Avoiding Pitfalls: New Year Resolutions

The New Year is a time when people reflect their lives and take inventory of what they have accomplished and what needs work.

It’s good to Set resolutions in the New Year, but setting the right expectations for reaching those goals is paramount. Regardless of your goal, whether it is to manage your diabetes better or climb Mount Kilimanjaro, you will need a plan. If you want to avoid breaking your resolutions.

The pressure to keep a resolution this time of the year can be enormous and feel astronomical. Hopefully, we feel supported and get support from family and friends alike.

For people living with diabetes, this might be the first time they honestly admit to themselves that they have a problem. That they need to take better care of their diabetes or emotional wellness and are empowered to take action.

In general people have difficulty keeping New Years Resolutions. It all starts with high expectations and hope. Why do such a large percentage fail at completing their resolutions? It could be many reasons that may have nothing to do with willpower.

People failing can happen due to a lack of emotional support that dwindles over time. By the end of January, some or all of the help from family and friends may disappear. The people providing their support go on with their lives, while they are left facing their goal, problem or behavior change, alone.

If this happens, you could reach out to a psychotherapist who provides support and direction. If you are trying to climb a mountain, a sports coach or trainer may be a good source of support.

Many people living with diabetes don’t make plans, objectives or clarify their goals. Ask yourself what will your target look like and how will you know you have achieved it. It is essential to create a step-by-step plan of action about how you are going to reach your goal.

Maybe you decide to stop eating fast food and start eating healthy. It’s the New Year, and you go to the grocery store but what to buy? You may not have done any planning before going to the grocery store. Like making a grocery list or even know what to put on it.

Doing prep work is essential. If your goal is to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, there are books on the steps you will need to take, and a trainer is paramount to success. Training with a friend will also provide accountability and increase success.

If you are trying to change your diet, you may want to get educated on the subject and develop a plan. Theirs a lot of blogs and an abundance of misleading and contradictory information out their in the either. It is why seeking support from a Certified Diabetes Educator, dietitian or nutritionist is essential.

They help people plan their new diet while assisting them to set objectives and clarifying their goals. Seeking the support of a psychotherapist who is also a Certified Diabetes Educator or specializes in eating disorders on a weekly basis can help a person with accountability. It also addresses emotional issues around unhealthy eating patterns.

One of the last reasons resolutions fail, is that some people set their goals too high. A good example is setting a weight loss goal of 3 pounds a week. Aside from the fact that losing that much weight per week is unhealthy, it is tough to do without a team working with you regularly. If you plan to lose 25 to 50 pounds by the end of the year setting a weekly goal of half too one pound may be more achievable.

Get Help!
With the right help (OA, Weight Watcher, Nutritionist, Certified Diabetes Educator, Coach, Psychotherapist) in place, you can lose the weight, find inner peace or climb a mountain.

Be flexible and allow for setbacks, they will happen. Try to keep positive and avoid beating yourself up when things don’t work out the way you planned.  If your goal is reasonable, you will reach it, as long as you keep at it and get help when needed.

You may not achieve every objective you set, but if you’re 15 pounds lighter at the end of the year, does it matter that you didn’t reach your overall goal of 50? After all, isn’t any loss of weight, great? I encourage my clients to have a long-term goal but employ a series of small objectives that help them reach multiple smaller goals until they reach their end of the year resolution.

If you feel you need help with your resolution or feel like talking to someone who will listen and empathize with what you are going through, please call (917) 272-4829, and we can set up a consult session.

If you want more information on how Diabetes-Focused Psychotherapy can help you and the issues you face; check out my website: www.diabetictalks.com.


Medical Disclaimer: All the advice included in this blog is therapeutic in nature and should not be considered medical advice. Before making any changes to your diabetes maintenance program, please consult with your primary physician or endocrinologist.

Published by Eliot LeBow LCSW, CDE

Eliot LeBow, LCSW, CDE, is a diabetes-focused psychotherapist, diabetes-coach, presenter, and writer. His private practice, located in New York City and is also available via Skype. LeBow, who has been living with type 1 diabetes since 1977, treats the many diverse cognitive, behavioral, and emotional needs of people living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Diabetes-Focused Psychotherapy takes a holistic approach combining traditional talk therapy with diabetes education and management help. It addresses both the physical and emotional aspects of living life with diabetes while still addressing other non-diabetes related life problems to create a unique holistic approach to helping people with diabetes thrive.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *