- Let go of unhealthy attachments
Just as we can collect habits that do not serve us, we sometimes also hold onto friendships and relationships that are not beneficial for us. They instead cause us heartache and stress. Sometimes it may be unintentional, or other times we need to remove ourselves from toxic situations, and sometimes we could be attached to someone in an unhealthy way. We put the love of a person, the creation of Allah SWT, into our hearts and then when they disappoint us, as every human will undoubtedly, we are distressed. Islam teaches us that there is no perfection except in Jannah and that we should only ever attach our hearts to Allah SWT and love others for His sake so that we can have peace in our hearts and give people their due rights. This ensures no one is responsible for our happiness, and vice versa, but Allah is in command of our ultimate contentment.
- Take care of your health
Our bodies are an Amanah (a Trust) from Allah SWT and we are obligated to take care of it. This includes not ‘harming’ it in any way, whether by consuming harmful foods or substances or engaging in harmful activities that could cause damage to our fragile bodies. Starting a healthy habit of eating nutritious food and introducing even a mild form of exercise will help us to become more aware of our bodies and the condition it is in. This obviously goes for our mental and spiritual health which is just as important as physical health and often go hand in hand so become aware of any issues we may have beneath the surface. Whether we are holding onto anger, resentment, or negative mindsets, we can help ourselves by reflecting or even seeking additional support.
- Commit to Self Growth
The Prophet PBUH once said ‘Truly I was sent as a Prophet for the purpose of perfecting human character’. We can see from this that self improvement is an important aspect of Islam. There is great emphasis on improving ones character and working on our own faults instead of picking at others. This is the time to focus on our intentions, our insecurities, our doubts and our negative thoughts. Education is key and the more we study our Deen (religion) the more we will be guided in the best way to grow and develop. A few things we can do is practice acts of kindness, forgive those who have hurt us, always strive to be honest, keep good company, and purify ones heart by making dhikr often.
- Set Goals for the Year
We often hear about how people drop their resolutions within the first week of the New Year as they lose motivation and the task becomes too big in our minds. Which is why dedicating even 5 minutes of every day towards your goal will give you more of a sense of accomplishment and will get you closer to where you want to be without the burnout effect. This could be giving up one bad habit, or improving your spirituality. Many of us wait until Ramadan to start learning Quran or read the Seerah but what if we started in January and set weekly or monthly goals? By the time Ramadan is here we would have achieved half a year’s worth of knowledge. Love yourself, by teaching yourself.
- Unplug and Reconnect
Studies have shown an increased risk of depression, stress and sleep disorders with frequent smartphone and tablet use. Not to mention how the constant buzzing of messages and emails can take away from our social interactions with our loved ones. The importance of maintaining good ties with our kinship is mentioned in a hadeeth, “Whosoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him maintain the bonds of kinship” (Bukhari). So not making an effort to be present with our families can cause a disconnection in the family unit. Aim to have some technology free time; whether you start with an hour a day or a full day, you may start to notice having extra time in the day and being calmer, not to mention an improvement in your relationships with people and most importantly, yourself.
These are just a few new rules to implement, and although they may seem small and basic, just try it – you never know what discoveries await you. What new rules for the new year have you written for yourself?