By Humairah Irfan

 

Islam teaches that being positive and having a positive attitude are important for leading a fulfilling life. Muslims are encouraged to maintain a positive outlook, even in difficult situations, and to look for the good in others. The Islamic faith also emphasizes the importance of gratitude and thanksgiving, which can help foster a positive attitude. Additionally, the Quran and Hadith (the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad PBUH) contain many verses and sayings that encourage positivity and optimism, such as:

  • “Indeed, with every difficulty there is relief.” (Quran 94:5)
  • “And whoever relies upon Allah – then He is sufficient for him.” (Quran 65:3)
  • “And Allah is with those who are patient.” (Quran 2:153)
  • “For indeed, with hardship [will be] ease.” (Quran 94:5)
  • “A strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah than a weak believer, and there is good in everyone, but cherish that which gives you benefit (in the Hereafter) and seek help from Allah and do not lose heart.” (Sahih Bukhari)
  • “Be optimistic, trust in Allah and tie your camel.” (Hadith)

One of the best ways to start off this year is with positivity and spiritual upliftment. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Take some time to reflect on the past year, think about what you’ve learned, and be grateful for the blessings you’ve received.
  2. Set intentions for the new year. This can include both personal and spiritual goals.
  3. Create a plan for how you will work towards achieving your intentions. Break them down into smaller, manageable tasks and set deadlines for yourself.
  4. One of the best ways to start off the year spiritually uplifted is to increase your worship. This can include reading the Quran, making more dua, or performing more good deeds.
  5. Helping others is a great way to start off the year positively. Look for volunteer opportunities in your community or online.
  6. Surround yourself with people and things that bring you positivity and inspiration. This can include friends, family, books, and social media. A social media clean-up can definitely help!
  7. Take care of your physical and mental health by exercising regularly, eating healthy, and getting enough sleep.
  8. Practice forgiveness for yourself and for others and be grateful for the people and things that you have in your life.

Remember, it’s a journey and it’s not about perfection but about progress and consistency. Too often we fall off track trying to be perfect, but imagine where you would be if you focussed on consistency instead?

So before you embark on this year’s journey, assessing your past year can be a helpful way to reflect on what you’ve accomplished and what you’ve learned. Here are a few steps you can take to assess your past year:

  1. Take some time to look back on the past year. Think about the events, experiences, and accomplishments that stand out to you. One way to remember most of the events is to go through your photos!
  2. Reflect on what you’ve learned over the past year. Consider both positive and negative experiences and think about what you’ve learned from them.
  3. Evaluate your progress towards your goals and intentions. Think about what worked well and what didn’t, and what you can do differently in the future.
  4. Reflect on your relationships with family, friends, and significant others. Think about how you’ve grown, what you’ve learned and what you can do to improve your relationships. Shaitan is always trying to mess up our emotions, so pay extra attention to vulnerable relationships.
  5. Look for patterns in your experiences and thoughts. This can help you identify habits or thought patterns that may be holding you back and look for ways to change them. Our mindset really drives big decisions.
  6. Be honest with yourself about what you’ve accomplished and what you haven’t. Avoid sugarcoating, and be realistic about what you can achieve in the next year.
  7. Practice gratitude towards Allah (swt) for the opportunities, experiences, and people you’ve had in your life during the past year. There are many ways to give shukr, from doing sajdah to giving in charity or praying extra nawafil.

It’s important to remember that assessing your past year is not to put yourself down but rather to understand yourself better and to make a better plan for this year inshallah!

Now it’s time to create a solid plan for the year!

  1. Set goals that are clear, specific, and measurable. Make sure they are realistic and achievable, so go easy on yourself. 
  2. Give yourself plenty of time, there’s no need to be over-ambitious right @ the beginning. When you go slow, you play the longer, sustainable game!
  3. Break your goals down into smaller, manageable tasks. This will make them more achievable and will help you focus on what needs to be done to achieve them.
  4. Prioritize your goals based on importance and urgency. This will help you focus on what’s most important and ensure that you don’t get overwhelmed by too many tasks.
  5. Create a schedule that includes time for working on your goals, as well as time for other important aspects of your life like family, friends, and self-care.
  6. Be prepared to adapt your plan as needed. Things may not always go as planned, so be open to making adjustments as necessary.
  7. Consistency is key to achieving your goals. Make sure you’re taking consistent, small steps towards your goals every day.
  8. Measure your progress regularly and make adjustments as needed. This will help you stay on track and make sure you’re headed in the right direction.
  9. Celebrate your successes along the way. This will help you stay motivated and feel good about the progress you’re making.

