A Diabetic New Year's Resolution: Goals for 2011.

Amylia Grace Yeaman Health Guide
  • Happy New Year!


    We're almost finished with the first week of 2011! Mine was a quiet, reflective New Year's Eve spent looking back over the past 365 days. I don't know about you, but 2010 was a tough year for me, diabetes-wise and otherwise. It was also one that gave me much needed clarity (through contrast) and helped me figure out what I do want by experiencing much of what I don't. 


    In the end, all the places I stayed stuck this past year helped me begin to address many of the blocks to my own health and ability to really thrive. An important initial step on the road to success.


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    I'm beginning 2011 filed with hope. But hope only takes us so far. Like life, diabetes, it seems, rewards A-C-T-I-O-N. I got a little too comfortable with my routine in 2010 and I'm using my days more wisely this year. It takes about 30 seconds to check my bloodsugar, start to finish. I have 30 seconds to spare at virtually any time of the day. In 2011 I'm averaging about 7 bloodsugar checks a day. Not bad.


    And while I'm not a fan of contrived resolutions, I have chosen a word of the year to guide me in 2011. My word? ACT.  It's time.


    I know Maya Angelou is famous for her quote "When you know better, you do better." Oprah loves to quote it.


    Only it isn't true. Not for me at least. Most of the time I DO know better. Doesn't mean I do what it takes to put that knowledge into action, though. I'm turning that around with three simple non-negotiables for my health:


    1.) No food or drink courtesy of the drive-through. (coffee and no-cal drinks excluded)


    2.) No fast food. Period.


    3.) No drinking my carbs or calories.


    I've realized just how ready I am to step-up and play a more active role in my own d-life and it has to come from within. It's time. Only one problem! In order to connect more deeply with others I'm gonna need more time. So I've figured out a motto to embrace to help get me there.


    The motto is simple: If It's Not an Absolute Y-E-S, It's a NO!


    This means deciding exactly how to use my energy, insulin and carbs, time and resources. If It's Not an Absolute Y-E-S, It's a NO! also goes for doing favors, acquiring new things, projects, people, etcetera.


    Do I really want that old piece of pizza, or is it convenient and thereby the "easy" way to go? What do I really want? What would be the best choice for me? It takes time to ask and answer honestly, but it's time well spent.


    Living by this motto means getting rid of everything that no longer serves us well. And like most important things in life, doing so may sound simple, but that doesn't make it easy. Learning to say no is empowering, but it's also a life-long process. It means we redecide-and rededicate ourselves to the endeavor daily. Those of us with diabetes know how that goes.


    So I started with the easiest project--and one that has had a very visual appeal to it:  my stuff! I've been de-cluttering and clearing stuff for months, actually. It sounds un-diabetes related, but it's all connected. Changing one area has spilled over into other areas, health and diabetes habits included.


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    What I've found is that learning to say no and clearing the clutter-and our schedules-can be scary. The mind reels: What will fill our suddenly empty time/closets/spaces? What if I need this stuff later on? Can I trust my needs will be met if I let this all go? Do I believe something better is on its way? Am I ok with things arriving in their own divine timing (and not according to my personal schedule)?


    Answering honestly allows our lives and schedules, our home and health and relationships to truly reflect who we truly are and what we want and value. To me, there's a high return on investment in that!


    So why not join me in letting 2011 be the year to trade in self-sabotage for self-actualization? Why not begin by taking control of our lives-and our diabetes-by putting ourselves and our self-care back on our "To-Do" lists?


    Why wouldn't we put our deepest desires at the top of our priority lists and make this the year we learn how to say no without unnecessary guilt or explanation? It isn't selfish--no matter what those little voices inside our skeptical and conditioned heads may say. In reality, it's the way to be of greater service to loved ones, our communities, and the world. A tall order to be sure, but one I'm so excited to begin.


    We can't give away what we don't have.


    Our energy, time and talents are our greatest resources. It's high time we ensure we're use them more deliberately. In doing so, what I've found is that I've had to get really honest with myself and challenge my assumptions. Assumptions that let me off the hook a bit too easily.


    It takes guts to pare down and say no. The only thing scarier has been stepping up and saying Y-E-S! to the things I want most out of life. Sure, there's always the possibility I'll fail, but that's how we learn. 


    YES is scary, but rewarding.


    Saying NO is challenging.


    Challenging, but oh-so-worth the results.


    So, how about you? What do you need to say NO to? And what would you most like to say YES to this year? What would will help define 2011 for you?

Published On: January 06, 2011