Four steps for a strong start on your path to progress

If you’re living with prediabetes or diabetes, managing your blood sugar is important. However, deciding where to focus can be overwhelming. To get started on your Path to Progress it can be helpful to choose only 1 to 3 new goals each week. Just remember to set yourself up for success by making each step specific and realistic.

Below are example goals that may inspire you. Choose a goal or customize one below to set a goal that is right for you.

Make good food choices

Obvious? Yes, but it’s worth emphasizing. For example, swap high-glycemic carbohydrates such as doughnuts, sugary cereals, and white bread, for foods with low-glycemic carbohydrates like Glucerna shakes and bars. Make sure you get enough protein. Learn how to deal with those annoying cravings. Remember, nutritious choices can taste great.

Set yourself up for success with goals like these:

  • Swap drinks that are high in sugar, including soft drinks, sweetened iced tea, and sugary fruit juices, for water or seltzer
  • Increase your vegetable intake by adding spinach in soups or pasta sauce, using cauliflower as rice, or ribboned squash in place of pasta noodles in recipes
  • Carve out time to prepare a healthy lunch; for example, a veggie and hummus sandwich on whole grain bread
  • Snack smarter—SWAP a Glucerna shake or bar for that sugar-filled, midmorning or midafternoon snack
  • Use smaller plates than what you typically eat dinner on to help bring awareness to portion sizes

To help you stay organized, click on, and print this handy shopping list:
Be a List Maker

Get enough sleep

You hear about the importance of sleep; it’s especially true for people trying to manage diabetes. Too little sleep can affect your food choices, your ability to exercise, even your mental health.

Tips to help you get better sleep

  • Wake up and go to sleep at the same time every day, including weekends
  • Avoid caffeinated drinks, nicotine, or alcohol close to bedtime
  • Try to sleep in a room that’s dark, cool, and quiet
  • If you nap, keep it short and avoid napping close to bedtime
  • Physical activity can help promote better sleep
  • Cut down on screen time before bed. Instead, read a book or magazine


Exercise has so many benefits. It can help you control weight, help you manage cholesterol levels, strengthen muscle and bone, reduce stress, and can make your body more sensitive to insulin. (check with your health care provider before starting a new exercise routine)

Tips for adding exercise to your routine:

  • Go biking for an hour this week
  • Do a specific type of exercise during television commercials, for example: squats, jumping jacks, or planks
  • Set a specific exercise goal, like attending yoga 3 times a week or running a 5K
  • Aim to be active for a specific number of minutes this week
  • Track your steps this week
  • Choose a new, fun activity to try this week
  • Find and commit to meeting with an exercise partner or group

For more helpful information on exercise, click on this article: Diabetes and Exercise: Tips to Stay Physically Active

Celebrate your successes

Accepting that you have prediabetes or diabetes is an important step toward success. Making progress is definitely possible. When you do, reward yourself with a nonfood reward.

Download this helpful chart to record your personal goals and track your progress. Then celebrate your accomplishments.