New Year’s Resolutions for People with Diabetes

Okay, let’s get rid of the elephant in the room. The best New Year’s Resolution you can make is to not make a resolution at all. Why? Because you set yourself up for disappointment right from the start. Ask yourself, what is the last resolution you made and kept? If you come up empty and with nothing, you’re not alone. It’s a lot more common than you may think.

This world is absolutely convinced that the population, as a general rule will make resolutions, run out and begin them, and surely as the snow will melt, so will that idealistic resolution. There’s a reason why you see all of the gym ads primarily in January and February and not in May.

Look, no one needs to make changes in one’s life more than me. But I’m not going to do it by making a promise to an image in a mirror. The better way to approach resolutions is to do it with small steps. Here are the best new year resolutions for people with diabetes!

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Take a Personal Inventory

The first thing to do is to take a personal inventory. What are your goals and what do you need to do to get there? For example, I need to have hip surgery but in order to have the surgery, I have to lose weight first.

Without beating myself up, I’m going to take a look at what I do and ask myself questions like, “do I need to change this or that” or “is this okay?” Whether you have type 1 diabetes (like my kids), type 2 diabetes, or just need to change some things, it starts with asking yourself simple questions.

Set Your Goals

Once you’ve determined areas you can work on, then it’s time to set the goals you’d like to achieve. My goal is to manage my weight, but for you, it might be a lower A1C or finding an endocrinologist.

Years ago, when I was Executive Producer for a TV show about diabetes, we created an entire campaign entitled, “Test, Don’t Guess.” Our research told us that there was a huge percentage of people who didn’t even check their blood to find out their glucose numbers — they merely guessed. The scary part is that they administered their medication on what was truly no more than a guess. With that in mind, maybe you need to make it a goal to check your blood sugar more often and consistently.

How to Change

The best way to make real changes is to start with small steps. This is how you’ll succeed. My small step is to start looking at what I want and begin to take less on my plate. More importantly, make sure you do it for yourself and start with one thing you can change.

Do it for You and Start with One Thing

As you set off on your journey for 2021, work on your goals for you and no one else but you. Focus on the things that will make you feel good about success and will help you with your diabetes journey.

Consider starting with stress. If anyone lectures you about anything you need to change, simply interject into the conversation that you know what you need to do. If they are not offering any means on how to help you achieve your goal, the topic should just be left alone. After all, if you have diabetes, you are already aware of all of the things that CAN happen. You don’t need someone to hang it over your head.

You might also want to start by making it a goal to check your blood sugar just one more time each day.  If you can do that, your A1C will probably change and so will your medication intake. Another small goal to set is to see an eye doctor and your endocrinologist by ‘XYZ’ date. These are all easy things to do.

The most important thing you can do is to simply begin. And I’ll be there with you too. Start with something small and achievable and you will begin to see changes. Better yet, that long road ahead won’t feel so far away.

Happy New Year!

I am a diabetesdad.

Tom Karlya

Tom Karlya

Tom Karlya is the Vice President of Diabetes Research Institute Foundation and founder of DiabetesDad. 
He has two children, Kaitlyn and Rob, who were both diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. He is the co-creator and founder of, a site dedicated to educating communities about diabetes. He has lectured at numerous conferences across America and played a pivotal role in passing legislation in the U.S. regarding the missed diagnosis of diabetes. He has been instrumental in advising a national initiative with the Beyond Type1 Foundation and was awarded two Telly Awards for his video on the missed diagnosis of T1D.