• Fresh Views

    Diabetes Technology and Solution-Focused Practice: Applied to Mobile Apps

    “You`re only as weak as you let yourself become, and you`re only as strong as you allow yourself to be.”

    Daniel Hansen

    Beautiful bougainvillea, Palm Desert, CA

    In this week’s installment of Diabetes Technology and Solution-Focused Practice we’re discussing mobile apps. In our last blog we focused on using a solution-focused approach to interpreting and discussing continuous glucose monitor (CGM) data. This week’s blog we’ll focus on a new discovery for us – the WW mobile app. We will share insights on other apps in future blogs. We believe that using solution-focused language within mobile applications can improve user engagement with the app, as well as encourage individuals to make progress towards their health behavior goals.

    WW App: Deb’s experience…

    As you may know, Weight Watchers is now known as WW. I have been using their app, the WW app, to help  stay on track during the COVID-19 lockdown. You can learn about the different WW programs and pricing here. There are several options to choose from, I only use the app for logging and motivation.  I was encouraged to continue using the app because of the nature of the messaging. Then I began to wonder if they were incorporating a solution-focused approach? 

    From a weekly in-App push a few weeks ago, the headline was “Why you should do what works: You might already have more tools in your toolbox than you think.” If that doesn’t sound like solution-focused messaging, I’m not sure what does! The post reminds us that people typically focus on what isn’t working well and how to deal with challenges. Of course, that is not motivating, and not helpful when trying to make hard health behavior changes.

    But, what if you “Flip the switch” so to speak? (See our many blog posts from 2019 about “Flipping the paradigm” –  here’s one on healthy eating, and here’s one on healthy coping). The WW message goes on to encourage focusing on the things that come naturally and leverage strengths or what’s worked in the past! Wow! We’ve written about strengths in this blog multiple times (you can read about strengths here), and so believe in focusing on what one does well,  building confidence, and increasing happiness by doing so. 

    Make Strengths your Secret Weapon. According to WW, leveraging your strengths will help you be successful. They suggest asking 3 questions to uncover strengths:

    1. When do I feel like my best self?
    2. What makes me unique?
    3. What comes most naturally to me?

    Those are questions that diabetes care and education specialists (DCES) can easily incorporate into diabetes-related conversations with clients as well. Once those questions are answered, WW suggests creating an “affirmation” to help remember to focus on personal strengths. You can read their post here. One exercise that helps people think through writing their own affirmation includes showing a word cloud to help direct thinking about potential ideas of strengths (including humor, cleverness, bravery, creative etc.). What a powerful visual tool, that would be so easy to employ in any diabetes care and education program! Finally they suggest saying the affirmation out loud every morning or posting on your computer so it will be visible every day. For instance, “I am strong.” “I am resilient.” You get the idea

    I loved this way of thinking about making healthy choices, and reading and engaging with the content. I created my own affirmation and have it posted on my computer with a sticky note so I  glance at it multiple times during the day! Tami has affirmations on her desk and in the kitchen that she sees when making coffee in the morning to start the day off.

    Helping clients create their own affirmation using solution-focused principles is a great opportunity to highlight what is working well already and focusing on their strengths, as well as supporting the development of resilience. 

    Do you recommend mobile apps to your clients? 

    If you have a client interested in weight loss or adopting healthy eating habits, the WW mobile app might be a good option. (We are not endorsed by WW and do not receive any compensation from WW). Knowing the positive strength-based language that is being used is so encouraging. Also of note, WW recently hired Adam Kauffman, formerly of Canary Health,  to head their diabetes program (read the press release here) so we’re excited to see what’s to come in the future.

    We plan to continue to write about a variety of other technologies that impact and influence diabetes care and education including diabetes apps, digital health tools, diabetes devices, online peer support and online coaching. Stop back by in 2 weeks to see what’s up next!

    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. 

