Now that January is over I can stop saying “It's the new year!” I know, I know! I’m probably a couple of weeks behind everyone else. New year's resolutions are a distant memory as is a reason, as good as any, for some people to have a new beginning. And, apparently, that only ever means a diet, maybe a gym membership that never gets used and a bombardment of media ads to be healthy, get fit and go on a diet. I felt this year it was more annoying than usual. I actually have a friend who refuses to buy a women's magazine for the months of December and January for this reason!
I still try to embrace the whole new year resolutions malarkey but in the essence of trying to be nicer or work on my patience.
However, just as the year was wrapping up I stumbled across a couple of things that has made me leap, all in, with a genius idea for next year's new year resolutions. (And Yes I know that self praise = no praise, i.e. I'm not a genius :-)
Here’s what happened; In December, I read this piece from DiaTribe on New Apps in Diabetes. It was really interesting (Thank you DiaTribe). However, it was this video, by Dr. David Sobel on “how people are not unmotivated; they are overwhelmed.” that fired up my brain.
In the video, Dr. Sobel talks about how health care professionals tend to overwhelm their patients with lots, and lots of information and a long list of things they need to do to become healthier. And what often happens is that people end up being so overwhelmed with all of it and leave the office feeling so much worse than when they went in. But worse than that, they become paralyzed to do anything.
And I thought about this, especially, while at our local Type 2 Diabetes meet up in January, as I was looking through Diabetes Ireland’s Healthy Eating guide for people with type 2 diabetes with page after page of advice and no clue where to start.
I put it to our type 2 diabetes support group that if they were given a list of small defined tasks such as;
- Cut back on sugar in your beverages by even 25% - If you take an artificial sweetener reduce it by one if you take more than one - Switch from full fat milk to low fat - Switch from low fat to skim - 10 minutes of moving 3 times a week - Switch your daily Latte/Cappuccino to tea or straight coffee, etc.
And what if they only had to pick one thing from that list and stick to it for 10 weeks, would they be more likely to make it a change for life? Or how about the first thing they do is make a list of all the things they would like to change or things they would like to bring into their lives.
Some said “yes” and some were skeptical. So I suppose it’s back to “New Year, New me Meh! But for me, talking all this through with the group gave me focus on what I'm going to do about my elevated cholesterol. Watch this space;-)
I also like the idea that Dr. Sobel came up with to have our invitation to our annual diabetic eye screening come from our eyes to address the 50% of people who do not attend their eye screening appointment. Mine would go something like this;