Getting started. Making changes in how you care for your health is a matter of trying and learning. It’s all about choosing a goal and working toward it. Making a plan and taking the first step will help you reach your goal.
- Think about what is important to your health. What are you willing and able to do?
- Decide what your goals are. Choose one goal to work on first.
- Decide what steps will help you reach your goal.
- Pick one step to try this week.
Try something and see what works and what doesn’t. Not every idea will work, and it’s common to run into some problems along the way. When things go wrong, think about other ways to reach your goal.
You can get there from here—one step at a time!
Let’s Make a Plan
If you’re ready to make a change, choose a goal and then answer these questions. Your plan will help you reach your goal, step by step. Download and print these questions so you can write down your answers. If you have diabetes, share your plan with your health care team.
- What’s hardest about caring for my diabetes?
Example: I want to exercise more to help me lose weight. I feel guilty and bad about myself when I don’t.
- Why is this important to me?
Example: I know exercise will help me manage my stress and help me feel better. It can also keep my glucose, weight and cholesterol on target.
- Why haven’t I made this change before?
Example: I don’t have time to go to an exercise class or a gym.
- How can I work around what gets in the way?
Example: I can do something on my own that doesn’t take much time and is low cost or free.
- What’s my goal?
Example: I want to exercise 30 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week.
- What’s my plan to get started to reach my goal? What will I do, and when will I do it?
Example: I’ll start by walking for ten minutes at lunch time.
- What do I need to get ready?
Example: I need to take walking shoes to work and ask a friend to walk with me.
- What might get in the way of making this change?
Example: In bad weather, I won’t want to walk outside. I can walk inside instead.
- How will I know if my plan is working?
Example: I will keep track of my blood glucose and cholesterol levels over time to see if they improve.
- How will I reward myself?
Example: If I stick with my plans this week, I’ll watch a movie.
You can make a plan that works for you. Remember: make changes one at a time, ask for support from family, friends, and your health care team, and celebrate your hard work!
Adapted from the American Diabetes Association’s Channel Series: A Guide to Changing Habits
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