By Khaula Siddique

A New Year is always exciting, we do tend to feel excited about “new” things! However, it can also be daunting if you put unnecessary pressure with unrealistic expectations for resolutions or wishes for yourself!
The best way to approach anything is to be gentle and patient with the understanding that you will try your best with the best intentions and that is the most anyone can do. The rest is up to Allah swt and always remember, what is destined for you will come to you when it is meant to come to you!
We were curious about what wishes and changes the community was hoping for in 2023 and would like to share some of them along with some helpful tips that may be useful to you now and in the coming years!

Wishes and Changes for 2023

1. Hajj! Hajj was the most common wish for 2023 and we pray that everyone makes it for Hajj Inshallah! As with anything that needs money to become a reality, we suggest putting aside money first and really cutting down on blind expenses, do you really need to buy coffee every time you are out? Yes, it is only a few dollars, but they really add up and that is just one example. One of the best ways to really get the full picture of where you are spending is to track every penny! It does sound a bit much, but it is tried and tested, you will really be amazed by how helpful it is. Use a cash flow sheet, it is a great tool to help you set your budget and start saving. With a little bit of willpower you can avoid money-wasting expenditures, just remember always do a Marie Kondo! Does it really spark joy? Do you really need it?

2. Being Closer to Allah I find as we get older we really appreciate this more and more. It is easier to see how materialistic the world is, we long for a deeper connection and a more meaningful existence. Realistically I feel this is much easier than we realize, if we pause and think before we do, if we live in the moment and not race towards things-practice being more mindful (that must have been the most popular word of 2022!) I found a great piece of advice that someone had posted, choose one small thing that is achievable whether it is a short dua after prayers, a small donation, a few lines of the Quran to recite, or just being kind to those around you and do that every day. It gets easier to build up a little at a time!

3. Owning a House Okay this one is a bit more challenging! However not impossible, it will just take more time for sure. Same tips as above (for Hajj) budgeting and tracking expenses really helps. You need to prioritise and be realistic as well, maybe not as big a house as you had dreamed? A house is still a house! Not having the biggest and most luxurious house is actually beneficial, in the long run you are saving on the expenses of maintaining such a large house as well. Everything from property tax to electricity bills. You can use the money you saved for the Hajj saving jar!

4. Becoming Debt-Free This is a really important one! Advice for this would be the same as above, you really have to track and curb your expenses. Try a minimalistic approach in 2023, no hard in trying it out. Once you get used to it, you really appreciate how liberating it is. I recommend watching the Minimalism documentary on Netflix!

5. Setting Boundaries Someone mentioned that they wanted a change for themselves for 2023, they wanted to be free of toxic people. This can really change your life for the better, sometimes those around us are so toxic that they create a detrimental cyclone that pulls in everyone around them! You need to set boundaries for yourself, maybe they can’t change so you need to distance yourself and not let what they are saying or doing effect you. This is easier said than done, but you have to remember that you need to take care of your own well being before you can take care of anything else. If it is people you are living with then you have to see what you can do to keep yourself busy with other things that benefit you, ignore the negative things they say and kindly tell them your boundaries. If it is people outside the house you can limit your time with them, make new friends, find hobbies or groups to keep you busy with other stuff. It all depends on what situation you are in, but remember not to be guilt tripped into staying in a toxic atmosphere!

6. Heathier Lifestyle I think this is on everyone’s list every year! As with all other things the best advice is to start with the doable! Cut down on unhealthy foods little by little and replace them with healthy options. Doing a full-blown cardio routine for an hour every day might not be an easy way to start and dropping out of it would be more likely. Start small, take a walk every day. Start with doing some stretches before you go. Increase it slowly, take longer walks, increase the warm up exercises, ease gently into cardio or yoga. Keep it simple! If you have an exercise bike that you never use (for a lot of people it just becomes part of the décor!) put it in your living room and use it while you watch TV.

7. Letting Things Go This is the best thing anyone can do for themselves. It takes a lot of practice, but I find talking yourself through it really helps. “Will this matter after a day?” “Will it matter next week?” “Will it matter next year?” Do a Marie Kondo on your feelings, “Does this feeling bring me joy?” It probably doesn’t! So let it go! Somethings that can help with this are surrounding yourself with a few friends who actually like you for just who you are. Find a hobby and set aside time for it every day. Join a charitable organization where you can volunteer, seeing how difficult life’s situations are for some people can really open your eyes to what is important in life! Go jogging, go for walk, do some meditation and listen to some gentle meditative music. Keep a little journal and add the little wins and things you are grateful for at the end of the week. Read what you wrote last week!

8. Being More Independent Yes, yes and just yes! And not going to sugar coat it, it can be really hard! But I feel women really need to move out of that comfort zone and be independent! There comes a time when the kids grow up and other family members have their own thing going on and all of a sudden you realize you haven’t done anything for yourself! Take time for your own learning, every woman should be financially literate, have a hobby, have her own group of friends (that does not include your husband’s friends’ wives!!) and where possible have a career. Remember to start small and don’t overwhelm yourself, this is not a race. This is just a journey for you to take and enjoy every step of the way, happiness should not be the destination. Happiness should be the moments along the way!
What are your hopes and wishes for 2023? What is your advice to others? Email us at and we will add to the list!


About the Author

Khaula Siddique, artist at Khaula’s Art, has written for Dawn Pakistan and now paints stories on large walls. She loves bringing art to the community and achieves this through interactive art activities and public art projects. When she is not painting, she is over-indulging her large eccentric orange tabby who part-times as her critic and her muse. You can find her art shenanigans on her website, Khaula