• Fresh Views

    What a difference 5 minutes can make!

    We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit. – Will Durant

    We prefer to  focus on New Year’s “Solutions” (rather than resolutions) as we mentioned in our last blog. It’s said that nearly 1 in 4 quit their attempts at their New Year’s resolutions within the first week, and a majority quit before the end of January. So out with “resolutions”, and in with “solutions” for us. Check out our last blog to learn a couple of our personal 2023 New Year’s solutions!

    Another personal New Year’s solution for us in 2023 to try to bring focus on the positive in our lives and do more of what’s working for us (principles of a solution-focused approach to life). A tool we’re using is quick daily journaling. As two people who don’t typically write journals, this has been an enlightening endeavor and adventure in the new year! The resource we are currently using is The Five Minute Journal pictured above (we are in no way receiving sponsorship/support). We want to share it with you as we are finding it helpful and thought you and those you see in practice might find it helpful too. 

    The journal incorporates solution-focused principles including:

    • Gratitude
    • Daily affirmations
    • Highlights and learnings of the day (so that one can build upon those)

    We’ll share more on these as tools in future posts – tools  that can help one create the life they want (whether they choose to journal or not). And we’ll share some of our personal learnings and highlights along the way.  

    This journaling experience is a positive practice to begin and end each day. And truly it’s taking us 5 minutes or less. Admittedly, the first few days, Tami found fitting this new routine in a bit challenging, but kept reminding herself 1% effort beats 0% and to just write what she could. (Maybe she couldn’t identify 3 highlights of the day, but she could identify 2, so go with that). A few weeks in, we now find ourselves thinking throughout the day what we want to capture in the journal at day’s end!

    Our discoveries our first couple of weeks in with our 5-minute journal experience:

    • It has brought consistency and accountability.
    • It’s providing a snapshot, if you will, each day of our positive experiences
    • It’s helping us create a better day, particularly in regard to what we have control over
    • We’re finding its a commitment we can stick with

    Do you think this approach can help your clients move forward with their diabetes goals? Let us know if you choose to start implementing The Five Minute Journal approach in  your personal life or in your practice and how it’s helping you stay focused on the positive this year. Stay tuned to future blog posts as we “practice what we preach” and share our insights with you. 

    If you are a health care professional and interested in learning more about our solution-focused practice and approach, when you subscribe to our blog, we’ll send you in return a FREE resource of 10 Solution-Focused Questions to start a solution-focused discussion with your clients. 

    Follow us on Twitter @AFreshPOVforYou

    Deb is employed by Dexcom, but her words and opinions in this blog are her own.

    Tami is employed by the University of Kentucky HealthCare Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center, but her words and opinions in this blog are her own.

  • Fresh Views

    Discover the Magic in New Year’s “Solutions”

    Memories from a magical trip we took to Scotland and Inveraray Castle

    “The magic in new beginnings is truly the most powerful of them all.”

    ~ Josiyah Martin

    There’s some “magic” at the beginning of a new year! Looking ahead with anticipation to possibilities, opportunities and a fresh vision for the future. And that’s what we’re all about here at A Fresh POV! A new year creates opportunities for renewal and growth. We believe in using the start of the year to focus on strengths and create New Year’s “solutions” (as opposed to resolutions). This popular blog we wrote in 2020 shared that one way to identify solutions is to focus on things that have gone well in the past, and pinpoint how you can do more of that (rather than trying to change).

    Along those lines, Adam Grant, author and professor of psychology at the Wharton School of Business, shared in a recent interview, “You already have the knowledge you need to improve your life.” He discussed that instead of being passive, we need to step outside our comfort zone and challenge ourselves. Wow! A great affirmation of the work we’ve been sharing in relation to a solution-focused paradigm.

    If you’ve followed our blog, you’re aware that in a solution-focused approach, there are many basic tools and skills that can be incorporated to support the development of strengths and progress forward. We encourage people living with diabetes, diabetes care and education specialists, and other clinicians to try out these skills that lead to recognizing and celebrating individual strengths. If you are a clinician, additionally embracing the role as a “Think Partner” who walks alongside their client as they grow and learn is key.

    Join us in this new year as we go back to the basics and revisit some of these tools and skills, as well as share a variety of new tools. We’ll work through the development of strengths together. We believe that in all we do we need to have a sense of purpose, and that purpose will lead to happiness. Our personal goals must be meaningful to us and we hope sharing these goals may benefit others along the way.

