2011 was the year of change. We saw the events in the Arab countries unfolding one revolution after another; getting rid of decades of misery and injustice. Indeed, it was a special year; a year that will have an impact on each one of us directly or indirectly. Please do not forget your brothers and sisters who are still standing up against their dictators; especially in Syria. May Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) purify all Muslim lands from all evil.
Every personal action you take in your life is a step forward – not only towards your personal success, but towards the success and victory of the Ummah as a whole! Therefore, planning the year for ultimate productivity, I believe, is something that every Muslim should do.
Planning your year needs to start from knowing exactly what it is that you want to achieve (goals) and why such goals are important. Recently, I came across a person who was depressed as they didn’t have a good job and wanted to further their studies in the hope of getting a better one. However, when I asked: _”Would this certification really get you the job you want?”, the answer was a long pause followed by, “I don’t know… maybe!”. Imagine spending time and money on something that may or may not take you to the next step. So be careful in evaluating your goals and study if they will get you to where you want to be or not.
8 Goal Areas for a Balanced Life
You need to have goals in the following eight areas in your life in order to achieve inner peace and balance.
- Spirituality Your connection with Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala). How will you increase your faith? what things do you need to do to take you closer to Jannah?
- Family What do you want for your family in 2012? Do you need more time scheduled together, more breaks, more serenity in the home? Be specific.
- Health Your body is the vehicle that you use to go places and get things done. How can you take care of it more to give you more energy, vitality and action?
- Finances How can you save? What needs more spending on? How charitable are you? Do you give regularly or very rarely?
- Education This does not mean just attending university and collecting certificates to decorate the office. This is about you seeking structured knowledge in any way you can.
- Fun/socializing The body and soul need breaks during which you do something you enjoy with people you love. Schedule those times. Otherwise they won’t happen!
- Contribution If you want to be happy/happier – GIVE back! You have talents and attributes that are only special to you and you need to contribute those talents.
- Work This could be your 9-5 job, business or the running and managing of your home and family as a mum. Goals like organizing time, etc. must be set for this area.
The 90 Day Cycle Structure
After you have jotted down all that you would like to achieve for the eight different areas in your life, organize them around the year by structuring them out in 90-day slots (three month completion periods in the year). Note that some of your goals will need to be just maintained, not finished; ie. playing with the kids every day. The 90-day goal structure is ideal for those goals that need to be finished. For example, under your health goals, if you want to achieve a particular weight; it needs to be achieved within a time frame in the 90 days.
Organizing Your Ideal Prayer Day
The rest of your goals (i.e. reciting Quran daily, reading, house chores, exercising, etc.) need to be organized around the five times of the daily prayers. You can create a chart for this or a table.
- 20% of your effort is needed to give you 80% of the results (not vice versa)
- Your positive attitude means EVERYTHING
- Action is the key to success
- All goals need discipline
It is your responsibility to make it work. If something doesn’t go the way you planned, thank Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) and just move on (don’t stay on the hump for too long!).
Getting the most out of your year is the best gift you can give yourself. Isn’t it about time you discovered what you are REALLY capable of doing and being? You come from a chain of strong people. As Muslims we have the best role models to look up too, now its time to emulate!
Finally, as you move forward with reaching your goals, remember this verse from the Holy Quran: ”Put your trust in Allah. Allah loves those that trust (in Him)” (Quran 3:159).
About the Author
Dalya Ayoub is a wife, mother of three girls and life Coach trainer living in Australia. Her company ‘LifeMatters’ aims at empowering Muslim women to be, do and have the best. Dalya is currently writing her first book ”Pathways to ultimate Success: An Islamic Perspective” to be released in 2013 insha’Allah.