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

  • Fresh Views

    Diabetes Technology and Solution-Focused Practice: Applied to CGM

     “The future depends on what we do in the present.” – Mahatma Gandhi

    Views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains from Folsom Lake, Granite Bay, CA

    In this week’s installment of Diabetes Technology and Solution-Focused Practice we’re discussing continuous glucose monitoring or CGM. If you’ve been reading our blog, you know we’ve written about CGM before in our posts about Exceptions and Possibilities and also in our series on “Flipping the Paradigm” when applying a solution focused approach to Monitoring

    Focus on “exceptions” rather than “problems”

    When we think about applying a solution-focused approach to CGM, Bright Spots and Landmines by Adam Brown comes to mind. It’s a framework for evaluating diabetes habits and decisions. (You can read our 2019 interview with him here.) As we were identifying our technology themed blog posts, Deb happened to watch a North Carolina JDRF Chapter presentation by Adam (see slides here) that really highlighted the approach we encourage  diabetes care and education specialists (DCES) to take when discussing CGM data. 

    When evaluating CGM data similar to that below, the typical first response may be to focus on the glucose spike and try to identify what went wrong.

    However, when taking a solution-focused approach, we want to turn focus to all of the things that are working well (rather than what went “wrong”). Similar to Adam’s “Bright Spots”, we call them “Exceptions” or times when the problem did NOT occur and when things were going well. Below you can see where Adam focuses on his Exceptions, instead of his “landmines” and identifies all of his successes during the day. If we only focus on times that are not working well, we miss identifying successes.

    CGM creates a great opportunity for discovery learning!

     When CGM was first incorporated as a management tool, the focus was typically on hypoglycemia, and preventing serious events from happening. As CGM has evolved and more individuals with type 2 diabetes are incorporating it into their diabetes care, the focus has broadened and now includes focus on making healthy behavior changes. CGM creates a great opportunity for discovery learning, where people can try different foods or activities and personally experiment to learn what works well for them. While Adam identifies 42 factors that can impact blood glucose, he stated that there are more likely more than 60-100 factors if you include mental health and other daily issues. There’s so much to learn!

    As DCES use CGM in practice with clients with type 2 diabetes, applying a solution-focused approach to CGM data can be motivating and help reinforce habits and choices that result in increased time in range (TIR) and overall quality of life. (The recommended goal for TIR is > 70% of glucose values between 70 and 180 mg/dL) Focusing on their “best day” pattern (the day with the greatest TIR) and working towards increasing TIR is a positive goal to strive for because they can “do more of what’s working” instead of giving up or stopping something they enjoy. Our “fresh view” photo today was taken by Deb on an easy hike near her home. Physical activity is one of many factors that can help one see more TIR. Applying a solution-focused mindset with CGM can help your clients want to learn to use their own data to learn about their diabetes and create a plan that works for them, where they can be successful.

    Do you use CGM in your practice and with your clients? If you do, try focusing on times when they are in their goal range and inquire about their actions and activities during that time. Help them identify what’s working well and what choices will move them towards more TIR. 

    • One mnemonic to facilitate conversation is MGLR, which stands for “more green, less red” when looking at the TIR bar. The goal is to see more green (time between 70-180 mg/dL) and less red (< 70 mg/dL). Talking about TIR can be a great way to have a solution-focused discussion and to help clients identify opportunities to succeed instead of focusing on past failures. 
    • A second mnemonic is FNIR, or “flat, narrow and in-range”, which is a goal for the trend graph. When viewing the trend graph the goal is to have the majority of the data fall within the target range, again typically 70-180 mg/dL without extreme variability swinging from below range to above range. CGM creates an opportunity to move towards a clients goals while providing constant, non-judgemental feedback on their progress.

    We plan to continue to write about a variety of other technologies that impact and influence diabetes care and education including diabetes apps, digital health tools, diabetes devices, online peer support and online coaching. Stop back by in 2 weeks to see what’s up next!

    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. 