    So… as we launch into 2023 we’re further taking our own advice! We’ve been reflecting on our strengths and what has gone well for us in the past. Here are our first steps in the new year as we focus on solutions. (Who doesn’t like a solution after all?)

    Deb’s New Year’s solution. Hey, this is Deb writing! My New Year’s solution is focused on sleep and developing a healthy bedtime routine. Rest and sleep are way more powerful in healing the mind and body than we give it credit for. I tend to be a night owl – the evening just seems to “happen” and is not planned. I’ve reflected that in periods in the past where I had a more routine bedtime, I would awake at about the same time each morning and feel more energized. So, my goal in 2023 is to be more intentional each evening. I’m taking small steps to develop new healthy habits. The first step was to use the “sleep schedule” in Apple Health to set a bedtime and a “reminder” an hour before. So far, stopping all screens and focusing on relaxing, reading, and other quiet and peaceful activities has created a much better routine. I am now noticing that I wake before my alarm and have more energy. 

    Tami’s New Year’s solution. And hey, this is Tami writing!  A few weeks ago I ran across a  message that really struck me: 1% effort always beats 0% effort. That made me stop and think. In reflection, I have found success in the past in taking small steps toward a goal (when big steps seem overwhelming). A recent example, in preparation for holiday guests. After a full day at work, the very thought of readying the house for guests felt quite overwhelming and not something I could do. However, I found that I COULD tackle one room each day. That builds on one of our tenets in solution-focused practice which is to do more of what works. That strategy worked for me. (And the house was festive and welcoming when guests arrived!) So in reflecting on renewal in the new year…I’m choosing to embrace and build on this principle that’s worked for me before. 1% effort always beats 0% effort. I intend to quit talking myself into what I can’t fit in, and do what I CAN do, with the energy and focus I  DO have. Early thinking…I CAN acknowledge 3 things I’m grateful for  each day. I CAN use my elliptical for 5 or 10 minutes, when longer doesn’t seem possible at the time. You get my focus. Little wins pave the way for bigger wins. I’m looking forward to seeing what this 1% effort yields!

    You won’t want to miss out on our personal journey over this next year as we focus on developing our own strengths, building some new healthy habits, and sharing how we’re evolving in the process! And, we are hoping to imprint some magical moments in 2023 and wish the same for you!

    If you are a health care professional and interested in learning more about our solution-focused practice and approach, when you subscribe to our blog, we’ll send you in return a FREE resource of 10 Solution-Focused Questions to start a solution-focused discussion with your clients. 

    Follow us on Twitter @AFreshPOVforYou

    Deb is employed by Dexcom, but her words and opinions in this blog are her own.

    Tami is employed by the University of Kentucky HealthCare Barnstable Brown DIabetes Center, but her words and opinions in this blog are her own.

  • Fresh Views

    Happy 2023 from A Fresh POV for You!

    Wishing you a happy and healthy holiday season from us here at A Fresh POV for You!

    We’re taking a couple weeks off but will be back soon with more fresh points of view to guide and support healthcare professionals in implementing a solution-focused approach to practice so clients can embrace possibilities, opportunities, and a fresh vision for the future. 

    We welcome anyone interested in our approach to Subscribe to our blog and we’ll email you when a new post is published!

    If you are a health care professional and interested in learning more about our solution-focused practice and approach, when you subscribe to our blog, we’ll send you in return a FREE resource of 10 Solution-Focused Questions to start a solution-focused discussion with your clients. 

    Follow us on Twitter @AFreshPOVforYou

    Deb is employed by Dexcom, but her words and opinions in this blog are her own.

    Tami is employed by the University of Kentucky HealthCare Barnstable Brown DIabetes Center, but her words and opinions in this blog are her own.

  • Fresh Views

    Using monitoring in a solution-focused way during the holidays

    Christmas at Gaylord Opryland Resort

    Learning is a constant process of discovery – a process without an end. – Bruce Lee

    The holiday season is an ideal time to use monitoring to learn how special holiday foods/meals, changes in schedules, stress, and changes in routine physical activity affect blood glucose.

    We know that glucose numbers are simply that……they are numbers, and numbers provide information. The goal of monitoring is to generate data to help people make choices and changes. Numbers are not good or bad. They help people learn and understand.

