In case you hadn’t heard, the New Year is upon us. And as we all know, this means it’s time to set some completely unrealistic goals which we will fail to achieve and spend the rest of the year feeling bad about New Year’s resolutions.
But despite received wisdom, we like to start the year with a positive attitude. And this means it’s time to indulge in a reevaluation of some of our life choices. So, if you’re looking for some effective (and realistic) ways of changing your life for the better this year read on – because we’ve got three recommendations that even we might actually strive to keep.
Manage Your Money Better
Prefer to be blissfully ignorant of your current bank balance? Like to pretend that contactless payment is just a free-money-game and doesn’t have a real-life impact on your funds? Well, maybe this year is the year where you begin to manage your money properly.
It sounds tedious, but spreadsheets are actually your friend here, and can help you work out how much you’re actually spending on household bills/travel expenses/veggie Percy Pigs. Or, if you’re not interested in that (and can’t work out how to link the boxes together despite having ‘good at Excel’ listed on your CV), perhaps you could look at handy apps (mint.com) or debit cards (Monzo) that do your calculations for you.
True, this may involve you setting a monthly budget and forcing yourself to set money aside for holidays/sports events/birthdays/Eid but it will ultimately save you frustration (“insufficient funds”) and embarrassment (turning up to family gatherings without whatever food you were requested to bring). And if you can’t be bothered with all of this? Just get your bank to text you every Monday morning to relay the brutal reality of your financial situation and give you a cold harsh reminder that in this case, ignorance is not bliss.
Donate Some Time to Charity
Yes, we all try to be good Muslims, striving to be the best, most generous, most loving and faithful people we can throughout the whole year. We pray regularly each day, we try our hardest to be as patient as possible with that colleague who should be called Mr Know-It-All, we focus on making really positive life changes every Ramadan. Many of us donate regularly to charity or any good causes – which is awesome and one of the best parts of our faith. But, if you really want to make a difference in 2018, maybe this year it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get yourself down to your favourite charity and volunteer your time IRL. Trust us, it’s much more fulfilling than another wasted evening arguing with your siblings over which Netflix original series you want to watch.
Drink More Water
Lets be honest – there are not many of us who are smashing the hydration game and we all know (thanks to fasting) the effect that dehydration can have on our concentration and productivity. If reading this has helped you to recognise yourself as a BAD DRINKER, then we’ve got some handy tips: (i) Walk to the nearest tap. (ii) Pour yourself a pint of water. (iii) Down it. (iv) Repeat, six times a day. (Not the downing it part; that just sounded good). There’s a litany of scientific evidence out there to suggest that keeping well hydrated can lead to a host of positive health benefits such as increased energy levels, improved concentration and it can even prevent headaches. Drink, drink, drink.
Whatever your resolutions are (whether they are spiritual, practical or a combination of both) make sure you write them down so you can look back on them throughout the year to stay motivated. Also, if you slip up and don’t keep to them don’t beat yourself up too much; after all, we are only human.
Featured image credit: Pixabay