There’s nothing about diabetes self-management that’s impossible for you to accomplish. In fact, it’s not terribly difficult, as really difficult things go. Inconvenient would be a better description. Yet, way too many people with diabetes simply don’t commit to the effort.

Maybe the absence of attention-getting symptoms in type 2 diabetes has them doubting that diabetes is really all that serious. Perhaps they have an opposite view — no matter what they do, there’s nothing that will keep the complications away. In both cases, those people haven’t made the effort to learn the truth.

Learning about diabetes, and the opportunity you have for thriving with this condition, is surely an important commitment. And, making commitments to seize control of your health is what diabetes self-management is all about. Your first commitment should be to acknowledging the realities of diabetes, and diabetes self-management.

The first reality, this is a serious condition. For those with type 1 diabetes, dangerous low and high blood glucose levels are always possible, and avoiding danger requires awareness, and blood glucose monitoring. The risks directly related to blood glucose levels are less common with type 2 diabetes, but still possible depending upon medication (for low blood glucose levels) and overall health (for very high levels).

But, for anyone with diabetes the greatest danger is from the increased risks, related to persistent high blood glucose levels, for heart attack, stroke, damage to your eyes, kidney failure, loss of sensation, unmanageable infections, sexual dysfunction, digestive problems, and more.

It’s not something that should completely occupy your mind, but it is important to understand what’s at stake. Even if you’re feeling fine, or think you’re feeling fine, your A1C tells the real story — believe what it’s telling you.

The more important reality, these risks can be reduced significantly by the lifestyle decisions you make every day — how you eat, whether you take your medication as prescribed, how much you’re willing to prioritize exercise.

The challenge to effective diabetes self-management is mostly a mental one — a promise you make to yourself and keep. If you commit to meeting the challenge and to tolerating the certain inconveniences, you can have a remarkable impact on your health. It’s really that simple.