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

  • Fresh Views

    Diabetes Technology and Solution-Focused Practice: A Telehealth Experience

     It’s not what you look at that matters; it’s what you see. – Henry David Thoreau

    Joshua Tree National Park, California

    Back in January we shared the top 10 things that 2020 taught us (you can read it here) and #5 was to Keep a mindset focused on finding solutions, rather than focusing on problems. Little did we know that we would be applying that lesson to many aspects of our lives throughout the year. In some ways it’s difficult to believe that an entire year has passed since the world first shut down and the new concept of “social distancing” became the norm. And with that the need to quickly find a solution to no longer being able to meet with clients in person. Tami works with a dually accredited Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support program (DSMES) in public health which quickly became part of a statewide pilot to pivot to online virtual delivery. Rather than fixating on the “problem” at hand (no longer being able to meet in person), she and the team focused on creating solutions, leveraging the ideas, input, skills and expertise of the team she works with. To echo the Thoreau quote above, it’s all about what you envision and see in looking to the future.

    Here’s Tami’s telehealth experience…

    I will never forget hearing people say, “What’s so hard about switching to facilitating online. You just open up your computer and talk!” But it quickly became evident that virtual delivery is SO much more than that…my home office rapidly transformed into a small studio complete with green screen for virtual background (to hide the chaos of working from home), a webcam (for clear image and sound), a ring light (for proper lighting), a second device to log-in (to see what the participants are seeing), elevating my laptop (so it was the right height), rigging up my desk so all props were within reach, placing my notes where I could see them and still look in the camera, plus learning how to use Zoom and Docusign!  And not to mention adapting the entire curriculum and mode of delivery to be interactive and engaging. Many times I told my husband I not only had to be a content expert, but also be engaging, be entertaining, and be my own IT. It seemed that each day new considerations and challenges popped up (after all, I didn’t know what I didn’t know), but we kept a mindset focused on building solutions. And thank goodness for technology in these days of “social distancing”! The photo above from Joshua Tree is reflective of the many pieces and aspects that together built a successful telehealth program and required us to rely on a strong network of people, technology and new ideas to be resilient. (If you’ve followed our blog, you know we enjoy sharing a fresh view through an inspiring photo with each post!)

    Tami’s office set-up for virtual delivery

    Engaging differently through virtual visits

    One quick learning with the transition to virtual DSMES delivery was that engagement is significantly different through virtual visits. Engaging virtually can bring an added level of stress…How do I connect to Zoom? My internet is unstable. How do I mute myself? Can you hear me? How do I turn off my camera? Can you see me? How do I position my laptop because I don’t like what’s in my background or how I look?…I bet you can relate to some of these! In an effort to reduce stress, and start each encounter on a positive note, I started each session in a solution-focused manner with the questions: What’s 1 thing that went well this past week (no matter how big or small)? What’s 1 change you were able to make? How were you able to do that?  Whether unmuting and sharing, or replying in the chat, this helped acknowledge each individual’s hard work and guide the discussion toward finding solutions. At the conclusion of each DSMES series when setting post-program goals, again we turned focus to areas each individual was already achieving some success and how they could leverage that for future benefit.

    Telehealth virtual delivery was a success!

    I’m happy to share that after facilitating multiple cohorts our program has had a 100% completion rate for most of the cohorts! Much higher engagement and completion than in-person delivery. That’s a huge win!

    How has technology changed your practice or your thinking? We’d love to hear from you!

     Over the next few posts we’ll write about a variety of other technologies that impact and influence diabetes care and education including diabetes apps, digital health tools, diabetes devices, online peer support and online coaching. Stop back by in 2 weeks to see what’s up next!

    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.

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

  • Fresh Views

    Bring A Fresh Perspective to Diabetes Technology Through Solution-Focused Conversations & Principles

    Perspective is everything when you are experiencing the challenges of life. – Joni Earackson Tada

    Arch Rock, Joshua Tree National Park, California

    In this new year, are you looking to add a fresh perspective to your diabetes care and education conversations?

    Over the past two years, through this blog and our research publications and presentation we’ve been sharing tips and guidance to help diabetes care and education specialists incorporate principles of solution-focused practice into their conversions with clients. At its core, solution-focused practice is based on relationship building between the client and the clinician who acts as a “think partner.” The overarching themes of most of our blogs help the diabetes care and education specialist to view their interactions with a new perspective and challenge them to think differently. (With the mention of “overarching” we thought the photo above as fitting for our “fresh view” for this post.)

