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Saturday, October 12, 2013

Set Goals - Be Realistic

What is a goal and how do I manage them

Before going moving on, I am still blown away by the number of readers showing up.  Yesterday, we added a new country - Australia.  To our friend in Australia, welcome and hope you find some interesting material in the blog.

I am easy to find on the internet but if anyone wants to email a question directly - is the way to do that.  I will try to respond during my night time hours.  Everyone is welcome to email - this is my goal and intent - Make a difference to this community.

BS - 97 fasting this morning (this is amazing and awesome).  Just one month ago I was bragging to the doctor I was getting close to 115 as a fasting level.  Now I am averaging 100.  That is down 57 points from when I started in March 2013.

BP - 107/72 (home machine) - HR 52

In my professional life, I am a consultant who has helped companies turn around, I have invented technologies, and I have managed thousands of people.  I have helped companies establish visions, set goals, define measurable objectives, and put in place tactical plans to deliver on the vision.   I have helped many people establish career goals and then develop a plan to get there.

But in my daily life, it is difficult to apply those thought patterns to help me change - and many of us diabetics do have to change.  So I thought I would take this post and see if I can make this simple and explain how I used my professional knowledge to help me drive my life style change.  Again, if you have specific questions - go ahead and email.

Long Term - What (Vision)?

I think this is the most difficult for a diabetic.  Long term, you are and will be a diabetic.  There is no cure, we can only manage or make it better.  There are other diseases out there that are like this - we are not alone. Some of them are deadly and take lives.  With us, we can control and make life style changes that will add to our life; but it is an everyday struggle.

So our long term feels like it will never come.  So my suggestion is to think of your life and managing your disease  in 3-5 year stages as a business does.  Bill Gates did not set a vision to own and run a 90  billion dollar company of Watson did not set out to build IBM.  They went there in stages and you must as well.  So pick something that is out there on the horizon that you can enjoy and make that your vision.

A vision is something that we can see in our mind's eye.  Your mind is a mighty weapon in all of this or it can be your worst enemy.  It has the ability to allow you to see into the future and see your self in a happy place.  Let it do that.  Sit back and say - 3 years from now here is something I would want to do that I would really enjoy.  Sit quietly and allow your mind to work its wonders.

What was one of my visions - I want to be able to play a competitive round of golf as a super senior.  When I am age 65, I can play in that category and I know I will enjoy it because I play golf and I loved playing competitively.  Now I am smart enough to know I cannot just wake up when I am 65 and play golf again.  I need some goals, objectives, and a plan to get there.

Here is a vision or goal I think we should be extremely careful with as it can set us up for quick failure - I need to loose 40 pounds.  I think this is disaster waiting to happen.  I will discuss why this dis not work for me and another thought that did.  But that will be in a later post.

Goals - Milestones we can reach

To move forward then I had to start developing goals for myself.  Goals are just places we want to be in the future.  It is not a measurable item, just a state that we can check in on once in awhile and see how we are doing.  So what were my goals:

  • Be fit enough to allow me to play three consecutive days without getting tired during a tournament
    • All of this while under the stress of winning or doing well
  • Develop a swing that provides consistency and can hold up under stress
  • Develop a short game to get me out of trouble when I get into trouble
  • Develop an eating style that allows me play and focus on golf - not what time is it and when is my next eating to take place.  Or better yet, eat some higher carbohydrate foods that help provide energy. WOW, a diabetic eating high carbohydrate food and not experiencing a sugar high then a low - what a lofty dream. 
These were just simple break downs that I could check in on, say every six months, and do a gut check if I am doing better.

In case you are reading other material like goals and objectives - know that these terms have often been exchanged for each other.  I like saying goal as it feels to me like it is a place I want to be.

Objectives - Measurable progress

Each of the goals are broken down into objectives that help drive to a completed goal.  At this level I must start thinking about things I can measure that will provide activity monitoring and making sure I am moving forward.  You see, the mind's eye can be your best friend or enemy.  It can give you the perception things are going well when they are not.  So to keep a check on it, we verify and measure with objectives.

