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A smart way to achieve New Year’s resolutions

Dr. Aneesah Nadir –

Happy New Year! It’s 2016! It’s time to consider ways our family life, career, business, financial, health
and spiritual life will be different this year. Often we make resolutions to lose weight, get back in the
gym, start a savings plan or organize the office. But by the end of February the treadmill has become a
clothes hanger, the savings plan is dried up and the office is no better organized. How can we improve
our situation and make 2016 more successful than last year?

The first step to a more successful 2016 is to ponder and review 2015. Determine where you were in key
areas of your personal, family, business and spiritual life last year. Decide which areas you want to
improve and focus on this year. One thing we know is if we keep doing the same things we’ve done in
the past we will get the same results. Decide that with the help of Allah you will make a change in the
coming year. Pray to Allah for help, courage, focus as you begin to take strategic action to improve your
condition. Allah reminds us that He will not change our condition unless we first work to change it
ourselves.

It is also important to surround yourself with people who believe you can make a difference in your
situation. You want to be around people who will encourage you, help you stay accountable to your
goals and plans for the new year and give you hope along the way. Making changes is not easy but it is
possible.

If we really want to make changes we have to move our resolutions to a plan with SMART goals that are
specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound. A written plan, with goals and action steps,
is much more likely to be achieved than those we ponder but never write down. Once we write down
our goals we have to monitor and track our progress to see how close we are to achieving our goals.

“My goal is to lose 20 pounds by May 30, 2016” is a good example of a SMART goal. It is specific. You can
measure your success along the way and it can be achieved if with realistic action steps. You can also
monitor and track how close you are to taking off the unwanted pounds. Another is example is “my goal
is to finish reading the Qur’an once by the end of 2016.” Steps to accomplish this goal may be “I will read
five pages per day to accomplish this goal.”

Not only individuals and businesses need to set goals. Families also need to work to outline family goals
and plans for 2016. What are our financial goals? What family trips do we want to take? How do we
want to improve our relationship with Allah and each other? What steps will we take to accomplish this?
Work together on your family goals and action steps and post so all family members will see your
progress. InshaAllah 2016 will be a successful year for you personally, professionally and as a family!

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