    With the rapid evolution of technology-enabled care during the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve been discussing the need to focus some of our learnings to support the use of solution-focused principles when incorporating technology into care and education. So, we’ve decided to launch a series of blog posts focused on different aspects of technology-enabled diabetes care and education and incorporating solution-focused principles. Over the next few posts we’ll write  about various technologies that impact and influence diabetes care and education including diabetes apps, digital health tools, diabetes devices, online peer support and online coaching.

    In the meantime, there are two papers focused on incorporating technology into practice that we encourage you to check out. They were published by colleagues (including Deb) in August 2020 in The Diabetes Educator journal (now The Science of Diabetes Self-Management and Care):

    • The second paper used continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) as an exemplar for integrating technology into practice. In this paper a simplified process for evaluating CGM data was presented. This DATAA model (an acronym for download data, assess for safety, time in range, areas to improve and action plan) not only simplifies data interpretation, but also includes solution-focused principles along with strength-based language practices to empower people to use their data for learning and behavior change.

    Stop back by in two weeks to see which technology to impact and influence diabetes care and education that we focus on first!  

    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. 

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

  • Fresh Views

    7 Key Accomplishments in 2020 and What’s Next for 2021

    1.Dream it. 2.Envision it. 3.Think it. 4.Grow it. 5.Become it. 6.Live it. 7.OWN it.― Germany Kent, The 7 Steps to Transformation

    Joshua Tree National Park, California

    The photo above depicts 2020 in our minds! We felt like we were walking through prickly desolate days at times, yet we kept our eyes on the horizon, the peaks ahead, and kept moving forward despite the pandemic and changes in our world. With 2021 in full swing, we continue to envision new possibilities, opportunities, and fresh views on solution-focused practice, and we hope to encounter beautiful vistas and images to imprint in our minds along the way.

    We love the above quote by Germany Kent. We find that at the core it aligns with our accomplishments in 2020 here at A Fresh POV For You, and helps describe what we envision in 2021.

    Dream it. We dreamed that we would continue this blog to share solution-focused practice techniques with our colleagues and get more of our research published. We did it! This blog recently passed it’s second anniversary. And in March we published our second paper about incorporating solution-focused practice in AADE in Practice (now ADCES in Practice): A Paradigm Shift: Taking a Solution-Focused Approach to Practice 

    Envision it. We envisioned sharing the impact of solution-focused techniques and building the evidence to support incorporation of solution-focused principles into diabetes care and education by publishing more of our research. In October 2020 that happened! Applying a Solution-Focused Approach to Life With Diabetes: Insights Gleaned via Twitter was published in The Diabetes Educator journal (now The Science of Diabetes Self-Management and Care journal)

    Think it. We continuously think about and consider the power of words we choose to use in  client interactions every day. So throughout 2020 we wrote a series of “word of the week” blogs. In each post we shared a word related to solution-focused practice along with practical tips and guidelines to inspire solution-focused thinking and practice among diabetes care and education specialist, and to slowly instill confidence in solution-focused principles. We embrace those words in practice and hope that you’ve found them impactful in your conversations too.

    Grow it. We wanted to grow our reach. Over 2020 we’ve added many subscribers to this blog and have shared it on multiple social media channels. In 2021 we’re thinking of expanding to podcasts and other methods too. Stay tuned!

    Become it. We were so excited to have a podium presentation accepted at ADCES 2020 annual meeting. Unfortunately due to the pandemic and transition to a virtual meeting, we did not present, but are hopeful to be able to share our presentation this year. We’re also considering offering ongoing webinars due to great interest from our readers. What do you think about that?

    Live it. We practice what we preach. We organize our life with solution-focused thoughts. We wake up and think about what has worked well for us and how we can “do more of that.” One thing we tried hard to do in 2020 was stay connected. You can read more about Support here and how we stayed connected with friends, family and colleagues. 

