It’s that time of year. Almost a quarter into 2022 and those gym sessions seem to be getting harder and harder to get up for. Dry January is a distant memory and carbs seem to be constantly calling your name. Motivation can be a hard thing to come by, especially when it comes to keeping up with a diabetic diet or lifestyle, and we know first-hand exactly how hard it can be to maintain.
But it’s not all doom and gloom; we’re here to tell you that YOU’VE STILL GOT THIS. Tough times are a part of any journey; it’s how we continue and persevere that allows us to truly reach our goals. These few tips and tricks can help you to stay motivated and, most importantly, stay in control of your diabetes.
So, where do we start?
Ensure your goals are achievable and be flexible
When setting goals, it’s very important to remain ambitious but also realistic. It can be extremely detrimental to our progress if we are always chasing a goal that is unreachable for us.
It’s natural for us to want to reach for the sky from the outset – I’m going to work out seven times a week or eat 12 fruit and vegetables a day- but this isn’t always sustainable or attainable.
If the goals that you initially set seem too far off, then don’t be afraid to scale back and re-evaluate. It’s not an admission of weakness, quite the opposite. Revaluating your abilities shows a true sense of self-awareness and is more likely to keep you motivated in the long run and keep you on track to reach your end goal, just on a slightly different path than first intended.
Recognise your progress – and celebrate it!
When you’ve got a big end goal, whether that be to achieve diabetes remission or run 100k in a year, it can be easy to forget the smaller milestones that are hit on a monthly, weekly, or daily basis. It’s vital to take each step as it comes and celebrate even the smallest wins. We all have days that we struggle to find the strength to keep going but this is when it’s vital to reflect on just how far you’ve come.
“I didn’t quite hit 10,000 steps today, but I did manage 8,000 and this time last month, I barely made 2,000” – any progress is still a step forward and in the right direction.
We’re all human. Things come up and life events take our attention, but by celebrating the smaller wins and acknowledging our continued advancement, we progress towards our ultimate goals.
Mix things up
While repetition can be a great way toward making steady improvements, it can also be demotivating. If you’ve been in the same routine for weeks on end, consistently eating the same things as part of a new diet or following the same workouts time after time, motivation can wear thin.
That’s why it’s incredibly important to make sure we’re regularly adapting what we do, even if it’s a minor change. Introducing a new flavour palette to our diets or adding a different exercise to our workout regimes allows us to maintain our motivation, get excited about new things and avoid stagnation.
Everyone faces individual challenges in their journey, and we understand that not all of these methods may work for you. As doctors, we appreciate that not everyone is motivated by change and that change may even be a cause for anxiety, so, if you find comfort in routine repetition, stick to your path, but maybe try to change the scenery or ask a loved one or friend to help you. There’s never any harm in asking for a helping hand now and again.