Diabetes healthcare providers are no strangers to the self-management model. Indeed, it could be said that diabetes is the field in which the self-management model has been most thoroughly developed and implemented. The marriage of expert clinical care with self-management by the individual is an ideal union and an increasingly common objective. It is an excellent goal – one that is achievable by many. Yet a number of systematic barriers to self-management exists. However, these can be identified and used as a ‘roadmap’ to alert people to common challenges and guide them to effective solutions. Michael Vallis offers a round-up of widely encountered barriers to self-management, and suggests a formula to promote increased motivation to self-manage among people affected by a chronic disease.