New Year Priorities

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New Year Priorities

Contributor: Melanie Batchelor, MHS, RD, LDN, CDE, Nutrition Supervisor,

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Resolution. We hear that word often, especially this time of year.

Resolution: The firm decision to do or not to do something.

When it comes to diabetes there is no resolution. There is however, self-management and affirmation to set realistic everyday life changing goals. As a Certified Diabetes Educator, part of my job is empowering people with diabetes to set goals. Providing the tools & resources needed is the first step to goal setting. The American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) has given us a framework in which to work from when it comes to setting goals and for the successful management of diabetes. This framework is the AADE7 & includes: Healthy Eating, Being Active, Monitoring, Taking Medication, Problem-Solving, Healthy Coping & Reducing Risks. Once you’ve identified which area or areas you would like to focus on first, we can set SMART goals.

SMART goals are

Specific- Define the goal as much as possible. Give the WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN & HOW.

Measurable- Can you track the progress of your goal?

Attainable- Is the goal reasonable for you?

Relevant- Will the goal meet your needs and be worthwhile?  

Timely- Give yourself a time limit… day/month/year, etc.

If your goals are SMART you have set yourself up for success!

Here is an example of turning a goal into a SMART goal.

Goal: To be more active

SMART Goal: I will walk with my neighbor 3 days per week for 20 minutes each day at the local recreation park for the next 4 months.

See? It’s simple! Managing diabetes is not easy, but when we take the time to set some simple SMART goals we are one step closer to living our best life!

Whether you are a newly diagnosed person with diabetes, or you have had diabetes for many years, goal setting is important on your journey. Remember that you are in the driver's seat when it comes to living your best life. Take this time to reflect on what you are doing well & what you need to focus on for better diabetes control. Start small, setting short term goals that you know are achievable. Each small step forward will eventually lead you to huge leaps and bonds in being your best you! So this new year, let's not make a single resolution, but instead let's work together to make some SMART goals!

Melanie Batchelor, MHS, RD, LDN, CDE is a registered dietitian & diabetes educator with a vast range of experiences including population health, outpatient nutrition counseling, acute diabetes management, worksite wellness & school nutrition. Melanie currently serves as the Nutrition Supervisor for a school system in her home town in rural Western North Carolina. In her current role, Melanie works hard to assure that the children in her county receive healthy, tasty food. She also heads up a Special Feeding Program focusing on children’s special dietary needs including those with diabetes. She works with local school nurses to train school personnel using the ADAs Safe at Schools curriculum. Melanie is particularly excited about brining diabetes education into the schools as an integral program- for children & staff. Melanie is an active volunteer with the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) and is proud to be a part of such a great organization. This past year Melanie had the opportunity to attend the Children with Diabetes Friends for Life conference as the AADE Fellow. This was an amazing experience & further propelled Melanie’s love for helping children & families with diabetes. When Melanie isn’t working she enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband, 2 children & 2 miniature dachshunds.