August 3, 2011

Making Changes in Managing Diabetes

Changes – life is full of changes and we need to know how to make them for the improvement of our health. This blog from the Mayo Clinic makes some excellent suggestions and will hopefully start you on the right path to change. I know it is helping me, but I still need to make more changes.

First they lay out three steps or fundamentals in making changes and then walk you through the steps.

The first step is the unfreezing step. In other words becoming used to the new idea or change needed and motivating yourself to make the change. In diabetes, this involves or can involve many ideas and some motivators. The diagnosis itself can be a huge motivator. Then later an increase in A1c can become a change motivator. A great motivator for me was my doctor asking me what I could do to make a change and did I want his help. It took some discussion, but after he had laid out some possible changes, I was able to select two for starters and discuss them with him.

Others can realize that changes are needed when family members ask the right questions and we realize the current path is not working and that staying the course will not make the situation get better. When you realize a change is necessary, the mind over matter mental game needs a resolution. Real or imagined anxieties can get in the way of making the change.

The second step in making the change. This step involves deciding on what changes need to occur. This is when laying out the pros and cons on paper can often show you what needs changing and sometimes can become a boost in making the change. Other activities may also help. This can include may of the following. Choosing the specific change or changes you want to work on changing. Please be realistic and avoid trying to change everything.

Write the change or changes down and post it where you will see it every day. This can be your daily reminder of what you need to accomplish. If you have others (family members or significant other) available, ask for their help and encouragement. If necessary find a support group to assist you. See you diabetes health care team on a regular basis. Track you test results and work to keep the test results where they belong or improving.

The third and last step is making this change permanent or freezing the behavioral change. While this may be the most difficult step, it does need to become a habit and something you can do automatically. Succeeding here makes you a better person, dedicated and living for better health.

Once this is accomplished, repeat the steps for the next change or changes. There is nothing better than having success to make you want to do more changes. But often it takes doing them one or two changes at a time.

Have success and live healthy!

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