    While many people use meters to stay in touch with their blood glucose, a CGM (short for continuous glucose monitor) is a helpful choice for others. With a CGM one can see patterns and trends over time, not just one single number at one moment in time.  Also, they can receive real time alerts for when glucose is going above or below target. Around holidays, a CGM can be a great monitoring tool to see how the choices made impact glucose levels.  

    Learning from CGM

    Below you see CGM data over a 24-hour period, beginning at midnight. The goal is more green – more time in range – more time feeling better. Have you heard of the acronym FNIR?  It means flat, narrow and in-range. That is the goal of CGM trend graphs.

    Suppose this tracing below is a few hours after a holiday meal. This is  just one day. It’s important to keep the big picture in mind. Yet, learning can come from this data – seeing the impact of foods and portions.

    While the focus may be drawn to the time out of range (in red), let’s turn focus to the green (the time in range). How was that accomplished? We learn that the individual made it to the gym for a morning workout and enjoyed a healthy lower carb breakfast. Monitoring helped identify exceptions (those times when the presenting situation could have happened, but somehow did not.)  It’s a time when things could have gone wrong, but didn’t. Exceptions are a core tool in solution-focused practice. Focusing on what is going well, instead of what is wrong, changes the conversation and allows the client to identify strengths and successes.

    If you have not used CGM in the past, but are interested in learning from your own data, consider asking your healthcare provider to prescribe a Professional CGM. This type of CGM is owned by the clinic, but most insurances cover professional CGM a few times a year for most people with diabetes. Asking to wear a professional CGM over the holidays might not only provide you with data to learn from and might also help you to evaluate your choices and portion sizes. 

    Learning from structured blood glucose monitoring (BGM)

    If you don’t have access to CGM, you can use structured BGM to also learn about your body’s response to food and activity You can read about discovery learning and structured BGM here.

     “Discovery learning” focuses on using “personal experiments” to uncover aspects of one’s diabetes themselves. And when people learn by doing, they are able to make health decisions that work for them. They can identify “what’s working well” and are able to apply the solution-focused tactics to “do more of what’s working” and focus on successes instead of problems. Discovery learning is a great way to incorporate a solution-focused approach into practice. 

    Some examples of personal experiments you may encourage your clients to try:

    Food. Consider a 3 day challenge. Clients can experiment to learn how favorite holiday foods affect them. Day 1 eat their favorite high carb breakfast. Day 2 eat their favorite high fat breakfast. Day 3 eat a combination breakfast with both carbs and fats. At the end of the three days compare CGM data or pre- and post-meal BGM values.

    Physical activity. Day 1 eat before physically active. Day 2 do physical activity before eating. Day 3 have a small snack before physically active and then the next scheduled  meal after the activity. Do you see differences that make you want to “do more of that?”

    When following up with clients, focus first on glucose data that is in target, rather than the outliers. How was that accomplished? When evaluating glucose data and patterns, a typical first response may be to focus on the glucose values out of range and try to identify what went wrong at those times. However, what if the first focus was on glucose levels in the target range, and what was going on to accomplish that? Focus on what went well and what they learned. If we only focus on times that are not working well, we miss identifying successes.Of course, we always identify hypoglycemia and address that at all visits to ensure safety.

    Examples of questions to ask:

    I see you changed how much you walked after dinner, what did you learn? 

    You were in target range after these three meals, how did you do that? How can  you do more of that? And what else?

    What have you learned during your discovery? And follow up with, How can you do more of that?

    We hope you and your clients unwrap some new learnings and discoveries using monitoring in a solution-focused way this holiday season!

    If you are a health care professional and interested in learning more about our solution-focused practice and approach, when you subscribe to our blog, we’ll send you in return a FREE resource of 10 Solution-Focused Questions to start a solution-focused discussion with your clients. 

    Follow us on Twitter @AFreshPOVforYou

    Deb is employed by Dexcom, but her words and opinions in this blog are her own.

    Tami is employed by the University of Kentucky HealthCare Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center, but her words and opinions in this blog are her own.

  • Fresh Views

    10 Solution-focused tips to sneak in movement during the holidays

    Gaylord Opryland hotel grounds in Nashville, TN. Tami and her husband sneaked in quite a few steps while walking around the festive holiday hotel grounds.

    Three little words: You’ve got this. (Now, get it.) – Anonymous

    The holidays can be hectic without a doubt! We find that for many, physical activity takes a back seat to all of the festivities and gatherings. For those who are challenged to fit physical activity into their day, especially during the busy holiday season, we feel empathy because some days it’s a challenge for us too! So that brought us today to share practical tips to “sneak” more movement into the holiday season.