So how do I break my goals into objectives.  Well let's just take being fit.  When I am 65, I will be ridding in a cart so you do not have to walk long distances. But I need to have my knees in shape and my heart strong enough so it does not get tired and I do not want to run out of energy so I have to work on stamina as well.

My objectives are simple - these are just a couple:

  • For my knees, I know I have to be around 120 pounds of leg lifts of 3 sets of 10.  One of the things I work on in the gym daily.  I am at 90 pounds now - so I can break it down on a monthly basis and see if I am improving.
  • Be able to walk on the treadmill for 2 hours with 15 minutes of that at an incline of 3 and a pace of 4.  I am at 35 minutes on the treadmill and can do 5 minutes on my goal.  I can measure this monthly and see how I am doing.

 Making it work weekly to keep you going

Now for the real trick, or the secret I use to keep myself up each week and try to stay positive and reach my vision, goals, and objectives.  I see where I am at mentally, emotionally, and physically and try to break the week down like a vision, what do I want to be able to accomplish this week. 

With my new swing change, I am struggling and my scores going the wrong direction.  Sound familiar.  So instead of quitting and being discouraged, this week I am working specifically on my hand action at impact of ball.  I have a tendency to cast versus swing through the ball.  So instead of worrying about my score or how good or bad I am playing, this week I have made it a mission to develop a good feeling for the proper hand action. I need short term steps to keep myself on the journey.  It is too easy to quit and say the vision was too much to achieve.  

I do this same thing with my diabetes and life style change.  I find myself being up and down and could not figure out why - I should feel good all of the time - I have gotten myself off medications.  But it is not that simple, I need to establish new goals as I have reached some of my old ones.  I needed something to help me stay focused on this disease and not ride the emotional up and down.  My new goal was to get involved and make a difference to this community. That is a nice vision and then I had to break it down into some goals.  One goal - start a blog.

This blog is my diary and journal.  I am in control and can say what I want - it provides a release valve.  I am also encouraged by the many readers - I am amazed at how many people felt alone like I did.  I do not know your faces, names, or who you are - but I do see the count of readers daily.  It makes me feel a part of a community of caring people.  I can once again develop a vision, goals, and objectives around my disease and manage it daily without losing hope.

May God bless you in your journey and help your mind's eye give you a journey you can see and enjoy achieving.  



  1. Hi Bob, it is Marty being unanonymous...LOL I have a question, why are you against (or so it seems) using anti-diabetic oral medications? If you have not done so already, read the new post at the group we both belong to, discussing beta cell death in type 2 diabetics. I found it to be rather interesting.

  2. Marty, sounds like a good post. I am not against medications. I was brought up by a mother who was against them so I have always believed they created side effects. When looking into my situation and medications - there are always the warning about side effects. So I always look at medication as "does the good" outweigh the bad.

    I will read the blog and thanks for the comment.

  3. Interesting comments. I am not against all oral pills used for type 2 diabetics. I use metformin and it has been critical to controlling excess live glucose release and generation.

    After being on the gimperides, starlix et all; I have no use for after 26 yeras and find Insulin far better , easier to manage and the flexibility to tightly diet and only add insulin as a bolus as needed.

    I assume where is lighter diabetic issues maybe the pancreatic stimulus pills can be workable for some. Me - nope!

    Otherwise excellent blog and comments Robert Dant! Thank you.

    1. Thank you for your feedback. I hope you got something out of it - even if it was a good laugh.

      I know that oral pills are not bad but they all do rob us of some vitamins and minerals - that was not really new to me but reading it from several sources just confirmed it. I would say when I do have to go back on oral medications and I assume I will have to some day - metFormin is a good thing. I doubt if I want to try the Glimerpirides as I think they just fluctuated me too much. I do not think I would be as afraid of insulin now as I was. I watched two people using it in the later days and I just had a mental stigma about it.

      Thanks again for the comments.


Please leave your comments or suggestions - looking to getting some good discussions going. Tell me what you have tried and what has or has not worked.

Thanks for the support