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Turning New Year Resolutions into reality

( This article was published in Oman Daily Observer, Oman's most prestigious Newspapers. The article is reproduced with the permission of the author )

By Hasan Kamoonpuri


This year, Islamic New Year 1431, Christmas, and Georgian New Year 2010 are occurring just a few days apart. The Islamic world recently welcomed New Hijra Year 1431. Hijrah — the migration of Prophet Mohammed (Peace and Blessing be Upon Him) from Mecca to Medina in 622 CE for establishing an Islamic base of righteousness — marks the starting point for the Islamic calendar and is a high point of the year. Throughout the Sultanate and the world at large, Friday prayer leaders in their speeches focused on the significance of the Prophet’s migration to Medina and on the need to inculcate Islamic values in today’s youth. God-consciousness in all that people do is the key to peace and tranquility of hearts and soul. It enables you to shun evil and embrace goodness, they said.

Setting goals: The New Year can be an exciting time for setting goals and creating a vision of the future that is inspiring and promising, said Pushkin Agha, Senior Architect, Royal Court Affairs. The best way forward is to analyse what happened to last year's goals. What worked and what didn’t? Did you revisit your goals regularly? Use the answers to these questions to start again. Dr Bashir M Muhammad, Senior Consultant Physician/Cardiologist & Managing Director, Al Amal Medical & Health Care Centre, said it is important to figure out what benefits you gain if you achieve your goals? Envision yourself achieving the goals.

How will that feel? What will it mean? Actually, feel the consequences. Dr Bashir stressed the need to take positive health steps such as getting up early, going in for light exercises, developing one's intellectual and spiritual abilities, and fostering better bonds with family and friends. When you set goals, he said, make sure that they are clear. The second step is to write them down on a piece of paper. To be sure, there is a strong, somewhat mysterious force generated when you write your goals.

It fixes these goals in your conscious and subconscious mind in such a way that almost everything you do will tend to move you, however slightly or subtly, towards the actual realisation of these goals. But the goals must be ever present. This goes a long way in internalising your goals and taking consistent and persistent action to that end, said Kakul Agha, senior lecturer, Middle East College of Technology (MECIT).

Read your key goals daily:
Schedule time on your weekly calendar to review your current goals and set new ones. Eventually your mind will pick up and internalise your goal. Ideas will spring into your mind and things will begin to happen that will seem almost magical. "For turning New Year resolution into a reality, it is equally important to create an association with those who are committed to a goal similar to yours. Find people that share your desires and create a mastermind alliance with them. This can propel the attainment of success a thousand fold", said Azim Khan, lecturer at Ibri College of Technology.

"As we enter the New Year, we need to pause and think about our past actions; judge for ourselves if we have upheld the responsibility Allah has entrusted us with — the responsibility of ‘enjoining the good and forbidding the evil’; to contribute to conflict resolution and universal brotherhood", added Azim Khan. The youth in particular, need to make an effort to migrate from evil and gravitate to all that is good — which is Islam. Kakul said, "If the goals are clear, ever present and attractive, your mind will easily internalise those goals. Another critical step is to develop a deep concern about your current situation to stay motivated to do something about it.

Develop a deep longing for change. Envision yourself achieving what you want most in life". Remember that every decision you make and every step you take on a daily basis, no matter how small, can help you reach your goals. What you do adds up and makes a difference! Just as daily action and follow-up is critical for realising goals, getting up very early in the morning is equally important. The small hours of dawn are also ideal for uninterrupted creative thinking.

Clear planning:
Make it a habit to take consistent, persistent action to reach your goals. Read, revise and refine your key goals in the small hours of dawn. Evaluate what you want. Envision your future. Tune out negative feedback. Develop a clear plan, and keep moving ahead one step at a time. Then pack your bags and enjoy the ride. Azim says there is something magical about setting the mind on a specific yearlong goal? This, at the beginning of a new year, can have a triggering affect for many people.

Write down your goals on a piece of paper and stick it in front of your table at home and on top of your daily To-Do list. This will help maintain your focus for an extended period of time. Keep a To-Do list in your pocket every day. In this To-Do list, plan next day’s activities before you leave office or before you go to bed. Planning is critical to success. Before starting any work, plan it well. Planning and prioritising bring a higher degree of rationality and order into the life than would be present without planning. Without planning you are forced to react to situations or problems.

Always prioritise your tasks. It pays to use the bits and pieces of your spare time to reset and clarify your priorities and recognise your productive hours. The key to order your priorities is to create a daily ‘To-do’ list. Azim says planning makes you proactive; it gives you the ability to choose your response to life situations rather than merely reacting to them and drifting from one situation to another. Being proactive is making yourself the stimulus for change for the better in your environment and in your own life.

A proactive person believes in planning and acting in response to problems, threats or opportunities even before they surface. A proactive person anticipates problems and identifies future opportunities and takes affirmative steps to minimise problems and tap opportunities rather than waiting until a problem occurs before taking action. For proactive people it doesn’t matter if it rains, snows or shines! Proactive people are not affected by physical or social environment. They are value driven. Dare to dream big and act as if anything you desire can be yours. Then make it happen.

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