    Own it. We “own it” when it comes to our belief in the transforming power of solution-focused practice. The power of identifying what has worked and leveraging that for future successes. In 2021 our goal is to build upon this. Do more research. Write more to spread the word of solution-focused practice. And continue to educate ourselves and our colleagues .We’d love to hear from you, and learn about what you are interested in learning regarding incorporating a solution-focused approach in  your practice!

    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. 

  • Fresh Views

    Top 10 Things 2020 Taught Us

    We were happy to see the sun set on 2020! 

    Life is not about how fast you run or how high you climb, but how well you bounce. – Vivian Komori

    It’s been said that “Life is not about how fast you run or how high you climb, but how well you bounce.” That pretty much sums up 2020! We’ve all learned to “bounce” through the multitude of challenges before us this past year. Yet, through it all there were many positives that we @AFreshPOVforYou personally realized during those unprecedented days. And one of those positives was celebrating the second birthday of this blog!

    WHO ARE WE? 

    If you are new to our blog, we are solution-focused diabetes care and education specialists. We are passionate about doing diabetes care and education differently. Too much of life is spent focusing on problems. Instead, we believe in turning attention to possibilities, opportunities, and a fresh vision for the future. We see the benefit in stepping alongside our clients as “think partners” to focus on what’s important to them, what’s already going well, and build upon that to reach their goals so that they may live life to the fullest. We invite you to join us in doing the same if this is a new paradigm for you. We are advocates for person-centered, strengths-based language, and believe that self-compassion is essential when living with a chronic condition. 

    OUR MISSION

    As we welcome the new year, our Mission continues to be that We guide healthcare professionals in taking a solution-focused approach to practice to enable clients with diabetes to embrace possibilities, opportunities, and a fresh vision for the future.

    Our interest and passion around taking a solution-focused approach to practice (and life), means acknowledging what has gone well, acknowledging how that success was achieved, then identifying how to do more of that and build upon that moving forward.

    TOP 10 THINGS THAT 2020 TAUGHT US (in no particular order)

