Diabetes: Staying Motivated - Topic Overview
You may find it difficult to stay motivated to manage your diabetes appropriately. The following suggestions may help.
Set goals and provide positive reinforcement
Praise and reward yourself for the things you do right. Use nonfood rewards, such as clothing, sports equipment, books, a golf trip, or a movie night. Engage in positive self-talk instead of being negative or critical of yourself.
Set short-term goals for healthy eating habits and exercise.
Surround yourself with people who encourage and motivate you. Sources of support may include:
- Health professionals.
- An exercise buddy or program.
- An organized diabetes support group.
Look for opportunities to attend meetings or classes where you can receive new diabetes information or simply receive reinforcement of concepts that are already familiar to you.
Keep in contact with your doctors. Let them know if you are having difficulties with any area of your care, or if something has changed in your health or lifestyle that may require an adjustment in your diabetes treatment.
Keep things in perspective
Remember that diabetes is a part of your life, but it does not have to take over your life. Also, remember you are not alone. Diabetes is very common. About 23.6 million people in the United States have this disease.1
Continually remind yourself that everything you are doing to manage your diabetes appropriately is making a tremendous difference in the quality of your life now and well into the future. It may be helpful even to make a list of the health benefits of properly managing your disease and keep it close at hand. Include things on the list that are important to you.
Some items you could include might be:
- I feel good because my blood sugars are more stable. I no longer have uncomfortable highs or lows.
- I am reducing the likelihood that diabetes will interfere with my plans for the future. This lowers my risk for problems with my heart, eyes, feet, and legs.
- I have more energy.
- I can think more clearly.
- I feel better about myself, because I am eating healthy foods and/or I have started exercising.