    As DCES’s, using solution-focused talk, together, we can help clients/patients identify what activity they like and makes sense to them. By refraining from “all or nothing” thinking, described by Adam Brown in his book Bright Spots and Landmines (we interviewed Adam here), let’s help clients/patients take small steps towards a more active holiday season and acknowledge their success.

    10 solution-focused tips to sneak more movement in the holiday season

    1. Wrap holiday gifts, standing at a table or counter, instead of sitting.
    1. While watching a favorite holiday movie, walk in place or on a treadmill, or ride a stationary bike. 
    1. At commercial breaks or between streaming shows, march in place, walk around the house, or do jumping jacks.
    1. When doing holiday cooking or washing dishes, alternate standing on one leg then the other. Mix in a few leg lifts, squats, or push-ups against the kitchen counter.
    1. When writing holiday cards at a table or desk, strengthen your core by sitting on an exercise ball.
    1. While visiting with family or friends, get up every half hour and walk around 2-3 minutes.
    1. On holiday road trips, do leg stretches and ankle rolls every half hour or so. When stopping for bathroom breaks, stand and stretch and walk around the rest stop for 2 or 3 minutes.
    1. Shovel snow! Not only is it purposeful in clearing the sidewalk and driveway for holiday guests arrival, it sneaks in a lot of movement!
    1. When holiday shopping, park in the back of the lot to fit in extra steps. Make an extra lap around the mall.
    1. Turn on holiday tunes and dance around the house!

    Sneaking in more movement throughout the day is not only a healthy behavior, it can help cope with holiday stress. After the holidays have passed, reflect with your client/patient on which strategies worked for them. With a solution-focused perspective our focus is on doing more of what works. Maybe they decide to continue incorporating some of these strategies into their day in the new year?

    If you are a health care professional and interested in learning more about our solution-focused practice and approach, when you subscribe to our blog, we’ll send you in return a FREE resource of 10 Solution-Focused Questions to start a solution-focused discussion with your clients. 

    Follow us on Twitter @AFreshPOVforYou

    Deb is employed by Dexcom, but her words and opinions in this blog are her own.

    Tami is employed by the University of Kentucky HealthCare Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center, but her words and opinions in this blog are her own.

  • Fresh Views

    5 Simple Strategies to Practice an Attitude of Gratitude

    We both love a magnificent sunset! It’s always something we express gratitude for.  This one was captured during a trip to Destin, FL.

    Gratitude and attitude are not challenges; they are choices.- Robert Braathe

    In this season of thanksgiving, today we’re sharing 5 of our favorite simple strategies to practice and attitude of gratitude. Expressing gratitude is a topic we have written about several times as a tool that can be used in solution-focused encounters with clients. And it is a practice that we both embrace regularly. 

    How can you get started with gratitude? 

    Here are 5 strategies to help develop daily gratitude habits

    1. Have gratitude reminders. These are simple cues to remind you to focus on gratitude daily. Maybe it’s an alarm on your phone, a bracelet or wristband, a photo, a magnet or even a post it note. And with that reminder, pause, take a breath and focus on being grateful in that moment.
    1. Keep a gratitude journal. We both have found this to be a good personal practice to express gratitude more readily and find things to be more grateful for. Some log entries in their journal weekly, and others daily. Our personal goal is to identify at least 3 things daily for which we’re grateful. While the goal is to write in the journal daily, sometimes life happens and weeks may go by without an entry, but we pick right back up with our entries. 
    1. Start a gratitude box. Keeping a box (jar, album, folder, or whatever works for you) filled with notes, pictures, and moments you are grateful for can bring a boost when needed. Tami keeps a folder on her desk and a file on her computer filled with nice notes and photos, as well as  an album on her phone of messages and moments she’s grateful for to refer back to when she needs a reminder. Deb has a bulletin board in her office that displays happy memories in photos, ticket stubs, quotes, flyers etc. that she can look at during working at any time.
    1. Voice or write down one (two, or three) good things that happened in your day. On the homefront, this is a gratitude practice Tami used with her son over the years. In the days when she would take and pick him up from school, she found that the drive time was a good time to learn about his day. That conversation always began with these words, “Tell me something good that happened today.” He knew he needed to answer that, acknowledging something good, before talking about the challenges of the day. 
    1. Use gratitude apps. There are a number of apps with a range of capabilities including sending reminders, sharing uplifting thoughts, and organizing memories for which you are grateful. We shared some favorites in this post. 

