OBJECTIVE | For individuals with diabetes, health status may not align with A1C targets. Patients may use non-clinical targets when assessing their diabetes management success. Identifying these targets is important in developing patient-centered management plans. The purpose of this study was to identify patient markers of successful diabetes management among patients in an urban academic health system. METHODS | A secondary analysis of semistructured interviews was completed with 89 adults with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Participants had a recent diabetes-related emergency department (ED) visit or hospitalization or were primary care patients with an A1C >7.5%. Interviews were conducted to saturation. Demographic data were collected via self-report and electronic medical records. Interviews were analyzed using conventional content analysis. This analysis focused on patient perceptions of successful management coded to “measuring management success.” RESULTS | Although most participants cited A1C or blood glucose as a marker of successful diabetes management, they had varied understanding of these metrics. Most used a combination of targets from the following categories: 1) A1C, blood glucose, and numbers; 2) engagement in medical care; 3) taking medication and medication types; 4) symptoms; 5) diet, exercise, and weight; and 6) stress management and social support. CONCLUSION | Individuals not meeting glycemic goals and/or with recent diabetes-related ED visits or hospitalizations had varied understanding of A1C and blood glucose targets. They used multiple additional markers of successful management and had a desire for management discussions that incorporate these markers. These measures should be incorporated into their care plans along with clinical targets.