5 Tips For A Lighter, Brighter Start To Your Year.

Whether you’re a fan of making New Year resolutions or not, there’s nothing like starting the year with a clean slate, knowing you have a year full of possibilities and opportunities ahead.

So here’s 5 tips to kick start your year in a lighter and brighter direction.

1. Let it go!

Leave the past in the past and make peace with any wrong doings against you. Don’t hold onto grudges that do nothing but drain your positive energy. Free yourself from this negativity and you’ll be able to move forward lightened from the burden of anger.

Say “sorry” to anyone you have wronged, whether it’s face to face, with a message or through an act of kindness.

“And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord and a garden as wide as the heavens and earth, prepared for the righteous who spent (in the cause of Allah) during ease and hardship and who restrain from anger and who pardon the people – and Allah loves the doers of good”

2. Less really is more.

It’s amazing how much “stuff” we accumulate and hold on to. Keep your surroundings simple and uncluttered and this will reflect on your emotional wellbeing too.

De-clutter and get rid of clothes, toys and those bits and pieces that you don’t love or need. Donate as much as possible and make some extra cash by selling items that are too good to throw away. Then the real trick is to not replace everything you’ve just cleared out with new stuff!

“Wealth is not in having many possessions. Rather, true wealth is the richness of the soul.” (Bukhari 6081, Sahih Muslim 1051)

3. Mindful = Grateful

It’s easy to get caught up in where we want to be, what we’d like to have, what we’d like to do and forget about the here and now. Happiness comes from being content with what you have and where you’re at right this moment. Taking time to appreciate this will help keep you mindful and grateful.

Take a moment to appreciate the big and small stuff by using a gratitude journal. Or if journals aren’t your thing how about a gratitude jar? Just make a little note of what you’re grateful for and the date. Then pop it in a special jar and you’ll see how quickly it grows and how much you have to be grateful for!

“If you are grateful, I will give you more.” (The Holy Qur’an 14:7)

4. Capture the moment.

Take a photo of yourself with a loved one, bestie or special person/people in your life to reflect on throughout the year. Know that you are loved by these people and appreciated just the way you are right now, but remember Allah’s love for you is even greater.

“Sometimes Allah brings a person into your life as a blessing. Others may enter as lesson. Learn your lessons and appreciate the blessings!” (Al-Hafiz Hisham)

5. Dua’s come true..

Write a dua list of your hopes and dreams for the year ahead, as well as the reason why you want these things. Then reflect on your list, the intention behind them and what will really give you happiness. Eg. a job promotion to get financial freedom from debt, versus to by an expensive car to impress people.

Re-assess if necessary then make sincere dua for these things. If your duas are answered cross them off the list. If they aren’t, be content in knowing that you are better off without it.

“We often wonder why we didn’t get what we want, but we need to realise that sometimes Allah keeps something away from us in order to give us something better.” (Dr Bilal Philips)

Of course, you don’t have to wait for the New Year to make a new start, get organised or set your goals. The important thing is to make the intention to move forward (at any stage) in a positive direction.

May your efforts be rewarded, in sha’Allah!