    If you are a health care professional and interested in learning more about our solution-focused practice and approach, when you subscribe to our blog, we’ll send you in return a FREE resource of 10 Solution-Focused Questions to start a solution-focused discussion with your clients. 

    Follow us on Twitter @AFreshPOVforYou

    Deb is employed by Dexcom, but her words and opinions in this blog are her own.

    Tami is employed by the University of Kentucky HealthCare Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center, but her words and opinions in this blog are her own.

  • Fresh Views

    8 Tried and True Solution-focused Strategies for Eating Healthy Through the Holidays

    With Thanksgiving celebrations and the holiday season at hand, today we’re sharing 8 tried and true strategies to enjoy the special foods that accompany holiday gatherings without compromising blood glucose. These 8 solution-focused strategies have worked for our clients and we hope are helpful for you.

    Strategy 1: Take a healthy dish or treat to share, or a healthier version of a favorite. Maybe it’s something like the caprese kabobs Tami made for an event that you see pictured below. Just a couple of grape tomatoes, fresh basil (or spinach) leaves, and a fresh mozzarella ball speared with a small skewer with a balsamic dressing to drizzle. Offering to bring something healthy can reduce stress by knowing that there’s at least one item to suit personal preferences and needs.(And chances are the host will welcome an addition to the party spread!)

    Strategy 2: Share a side dish that incorporates seasonal vegetables. Many of the food traditions associated with Thanksgiving and the winter holidays are laden with carbs and calories. One of our well-loved low carb favorites is roasted vegetables. Whether you choose to roast one type of vegetables (our vote is roasted Brussels sprouts) or a combination of winter vegetables (such as butternut squash, brussels sprouts, radishes (yes radishes!), parsnips, carrots, and red onion) they’re low in carbohydrate, high in flavor, and won’t keep you hanging out in the kitchen. Cut the vegetables into even size pieces/chunks for even cooking, then toss with some olive oil, kosher salt, and black pepper. Roast at 425 degrees in an even layer on a sheet pan until fork tender (about 20-25 minutes). These roasted carrots were delish!

    Strategy 3: Try the Two- to Three-Bite Taste Test 

    Many clients we’ve worked with over the years have shared success keeping their blood glucose in range by sticking with tiny tastings, or 2-3 bites, of foods they may not be sure of exactly what’s in them or foods that are rich in carbohydrate. They can still enjoy the experience without too much worry of sending blood glucose out of range.  This is also a great strategy when traveling over the holidays. You can read more about that here.

    A patient Tami’s worked with in the past  loved cheesecake. Prior to developing diabetes she’d eat an entire giant slice when she  dined at her favorite restaurant. Once diabetes entered her life, she still wanted to try to  work in cheesecake on occasion, and realized  that portion control was important. She agreed to try the two- to three-bite taste test. She reported back that she discovered she really  savored the first three bites of her cheesecake, but after that the pleasure decreased. Based  on her discovery, she decided to eat just three  bites of cheesecake at the meal, count and  incorporate the carbohydrate accordingly, 

    Strategy 4: Make a swap or two. Consider the foods that are often at holiday gatherings and determine where you can make a swap or two for health. One client who is planning ahead shared that she’s planning to swap in broccoli casserole (made with reduced fat ingredients) on her plate in place of mashed potatoes and a corn casserole to reduce carbs.

    Strategy 5: Eat off a smaller plate.  As we shared in our July 3, 2019 post, when you are ready to sample the celebration spread, if there’s a choice on plate size, go with a smaller plate (maybe the ones that are out for salads or desserts). This strategy helps manage portions, and make those portions appear larger on the full small plate. 

    Strategy 6: Fill half of your plate with veggies of the non-starchy variety

    Aim to fill at least half of the plate with non-starchy veggies (such as veggie salads, green beans, broccoli, roasted vegetables from Strategy 2), one fourth of the plate with lean protein foods (such as a turkey), and one fourth with carbohydrate foods (this is mashed potatoes, stuffing, corn on the cob, or a sweet treat may fit). This simple strategy has brought success for many when navigating picnics and celebrations. 

