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Happy New Year! January is often a time where new goals are set and resolutions begin. This is a chance for you to reflect on the previous year and perhaps think about a small change you would like to commit to for the year ahead. What are your thoughts and your goals for the year of 2020? If you can’t think of any, we have some ideas for you!

Think about what you can accomplish in a year: 

Consider one or more goals from the ABCDES of diabetes

  • Aim for an A1c of 7% or less (or a personalized target as discussed with your diabetes team) to reduce your overall risk of diabetes-related complications

  • Blood pressure of less than 130/80 mmHg

  • Cholesterol (LDL – lousy cholesterol) of less than 2 mmol/L

  • Drugs – taking medication as prescribed, and regularly

  • Exercise and healthy eating: discuss with your diabetes educator how to set realistic goals

  • Smoking cessation or decreasing the number of cigarettes per day

  • Consider self-care to help reduce stress and improve sleep. Did you know that stress and poor sleep can affect your blood sugar too?


Think about what you can accomplish in a day:



  • Monitoring your blood sugar: discuss with your diabetes team how often you should be checking your blood sugar

  • Taking your medications as prescribed, including all diabetes medications and others for your health

  • Inspect your feet daily and watch out for any cuts, sores and small injuries.

  • Choose lower glycemic food choices. Examples include: 100% whole grain bread instead of white or whole wheat bread, rolled oats instead of instant oatmeal, berries instead of cherries

  • Move more: aim to increase your activity by 10 minutes a day. It is recommended to be physically active for 150 minutes per week in bouts of 10 minutes or more. Change is not easy. When setting a goal, you want to ensure that you are setting yourself up for success. The goal should be specific to help you meet what you are out to achieve!

These are called SMART goals:

Specific: ask who, what, where, when, which and why – to be as specific as possible

Measurable: make sure that the progress or results can be measured

Achievable: your goals should be challenging but possible to accomplish

Realistic: the goal should make sense to you and engaging as well!

Timely: set a deadline or a timeframe


SMART goal ideas and examples

1. I will monitor my blood sugar 3 times a day, before every meal, Monday to Sunday.

2. I will walk for 20 minutes, 4 times a week, after work on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday.

3. I will fill half my plate with vegetables with every supper from Monday to Friday.

January is often a time to think about change, however goals can be set any time of the year. Change does not always mean you need to stop something – you can also choose to start something, for example, choosing to drink more water or starting a self-care routine to help manage your stress. Reach out to your diabetes educator to help you set goals to help improve your health. One small change can make a big difference!