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Planning for the new year? Forget "I should." Think "I can."

We all know what we should do. We should get 8 hours of sleep every night. We should replace our home air filters every 3 months. We should pay more attention to world events. However, knowing and doing are very different things.

As we near the start of a new year, it's natural to ponder resolutions. Should you make them? Maybe. Will you keep them? Maybe not.

If you're setting goals or coming up with resolutions for January 1, consider the insights of some of our favorite diabetes online community members. Rather than thinking about what you should do, reframe and think about what you can do. Or what you want to do. Let your resolutions come from the inside out, rather than being pressed upon you by someone else.

What can you do? For example, you might think...

  • I can try a new recipe every Thursday
  • I can go for a walk after dinner a few times a week
  • I can focus more on what I do right
  • I can check my blood glucose a couple of hours after dinner
  • I can try to sit up straight at my desk
  • I can check my feet before putting on my shoes

The word "can" is empowering. Of course, like any change in your lifestyle or a traditional resolution, it's easy to slip up. The key is to avoid letting yourself slide into a shame spiral. Who among us hasn't eaten something really decadent and then felt so bad about it that we went back and ate more? The shame spiral has a powerful downward pull, but you can push back. Whether you skipped a workout, ate more than you might have wanted to or wild-guess bolused and missed, don't give up—recognize it. Forgive yourself. You can wake up and start fresh tomorrow. 

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