But, you must ask yourself, is your way the right way for me? Then, with no guilt attached, you can integrate tips you resonate with into your individualized health plan and leave out what isn’t working for you. For example, if sit-ups make you nauseous, look for others ways to tone your abdomen.
What can I do now to help me achieve and sustain health? Pick one small action and start now. Give yourself time to work out some of the kinks before the new year. The first action I usually encourage PWD to do is add a green vegetable to every meal. Green vegetables are great for improving digestion, lowering cholesterol (fiber), and providing necessary body nutrients.
Who can I put on my team to help me achieve goals? Schedule an appointment with your Registered Dietician and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES). You are not alone. Call your insurance plan to determine how many diabetes educator and dietician visits you have each year. Schedule these visits accordingly, including during the summer and winter when temptations may run high. Are there any free diabetes classes offered in your neighborhood (i.e., hospital, community college, and other community events)?
Be compassionate with yourself and know that achieving health and wellness is a journey. The more you set your mind to achieving and sustaining health, the more likely you will achieve it—at your own pace and time. Each year assess and reevaluate your health plan. Ask open-ended questions and face your fears and the truth about your progress.