Making healthy habits stick can be a challenge. Often, people will make big goals without putting the necessary steps in place to make them a reality. But when thinking about a new habit, starting with a small change can make it easier to achieve. When it comes to diabetes management, building healthy habits, like good nutrition and exercise, can be especially important and help people with type 2 diabetes manage their condition.
Habits take time and effort to develop. Research has shown it can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days to form a habit, with 66 days (or over 2 months!) being the average.1 People with diabetes may feel overwhelmed about how to build healthier habits that can help manage their condition, but taking small, easy steps can help them accomplish their goals.
Speaking with a healthcare professional can help arm individuals with important information to guide them when they’re considering new daily habits. It’s also important to take the time to identify any potential hurdles and make a plan for how to clear them. It may require getting additional support from your family, friends or doctor.
Habits aren’t built overnight; it may take time and practice. Once a small habit is achieved and becomes part of a daily routine, keep building on that success by creating another achievable goal. Each small habit can contribute to creating an overall healthier lifestyle.
Good nutrition and exercise play a large role in diabetes management but making healthy lifestyle changes doesn’t have to be a hard.
When it comes to healthy eating, goals should be simple and attainable and taken one step at a time. They should be customized to each individual based on their dietary habits, but small changes can make a big impact, especially if someone is trying to lose or maintain weight, or better control their blood sugar. For example:
Exercise doesn’t have to take a huge amount of time or require elaborate equipment. It can start small by making easy adjustments to daily routines to add more movement to the day, such as:
As each exercise goal is accomplished, continue to add new goals to stay active. Over time, making small goals for healthy eating and exercising can eventually add up to an overall healthier lifestyle and can help people with diabetes learn how to manage their condition.