It's Time For That Postponed New Year's Resolution

Wow—the first day of spring is already here, and I’m wondering if you remember my “sage” advice on making New Year’s resolutions? My specific recommendation was to spend early 2016 keeping a journal (or diary) so that you can NOW, as spring springs, evaluate your diabetes management successes and shortfalls to find patterns that deserve a springtime resolution. So, have you followed my advice?

The whole idea is to direct your resolution at something specific based on evidence, and it’s equally fine to determine you will focus on increasing behavior that has shown positive impacts on your diabetes or on changing a behavior that has obviously been unhelpful. Maybe you’ll notice by looking at your journal that your blood sugar was more stable on days after you slept enough, or on days you took a walk. If you jotted down how you slept and whether you were active, as I suggested, (and, of course, your blood glucose checks) you’ll be able to see those patterns. Similarly, you might see that every meal at your favorite restaurant means two days of sky-high readings.

Seeing the actual impact of adequate sleep or regular physical activity or the meals at your favorite restaurant is so much more motivating than having someone tell you that, for instance, exercise can increase insulin sensitivity (keeping blood glucose levels lower) for 24 hours or longer. And, being motivated is essential for making lifestyle changes (like finding a new favorite restaurant). You can now make your springtime resolution based upon your own evidence, and now is the time. Don’t try and do everything at once, and, by the way, keep that journal going so in January you’ll be ready to make an evidence-based New Year’s resolution (and win all waggers with your friends on who will keep their resolution longer).

For those of you who didn’t read my December post (or didn’t follow my record-keeping advice) I offer this advice for making your own springtime resolution – follow the link to my December post, follow my advice for keeping a journal for a few months, and make a summertime resolution based upon your own evidence on June 20th.

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