    1. Importance of connection with others and having support. We don’t take the human touch for granted after living through 2020. We learned that connection and support comes in many different forms. We found creative easy ways to Keep Friends Close, as well as family, through Zoom virtual happy hours, virtual graduations, virtual birthday celebrations; hugs through windows; and drive by celebrations. Find 5 ways to guide your clients to engage in ongoing diabetes support here.
    1. Do hard things early in the day to feel accomplished. We both work the best in the morning. While we’ve known this, it was never quite so clear as it was in 2020. We did the “hard” work early in the day when our minds were freshest, so that we felt accomplished. The stressful days left us tired and spent by days end, and after dinner to help us relax and “escape” we could often be found indulging in Netflix, Prime, and others (who knew you needed so many streaming channels?). We identified a time when things were working well (in the morning) and tried to do more of it. When working with clients, try to identify when they think the clearest and encourage them to focus on their diabetes at that time. Help them identify their “Exceptions”, those times when things are going well. If your client wears a CGM, help them identify a quiet time to retrospectively review their CGM reports to identify patterns and trends and develop 1-2 small behavior changes to move then towards their goals by “doing more of what is working well.”
    1. We CAN be healthy. While many have gained the “COVID 19 pounds”, and may have been over indulging during the past several months, we learned that we could continue to adopt healthy habits, even during a stay at home order. Deb likes and has been focusing on the Mediterranean eating plan that includes lots of healthy fruits and vegetables with less red meat. She also decided to go back to using her WW (formerly Weight Watchers) app to help her track her food, activity and sleep. Tami purchased an under desk elliptical machine to help keep her active during the week, and spent time enjoying great outdoor walking trails on the weekends while social distancing. While in ways it has been challenging being home so much, we learned that it can also be healthy. When eating at home there’s more control over the ingredients added to recipes. There also may be a little more time to prepare meals, or do “meal prep” for the week. Read more tips here.
    1. There are many possibilities, we just have to identify them. With restaurants closed and outside entertainment challenging, we quickly began to think of out of the box possibilities. Deb and her husband decided to have a “car picnic” after they picked up wine at a local winery. From the front seat of their car they could see the peaks of the Sierra Nevada Mountains while enjoying a picnic lunch and a cool glass of Rose. On the work front, taking a solution-focused approach to diabetes care and education can be a fresh new start and bring possibilities to light. Gather some tips from our blog here.
    1. Keep a mindset focused on finding solutions (rather than focusing on problems). We learned that in matters big and small, diabetes-related or not, by embracing a mindset that focuses on solutions, and channeling energy into leveraging strengths and possibilities, we can cultivate a solution-focused mindset. One that envisions success. One which helps manage stress. In our blog you’ll find 7 strategies you can use to step alongside your clients and support them in embracing a solution-focused mindset and managing stress.
    1. Acceptance and gratitude. While social distancing and stay at home orders in 2020 kept us from living out our plans for the year, we eventually came to accept that, and focus on what we could do and find gratitude and happiness in that. Read our tips on developing acceptance as a personal strength and helping cultivate it in others in our blog here, and tips to get started with daily gratitude practice here.
    1. The joy in giving. With life moving at a little slower pace, Tami found joy in giving to others. Small surprise “porch drops” on family and friends’ porches to brighten their day. Dropping by bags of food to be distributed to those in need in the community. She even took up baking bread as surprise drop-offs to those who would enjoy it. With the news coverage of families without food, Deb’s family and her workplace donated to www.feedingamerica.org on multiple occasions to support those in need. Sparking Joy in life and in diabetes education is an important element of our mission.
    1. Active listening is critical. With our daily Zoom meetings and family gatherings we learned that listening is crucial. It can be challenging to not “talk over” people when the virtual conversation includes many individuals. We couldn’t have “side bar” conversations unless they were by text or personal chat. We couldn’t read body language easily. Read more about how listening in a solution-focused practice can support the process of becoming a “think partner” with your clients.
    1. Resilience can be developed. How many virtual conferences or meetings have you attended in 2020? We attended more than we can count, and who knew just how successful they could be! While we missed the ability to be face-to-face with our friends and colleagues, we appreciated the opportunity to continue to learn and conduct business. We just kept going! That is what resilience is all about! Learn how you can build resilience in our blog here.
    1. Power of humor. How could we have survived the past year without humor! Laughing with friends online, reading silly memes on social media, and trying not to take ourselves too seriously. One of our dear colleagues and friends always provides us with comical relief and was no exception in 2020. You can sample our thoughts on humor in our blog here.
    Virtual happy hour laughs!

    2020 was a good teacher! Let’s embrace 2021 with New Year’s “solutions”, rather than “resolutions”

    Our challenge to you as we embark on this new year still facing struggles and uncertainty, is what if, instead of making New Year’s Resolutions this year (which require change and “fixing problems”), you instead guide your clients (and yourself) in making New Year’s Solutions? Who doesn’t like a solution after all? 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). One of the benefits of focusing on what went well, is that you can do it every day. Instead of dwelling on what you didn’t accomplish today, identify what was successful and try to do that “one thing” again tomorrow.

    WHAT’S TO COME? 

    Throughout 2020 we launched a series of posts, each revolving around a “word of the week” to inspire solution-focused thinking and practice. We embrace those words in practice and hope that you’ve found them impactful in your conversations too. What will we write about in 2021? Here are some of our ideas that we may write more about in the months to come: practical coaching tips; building your solution-focused question library; solution-focused behavior change; and incorporating solution-focused principles in a technology-enabled world. We’d love to hear from you, and learn about what you are interested in learning regarding incorporating a solution-focused approach in  your practice!

    We hope that  2021 will be kind to all of us and that together we can learn how to help people with diabetes live their best life!

    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. 

