Diabetes is a chronic disease. To prevent and delay complications, diabetic patients must adjust their lifestyle as part of a comprehensive approach to disease control. Diabetic patients must be able to self-manage their disease and establish healthy habits in their daily routine. In this study, prior to intervention, the subject was unable to control her diet, do exercise, check sugars properly or integrate disease management effectively into her daily routine. By applying self-regulation theory through the keeping of a diary for sugar and daily activity self-monitoring, she became able to self-assess the causes of poor disease control. Such further facilitated her setting goals and developing strategies to link her habits with disease management. When failing to achieve goals even after execution, she could consider the factors contributing to the failure and modify her behaviors, goals and/or strategies accordingly. We helped this patient learn behavior modification methods in order to achieve her goal of better HbA1C control. This case example may help clinical nursing educators move beyond the confines of the traditional one-way educational model to guide diabetic patients to achieve good sugar control. We hope our findings help many chronic disease sufferers achieve self-management objectives in order to assume greater self-care responsibilities.