Happy New Year!

While I am not a big new year’s resolution person, I do like to start the new year with a good plan and create a bigger picture of the things that need to be done.

A few weeks ago when I started going through my new business planner, it suggested I pick a word for the year. Honestly, I was blank… Like really blank. There are so many words that could serve someone in a year it is hard to pick just one.

I left it blank and kept planning.

I took off for the new year thinking I would mindfully figure out my word of the year as I stared at the ocean. But it still did not come to me.

I was thousands of miles away in the beautiful island paradise of Zanzibar, with time to think and reflect, but it still was not coming to me.

It didn’t take long to explore the 1km stretch of white sand, rocks and seaweed where we watched children from the local village play and collect seafood every morning. During that walk, one of the men from the village approached us to ask if we would like a tour on his boat. We definitely wanted to do that to visit the nearby mangroves and watch the sun set.

However, we couldn’t take his phone number to find him later as we had left our phone back at the hotel in an effort to digitally detox.

“Hakuna Matata – WhatsApp is everywhere,” he told us.

What?! Did I just hear the words of the famed Lion King song and WhatsApp used in the same sentence?

Of course this Swahili phrase of Hakuna, meaning “there is not”, and Matata, meaning “problem”, was around long before the Lion King. And Timon and Pumbaa joyously sing it in a very passive way because they want to be lazy.

Back on the beach in Zanzibar, this man did not use the phrase this way at all. He was not worried (Hakuna Matata), because he was solving a business problem with the resources available to him. He was not going risk losing a business opportunity by waiting for us to come back and most likely not find him again.

I loved his use of this phrase!

Diabetes management, “Hakuna Matata” style

How many times do we come across a problem, or what we even think will be a potential problem, and start to worry about the future and outcomes? Or not achieving our goals? Sometimes we do nothing. Sometimes we start worrying about other issues when we should really focus on what matters.

Of course! That is what I want my year to be – I want a Hakuna Matata kind of year!

I want a year of less time lost on stuff that does not really matter.

I want a year of getting it done with the resources available.

You can also apply Hakuna Matata to diabetes management. I am not talking about taking the Timon and Pumbaa approach to your diabetes management and not worrying about it. Do not dare do that! Those two words will not solve your problems as suggested in the song.

However, if you are resourceful with the knowledge and tools that are available to you, you will be able to manage your diabetes well.

How to say “Hakuna Matata” to your diabetes this year

For example…

Hakuna Matata, I can estimate the carbohydrates in this pasta dish I am about to eat so I know how much insulin I will take.

(Not…Hakuna Matata, I will just eat that pasta and not worry about it or giving myself any insulin.)

Another one…

Hakuna Matata, I did not get the A1c result that I wanted, but I am going to work harder to manage my diabetes for next time.

(Not…Hakuna Matata, I am not sure my A1c will be good, so I am not going worry about going for a check up.)

I think you get the idea.

Taking a “no worries” approach to managing your diabetes does not mean that you are not going to do anything about it.

Be resourceful, and focus on solving the issue, or whatever goal it is you want to achieve.

Whatever your goals are for the year, I wish you the happiest and healthiest year you can possibly have. And when needed, take the real island approach and be resourceful.

Hakuna Matata!


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