  • Fresh Views

    More Love in 2021

    The sun shining brightly on the United States Capitol

    Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

     As we started this new year that is 2021, we were hoping for something better and bright, hoping for a vaccine for COVID-19, and hoping for change. While we had planned a blog post for today that allowed us to look back on 2020 and share what we learned, we decided it best to take a brief pause, to allow everyone the necessary time to reflect on the events that took place at the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021.

    We, at A Fresh POV for You are sending love and light into the world today and we hope that 2021 will bring all of us more love and less hate.

    We’ll be back next time to share our thoughts on 2020!

  • Fresh Views

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

    Tami’s “grandkitty” Starlight 
    (No kitties allowed on the tables or counters, but…she wanted a fresh point of view, and who could resist the cuteness!)

    We’re taking a couple weeks off but will be back in the new year with reflections on what 2020 taught us! We’ll also return with more fresh points of view to guide and support healthcare professionals in a solution-focused approach so clients can embrace possibilities, opportunities, and a fresh vision for the future.

    We wish everyone a very happy and healthy holiday season. We look forward to 2021 with new hopes and dreams!

  • Fresh Views

    WELL-LIVED: Today’s word to jump-start solution-focused practice

    A life lived with purpose and growth is a life well-lived. – Lisa Layden

    As 2020 is drawing to a close, we find ourselves reflecting, “Was the year well-lived despite the chaos of the pandemic?” Admittedly, the first response was “no”, as it’s easy to focus on the social distancing, not spending in-person time with those we love, stay at home orders, loved ones with Covid-19, and the list goes on. BUT, upon deeper reflection actually, YES, there are many positives that have come out of these unusual, unprecedented, stressful and anxious days. 

    If you’ve followed our blog, you know that our interest and passion revolves around taking a solution-focused approach to practice (and life), which means acknowledging what has gone well, acknowledging how you achieved that success, then identifying how to do more of that and build upon that moving forward.

    TODAY’S WORD IS WELL-LIVED

    Today we’re sharing with you 4 strategies that have helped us to declare 2020 well-lived. These are strategies that we plan to continue to embrace through the pandemic and beyond so we can continue to declare that even through challenging times life has been well-lived.

    1- Be still, be present.  During weeks of stay at home orders and working remotely, we’ve spent MUCH more time being present, living in the moment, and pausing to fully appreciate our surroundings and backyard spaces. In doing so, we saw many things we otherwise would likely have missed while zipping through life: hummingbirds in both of our backyards (who knew!), a baby bunny that would sit by Tami’s feet and eat when she was in her “outdoor office”, spectacular sunsets, and then the shift to brilliant fall leaves.

    A socially-distanced hike in Bernheim Forest in Kentucky

    2- Surround yourself with things that bring you joy. This past year more than ever we’ve appreciated the importance of this concept. It doesn’t have to be something big, just something as simple as the bright flowers Tami planted outside her kitchen window that she’d see when she passes by during the day.

    3- Find laughter in some way each day. Laughter is good for your health! You can learn more about that in our blog post here . We have intentionally found something to make us laugh each day, whether a GIF, a meme, a funny YouTube video, a Facebook post from our friend Lorena, a cat in a box…you get the idea.

    Tami’s son’s kitty Starlight        
     Deb’s kitty Nike enjoys a little “bubbles”

    4- Want what you have.  As you know, we were avid travelers prior to the pandemic, always in search of a new fresh view and looking forward to what’s next. However, these last 9 months we have embraced the attitude of “want what we have”. Being grateful for exactly what we have. Deb added Christmas lights and heaters to her backyard this year so she can enjoy at home, outdoor dining this holiday season. But she is most grateful that some of her kids have spent time at home this year when they would have normally been living out of town and even out of state.

    Diana and Deb enjoying a sunny winter day in Apple Hill, Placerville, CA

    We look forward to sharing a few more learnings and reflections that the year has brought us personally in our January 13, 2021 blog. 

    EACH WEEK WE INVITE READERS TO PARTICIPATE IN A SOLUTION-FOCUSED CHALLENGE… As you close out the year with your clients with diabetes, we challenge you to spend a few minutes with them reflecting on 2020 and identifying one, two or more things big or small that have helped them live well this past year.

