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02 January 2019

5 New Year’s Resolutions You Can Actually Keep

Self improvement made easy
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We’re only a few days into 2019 and, statistically, most of us have already broken our resolutions – woops! Not to worry. Forget those unrealistic expectations and promises to be ‘the best version of yourself’ and let’s try and set some goals we can actually achieve.

  1. Get active

OK, so this is pretty old-hat and most people have probably made some sort of fitness resolutions BUT we’re talking about being realistic. This isn’t about promising you’ll run a marathon a week or train yourself to bench press an actual bison by pancake day. Just get out more, be more active, feel healthier.

But how? you ask (yes, you did!). Well wouldn’t you know, we have just the thing. Why not join us for our annual Gaza Winter Walk?

A brisk walk in one of our nation's delightful parks with the added bonus of helping people in Gaza whose lives have been shattered by conflict – it’s a double whammy of satisfaction.

  1. Sleep Better

Surely this is easy because everyone loves sleep! Go to sleep. Right now, if you want. No not now, read the rest of this post first, then you can sleep.

As much as we love feeling bright and breezy after a good night’s sleep, many of us just stay up that little bit too late and end up like the walking dead the next day. Just have one earlier night. Set that goal, just one night, and keep it. If you’re feeling better in the morning, then you might wish to repeat the process. You’ll be a morning person in no time (not guaranteed).

  1. Smile when someone is rude to you

It’s tricky to maintain your highest levels of civility when you’re rushing to work or trying to navigate a busy street (especially when the person in front of you is walking so slowly that deep, deep down you want to trip them up, just a little bit, but of course you wouldn’t actually DO IT). But when someone loses their cool, try to keep yours and respond with a simple smile (aim for a natural, charming, smile not one of those creepy ones that happens when you’ve been waiting too long for someone to figure out how to work the camera).

After all, smiling is a sunnah. It was one of the actions the Prophet (saw) did the most and also an act of charity.

Perhaps this display of unearned kindness will prick the conscience of your accoster and cause them to realise the error of their ways. Self-reflection will turn to positive action and they too will resolve to behave with more compassion to others. Kindness will beget kindness and your simple gesture will be the flapping butterfly-wing which leads to world peace in 2019.

  1. Read the Qur'an

Every year, we promise ourselves that we'll try to read a little bit more Qur’an, but inevitably end up neglecting it until Ramadan comes around. Rather than trying to read the whole book in one month, set yourself the more attainable goal of getting through one page at a time. Consistency is key, and Allah (swt) loves small good deeds performed consistently rather than larger acts carried out sporadically.

While you’re at it, improve you’re understanding of the holy book by reading the translation of each page as you go along. Before you know it, you would have read the entire Qur’an twice by the end of the year and have gained a better understanding of the Arabic language.

  1. Help an Orphan

Doesn’t sound so easy but hang on - we’re not asking you to invite Oliver Twist to come live with you. By donating a small amount per day, just 98p, you can sponsor an orphan through Muslim Hands. We support over 12,000 orphans all over the world in some of the poorest, most disadvantaged countries. That little daily amount of less than a pound can feed and educate an orphan, completely transforming their life.

It’s so easy - all you need to do is visit our orphan sponsorship page and click ‘sponsor now’. Then you can pick the orphan you’d like to sponsor, and we’ll send you a sponsorship pack with information about the child you’re helping.

The prophet (saw) said, ‘The one who cares for an orphan and myself will be together in Paradise like this,' and he held his two fingers together to illustrate. [Bukhari]

That little daily hit of 98p (just £29.50 per month) can feed and educate an orphan, completely transforming their life and yours.

Despite the fact that we often ditch our resolutions quicker than you can say ‘Happy New Year’, we are still, according to a 2009 study, up to ten times more likely to stick to a new year’s resolution than we are to a goal set at any other time of the year. Ultimately, I guess that means we’re not great at sticking to our goals but keeping them simple might just help us be a little bit better.


Muslim Hands UK

Established in 1993, Muslim Hands is an aid agency and NGO helping those affected by poverty, conflict and natural disaster in over 20 countries worldwide.