    Strategy 7: Cruise by the foods that aren’t worth the carbohydrate or calories.  Before filling your plate with a little bit of everything, cruise the buffet or party spread to see what’s available, and then decide which foods you really want, and what portion of each works for you, We encourage asking yourself, “Is it worth the carbohydrate or calories?” If the answer is “no,” then it may be best to pass it by. If the answer is “yes,” then decide what portion fits your carbohydrate budget before adding it to your plate.

    Strategy 8: Focus on fellowship and laughter. We believe that laughter is the best medicine, and we try very hard to practice what we preach. Scientists have shown that laughter is a great stress reliever and causes mental relaxation. Laughter can even improve blood pressure, pain, and immunity. Most importantly it strengthens human connections when we laugh together. There is now actually “laughter therapy” defined by the National Cancer Institute as therapy that uses humor to help people cope with medical conditions by relieving pain, stress and improving well-being. Here we are embracing this strategy a few years back on holiday escape!

    Evaluate what went well. After each event, reflect on what went well and how you can repeat that at future gatherings. This is a helpful solution-focused strategy for anyone! Also think about what didn’t go as planned, and what changes can be made at future gatherings to keep blood glucose in range. You can read more in our blog post on Bright Spots and Landmines.

    If you are a health care professional and interested in learning more about our solution-focused practice and approach, when you subscribe to our blog, we’ll send you in return a FREE resource of 10 Solution-Focused Questions to start a solution-focused discussion with your clients. 

    Follow us on Twitter @AFreshPOVforYou

    Deb is employed by Dexcom, but her words and opinions in this blog are her own.

    Tami is employed by the University of Kentucky HealthCare Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center, but her words and opinions in this blog are her own.

  • Fresh Views

    Perspective over comparison

    No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. – Eleanor Roosevelt

    The trees in Kentucky are bringing their showy fall foliage. Each does not think about competing with the tree beside it. They just do their thing and bring their color.

    Our last post focused on the impactful words that Tami keeps on a post-it note stuck to her computer monitor: Progress, not perfection. These words build on how the growth mindset draws attention to one’s own progress. Today we turn our attention to 3 more impactful words shared by a mentor over the years: Perspective over comparison.

    Accepting oneself can be hard! 

    In life it can be easy to default to comparing yourself to others. Just last week Tami heard these words from a patient, “I’m bad…I don’t eat the way I’m supposed to. I don’t keep my blood sugars as well controlled as my friend who also has diabetes.”  It’s so easy to get caught up in creating our own opinions of ourselves and how we measure up to others. We can play the comparison game all day long but how helpful is that really? Comparison can leave us feeling down. 

    Being realistic about personal strengths and challenges is often easier said than done. Striving to be honest with ourselves and accept who we are, our abilities, and acknowledge when we’ve reached our limits is the goal. Without acceptance it’s impossible to move forward. In a 2018 #DSMA Twitter Chat we asked participants about their strengths. One individual with diabetes replied:

    “I am strong when it comes to seeking support. When I am down, I am self-aware enough to address my hardship. I’m not afraid to be vulnerable.”

    Another replied:

    “My strength is that I refuse to give up. I am tenacious and do not take no for an answer.”

    Acceptance is critical when living with a chronic condition like diabetes

    When encountering clients/patients facing this comparison scenario, diabetes care and education specialists (DCES) can step alongside as a think partner and give perspective to the circumstances. We can offer caring, support and encouragement.

    People need to feel safe when engaging with their care team to acknowledge what they can do, along with what is challenging for them. This past week in an educational symposium for people with diabetes that Tami spoke at, the participants voiced loud and clear the theme of feeling judgment from their healthcare providers. DCES have a unique opportunity to support those that live with diabetes as they learn to accept changes and new challenges in dealing with diabetes. And, practice acceptance, understanding that people react to challenges differently. It’s critical to accept the person in front of you as they are, without judgment.

    An individual typically can recognize and clearly identify things they are able to do or achieve and feel happy. We can then encourage focus on those strengths, do more of what is working, and leverage those strengths, skills and qualities to create new opportunities. 

    In the same Twitter Chat mentioned above, another participant shared:

    “I concentrate on the lifestyle. The day to day life of a person with diabetes. I work for overall health through exercise, and diet for BGL [blood glucose] results. The support I receive takes care of the rest. So, cure or not, let’s make it as good as we can and support the other.”

    Diabetes care and education specialists can learn a lot from simply asking people what strengths they have to help them live well with diabetes, keeping top of mind, it’s all about perspective over comparison.