To summarize, a solid plan should include:

  • Specific goals
  • Breakdown of the goals into smaller tasks
  • Prioritizing the goals
  • A schedule
  • Flexibility
  • Consistency
  • Progress measurement
  • Celebration of success

Remember, it’s not about perfection but about progress, and it’s important to be kind to yourself and give yourself grace as you work towards your goals.

Now, I’d like to share with you how to put everything I’ve mentioned above into practice.

Here’s an example of how you can make a plan to become consistent with exercising.:

  1. Set a clear and specific goal: The goal is to exercise twice a week for 30-45 minutes each time.
  2. Break down the goal into smaller tasks: Schedule two workout sessions per week in your calendar. Choose any type of exercise you prefer and plan out how you will perform them.
  3. Prioritize the goal: Schedule the workout sessions at a time that works best for you and won’t get interrupted.
  4. Create a schedule: Set aside time on your calendar for two workout sessions per week. You can choose the same days and times each week, or you can vary the schedule depending on your availability.
  5. Be flexible: If you miss a workout session, don’t beat yourself up. Just make sure you fit in the missed workout session in your next available slot.
  6. Be consistent: Stick to your schedule, and make sure you’re working out twice a week. To help you stay consistent, you can track your progress and reward yourself for sticking to your schedule.
  7. Measure your progress: Keep track of your progress by noting how you feel and your physical changes if any. This will help you stay motivated and on track. Any small change is still a win!
  8. Celebrate your successes: When you reach your goal of working out twice a week, give yourself a reward or celebrate in a way that feels meaningful to you say, every 2 months.

Often we find ourselves slipping into past bad habits. Moving on from past mistakes can be challenging, but it is possible. Here are a few steps you can take to help you move forward:

  1. Acknowledge your mistakes: Recognize and accept that you’ve made a mistake. It’s important to take responsibility for your actions and not to blame others.
  2. Learn from your mistakes: Reflect on what you’ve learned from your mistakes and think about how you can use that knowledge to make better decisions in the future.
  3. Forgive yourself: It’s important to forgive yourself for your mistakes. Remember that everyone makes mistakes and it’s a natural part of the learning process.
  4. Let go of guilt and shame: Guilt and shame can hold you back from moving on. Recognize that you’ve learned from your mistakes, and try to focus on moving forward instead of dwelling on the past.
  5. Make amends: If your mistake has affected someone else, make an effort to apologize and make amends. This can help you feel better about yourself and can also help to repair relationships.
  6. Take action: Once you’ve reflected on and learned from your mistake, take action to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
  7. Surround yourself with positivity: Surround yourself with people who support and encourage you. Spend time with people who are positive and uplifting.
  8. Practice gratitude: Practice gratitude and focus on the good things in your life. This can help you to shift your focus away from your mistakes and towards the positive aspects of your life.

Remember that moving on from past mistakes takes time and self-compassion. It’s also important to remember that, it is not about perfection but about progress, making mistakes is a part of the human experience and it’s how we learn and grow from them.

Now before I let you go, I want to share some goal ideas that are easiest to accomplish.

The easiest goals to accomplish are those that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART goals). Here are a few examples of easy goals:

  1. Daily exercise: Setting a goal to exercise for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week is specific, measurable, achievable, and time-bound. It’s also relevant to maintaining good physical and mental health.
  2. Reading: Setting a goal to read a book a month is specific, measurable, achievable, and time-bound. It’s also relevant to personal development and knowledge.
  3. Daily gratitude practice: Setting a goal to write down 3 things you’re grateful for each day is specific, measurable, achievable, and relevant to mental health.
  4. Decluttering: Setting a goal to declutter a room in your house every month is specific, measurable, achievable, and time-bound. It’s also relevant to maintaining a clean and organized living space.
  5. Saving money: Setting a goal to save a specific amount of money each month is specific, measurable, achievable, and time-bound. It’s also relevant to financial stability and security.

These are just a few examples, and it’s important to remember that what may be easy for one person may not be easy for another. The key is to set goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound, and that align with your values and priorities.

About the Author

Humairah Irfan, the All Day Energy Coach!

I help busy Muslim moms lose weight without giving up their favourite ethnic foods with my “Triple Your Energy in 90 Days Habit Change Program”. DM me the word “Change” to learn more! Follow @humairah.irfan   and  @hienergyfitness.