    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. 

  • Fresh Views

    GRATITUDE: Today’s word to jump-start solution-focused practice

    Gratitude turns what we have into enough. – Aesop

    Heart-shaped fall leaves in Tami’s yard that she acknowledged in gratitude

    In this season of Thanksgiving in the midst of the pandemic surge, we are being intentional in practicing gratitude – reminding ourselves of all that we have to be grateful for…including YOU, our readers and followers! The timing seemed perfect to focus on gratitude practices as part of taking a solution-focused approach to interactions with clients, leveraging things that they’re already doing well to build upon to generate solutions to realize future success.

    Do you think about gratitude during your daily routine? Is it a habit you practice? Is it a practice you encourage with your clients?

    TODAY’S WORD IS GRATITUDE

    The simple definition of gratitude is “a feeling of thankful appreciation for favors or benefits received; thankfulness.”  But the practice of gratitude means so much more.

    Gratitude is good for health

    Practicing gratitude is powerful. While the relationship is not fully understood, positive emotions such as expressing gratitude, are linked to healthier lifestyle choices. And healthy lifestyle choices including healthy eating and being active are in turn linked to overall health. According to the American Heart Association, several clinical trials show that engaging in a practice of gratitude can lower blood pressure and help the immune system. It’s also been noted that grateful people have healthier eating habits, are more physically active, have improved sleep, are less likely to smoke and abuse alcohol, and have higher rates of taking medications as prescribed. Several studies suggest that gratitude can decrease stress and anxiety by activating the areas in the brain that release feel-good hormones serotonin and dopamine. It’s difficult to feel sorry for yourself or feel down if you’re practicing gratitude.

    Beautiful mountain scenery near Mt. Charleston, Nevada

    Here are 8 ways to help develop daily gratitude habits in this season of Thanksgiving: 

    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, or a magnet. And with that reminder, pause, take a breath and focus on being grateful in that moment.
    2. 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. Even if we don’t write it down, we still try to practice mindfulness and pause and be grateful when we see or experience something that brings us joy. 
    3. Notice the beauty in nature each day. When taking a recharge break sitting in her back yard a few days ago, Tami noticed stunning heart-shaped redbud leaves falling. She looked around her and realized she was surrounded by “hearts”, prompting her to practice gratitude. Deb was visiting her son recently and enjoyed a beautiful hike out in nature near Mt. Charleston, Nevada and was not only grateful to be in nature but also to be spending time with her family.
    4. 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. 
    5. Voice or write down one (two, or three) good things that happened in your day. This is a practice Tami uses routinely with her clients to turn the focus to what’s going well.  She uses this as well on the home front with her family. In these stressful days it’s so easy to focus on all the chaos in the world. This mindful gratitude practice helps to refocus on the good things rather than the challenges of the day.
    6. 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.
    7. Reach out to a family member or friend via call, text, video chat, email, or an old-fashioned hand written note to let them know how much you appreciate them or to compliment them. 
    8. Post  quotes, thoughts, and images that remind you to be grateful. Tami’s desk has an array of colorful post-it notes with such on them. On her home refrigerator can be found pictures with family and friends that bring her joy, along with positive affirmations. Deb has a wall of picture tiles in her entry-way that remind her of happy experiences with family and friends that she’s grateful for.

    EACH WEEK WE INVITE READERS TO PARTICIPATE IN A SOLUTION-FOCUSED CHALLENGE… This week, we challenge you to support your clients in developing their own gratitude practices. In addition to the ideas above, here are 3 guidelines you can challenge them with:

    1. Find a daily time to practice gratitude and try to be consistent. Maybe it’s when you get up in the morning. Maybe it’s before you go to bed at night. Maybe it’s when you’re exercising.
    2. Write what you feel. Don’t censor it.  
    3. Refrain from making the list repetitive. Be specific, finding new ways to approach gratitude.

    We wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving! Even though you may not be with the family and friends you typically celebrate with, let’s all be grateful for what we have today.

    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. 

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