    Here are 6 solution-focused questions you can incorporate to focus on perspective, strengths, and self-acceptance:

    1. What would success look like for you (e.g. in life, in living with diabetes etc)?
    2. What strengths do you have and use to help you manage your diabetes every day? 
    3. How can you use your strengths to create opportunities for success?
    4. What is one thing you have come to accept in your life that took some time to process?
    5. How did you feel when you were finally able to accept that challenging situation?
    6. How could you use those experiences and feelings to move you forward to accept a new challenge now?

    If you are a health care professional and interested in learning more about our solution-focused practice and approach, when you subscribe to our blog, we’ll send you in return a FREE resource of 10 Solution-Focused Questions to start a solution-focused discussion with your clients. 

    Follow us on Twitter @AFreshPOVforYou

    Deb is employed by Dexcom, but her words and opinions in this blog are her own.

    Tami is employed by the University of Kentucky HealthCare Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center, but her words and opinions in this blog are her own.

  • Fresh Views

    Progress, Not Perfection

    Progress not perfection on a recent mountain trek Tami and her husband took on a Tennessee get away

    Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection.” – quote attributed to Mark Twain

    This is Tami writing today. I sat down at my desk to take a quick look at my email and glanced down at a post-it-note I had stuck to my computer monitor several years ago. It had simply written on it: Progress, not perfection.These impactful words were instilled in me by a long-time mentor and I keep them posted as a continual reminder.

    I’ve found this “progress, not perfection” mindset encourages focus on smaller achievements…instead of focusing solely on the end goal. It has allowed me to get things done in a quality manner without fixating on an ideal outcome that might not necessarily happen. A personal example, when working on one of my book manuscripts, thinking about the end goal of a finished book and the desire for it to be “perfect” left me feeling anxious and overwhelmed. However, when breaking the work into manageable chunks I could recognize progress. 

    “Progress, not perfection” can help us lean into the realistic and practical, and  acknowledge, accept and enjoy things.. even if they aren’t perfect. In one of our recent blogs on the “growth mindset” we shared how the growth mindset draws focus to one’s own progress. People who have a growth mindset believe that even if they struggle with certain skills,their skills can improve over time. Managing diabetes is not about being “perfect”. Life happens. The reality is that things will not always be perfect. But progress is the goal. For instance, progress toward achieving a healthy A1C or progress toward spending  more time in range.

    In taking a solution-focused approach to diabetes care and education, we can step alongside our clients/patients and support them in fostering this growth mindset and focus on progress, not perfection. 

    • For example if you hear a client/patient someone say “I’m not good at counting carbs”, you can encourage them to shift to saying, “I”m not good at counting carbs YET.”  
    • Or maybe you hear “I can’t walk 30 minutes for exercise – I get too tired”, you again can encourage them to shift saying “I can’t walk 30 minutes for exercise YET” and turn focus to their progress, that they’ve increased from 5 minutes duration to 15 minutes. 

    It’s not about perfection, but about progress and getting better. It’s about acknowledging and giving credit where credit is due. It’s about growing over time. Will you join us in adopting a “progress, not perfection” mindset? 

    If you are a health care professional and interested in learning more about our solution-focused practice and approach, when you subscribe to our blog, we’ll send you in return a FREE resource of 10 Solution-Focused Questions to start a solution-focused discussion with your clients. 

    Follow us on Twitter @AFreshPOVforYou

    Deb is employed by Dexcom, but her words and opinions in this blog are her own.

    Tami is employed by the University of Kentucky HealthCare Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center, but her words and opinions in this blog are her own.

  • Fresh Views

    Celebration!

    “Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leap fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”

    ~Maya Angelou

    We at A Fresh POV for You are taking some time off to celebrate the wedding of Tami’s son Andrew to his new bride Jessica.  We’ll be back soon with more solution-focused information.

    We welcome anyone interested in our approach to Subscribe to our blog and we’ll email you when a new post is published!

    If you are a health care professional and interested in learning more about our solution-focused practice and approach, when you subscribe to our blog, we’ll send you in return a FREE resource of 10 Solution-Focused Questions to start a solution-focused discussion with your clients. 

    Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @AFreshPOVforYou

    Deb is employed by Dexcom, but her words and opinions in this blog are her own.

    Tami is employed by the University of Kentucky HealthCare Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center, but her words and opinions in this blog are her own.

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