There’s a SMART way to living with a chronic condition
There are no two ways about it, getting and staying healthy when you have a chronic condition requires effort and organization in a number of areas of your life.
- eating healthfully
- being physically active
- taking prescribed medicines
- awareness of blood glucose levels, blood pressure, blood cholesterol levels, physical health (state of feet, level of stress) and more
- keeping numerous medical appointments every year
It’s a lot to take in, but with a little extra care and attention, you can be one of many people who are living healthy with their illness.
How to start?
- Ask your doctor what action would be most beneficial to your health.
- Ask for a more detailed explanation of how a change or action will improve your health.
- Ask yourself whether those steps sound like actions you are willing and able to take.
- Keep in mind that you are more likely to be willing to make the effort required to reach a goal that feels important and meaningful to you.
Use SMART goals to achieve success
Setting a SMART goal is a technique that brings a framework to your goal by addressing important questions and setting specific objectives. Setting realistic goals and mapping out clear steps toward reaching them can significantly improve your health without leaving you overwhelmed and frustrated.
Smart goals are:
Specific – To help define what your specific, clearly goal is, ask yourself the following questions:
- What do I want to accomplish?
- How will reaching this goal benefit me?
- What is my plan for reaching this goal?
- Who besides me will need to be involved in my plan for reaching this goal?
- Where will I carry out the steps of my plan?
- For how long will I carry out this plan?
- What might get in my way of carrying out my plan?
An example could be eating healthier. Aim for specific goals such as eating five servings of vegetables a day, stopping drinking soda, or reducing your sugar intake to 30 grams a day.
Measurable – It helps to have a way to measure your progress toward meeting your goal. For example, you might count the number of times per day or week that you perform an activity, such as monitoring your blood glucose level or taking a walk. Measuring helps you stay on track and lets you know when you have met your goal.
Achievable – Don’t set the bar too high or too low. The goal being set should be challenging but not set you up for failure or disappointment. What are you going to do to achieve this goal? Often, a goal needs to be broken down into small steps to be reachable. Getting closer to your goal, even by a tiny bit, can empower you to keep working toward the next step.
Realistic – Is the goal you are setting important to you? Ask yourself “Is this goal worthwhile? Is it the right time? How confident do you feel you can reach it?” If you’re willing to take the first steps toward meeting your goal, it may well be something you can accomplish.
Trackable – Choosing specific, measurable goals that fit within a defined timeframe means you can track your progress. Set a time frame that is long enough to achieve your goal, but short enough to create a sense of urgency. Track your efforts in the Dario App so you can see how far you’ve come!
Now it is your turn. What is your goal? How are you going to ensure that the goal you set is SMART?
Ask your Dario health partner for help if you are not sure what to do, how to get started, or how to maintain the healthy changes you have made.
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The articles provided on this website are for informational purposes only. In addition, it is written for a generic audience and not a specific case; therefore, this information should not be used for diagnostic or medical treatment. This site does not attempt to replace the patient-physician relationship and fully recommends the reader to seek out the best care from his/her physician and/or diabetes educator.