As I write this (on 12/31/2020), I realize that the year 2020 will be over in less than 24 hours! But that doesn’t mean that all the problems of the past calendar year will disappear at the stroke of midnight. Many are saying that things will get worse before they even begin to get better. California has the worst status of COVID hospitalizations in the nation, and the town where I live—and the medical facility closest to me (less than two miles away)—has the worst COVID status of all the medical facilities in my county. So it behooves me to stay well and not require Emergency Room medical care!
I often spend the week between Christmas and New Year’s evaluating the status of my diabetic health and creating new Goals/Objectives and writing accompanying Strategies/Tactics to implement those plans. That is not the same as “making New Year’s resolutions”! “Resolutions” don’t work in the same way that “dieting” doesn’t work. Both require a lifestyle change that is permanent, not a temporary “fix.”
As author Jimmy Moore said recently, “Making a change isn’t about flipping over to a new year, but rather taking that first step to being better than you were the last year.”
Many people are hoping to “get back to normal” in 2021. What they don’t realize is that life as we know it now is the new normal, so we might as well get used to it. Life never returned to “normal” after 9-11-2001 (at least for people who wanted to fly or go on cruises). So what is normal?
From the perspective of us diabetics, normal A1C is 4.0-5.6% (in the UK, this might be expressed as IFCC 20-38). Normal blood glucose is 70-99 mg/dL (3.8-5.6 mmol/l). If you express this normal as your Goal, you need to add a date or timeline to make it an Objective. You also need to make it attainable, as well as measureable. For example, you might say, “To lower my A1C 0.5% by my next six-month checkup” or “To lose 10 lbs. by my birthday.”
Finally, you need to add Strategies and Tactics to show how you intend to accomplish your Goals/Objectives. And that requires your commitment. Jimmy Moore further says, “Commit to doing one very small change on a daily basis that could be as simple as making your bed, meditating for 20 minutes, saying something encouraging to a family member, reaching out to a friend and telling them how much they mean to you—I could literally do this all day! You get the point, though. Do something that makes you better today than you were yesterday.”
For diabetics, those very small changes might be something like “Drink a glass of water instead of having a bedtime snack” or “Walk outside for 10 [or 15 or 30] minutes 6 days a week,” or whatever is attainable for you.
I hope to provide more frequent blogs for you in the coming year. I’d like to give you one task to focus on each week. Or each month. I want to continue to provide you with information, affirmation, and support in your diabetes journey in 2021. But it’s still up to you to decide what to do with that information. If you are not part of our Adventist Vegetarian Diabetics private Facebook group, I encourage you to join (https://www.facebook.com/groups/adventistvegetariandiabetics).
Happy New Year 2021!