Goal Setting for Muslims: How to Ensure that You Achieve Your Dreams
In life, we all have things that we are working toward. We have dreams, goals and aspiration for all areas our lives, including:
It is an extremely worthy pursuit to work towards increasing yourself and striving towards lofty goals. Islam promotes excellence in every area of our lives. However, it can sometimes be the case that we don’t necessarily achieve what we desire, or we remain frustrated regarding the many roadblocks that seem to be in our way. I believe this is because we are often approaching goal setting from the wrong angle.
Ahamdulillah, yesterday Sister Atiya from Amatullalah’s Treasures hosted a get together called “Sisterhood Sunday’s” (the image is of a vision board created by one of the participants), and the group worked on creating vision boards.
MashaAllah, the gathering was as result of our sister taking our Sacred Self-Care Assessment realizing that she desired to have more interaction and camaraderie with her Muslim sisters. Alhamdulillah, Sisterhood Sunday’s was the outcome – may Allah grant them tawfeeq.
By the permission of Allah, I was able to participate “virtually”, by providing an audio explaining the goal setting process in a new way, and from an Islamic perspective. I wanted to share with our sisters here as well, three main ingredients for success – which was part of that presentation and can literally make or break your ability to succeed in pursuing you dreams.
::::Goal Setting the Muslim Way::::
We know that people from all walks of life create vision boards or goals – however, from the perspective of a Muslim woman – a successful outcome – actually attaining our goals, is dependent upon a convergence of three main things:
1. Clearly defining what our aspirations are – and making sure that they are free from anything forbidden, or that would displeasing to Allah or transgress upon another person.
Often, we may desire to achieve certain things, however they may not necessarily be the best things to fulfill our purpose on earth – to worship Allah. We should evaluate each goal with the questions:
— Will this bring me closer to Allah?…
— Will achieving this increase me in modesty and shyness – or bring about the opposite?….
— Will attaining this increase my level of iman and taqwa?… Will I be better equipped to aid my family in a HALAL way, and give back to my community?
In short, will achieving these goals, make me a better Muslim? If so, Alhamdulillah. If not, time to reevaluate.
2. Much Duah – because Allah is the only One able to change your situation and to grant you what you desire, from His mercy and favor upon you – so supplicate much regarding the things you desire.
When you are looking to make any decision, or seeking guidance in achieving your goals, always incorporate salatul Istikharah, seeking Allah’s guidance. Often we may think we know what is best for us, but Allah is the Best of Planners. Also, praying nawafil (sunnah) prayers, making duah after the iqaamah, duah and study after fajr, and praying Tahajud in the last third of the night, all increase the likelihood of Allah’s aid.
3. Bringing your entire self into alignment with what you want- Know that to achieve your goals, it is necessary to do two important things:
a. Bring your actions and thoughts into alignment with what you want – yes, Allah is the granter of duah, but He also rewards action. Making consistent, positive forward motion in pursuit of your (halal) goals shows dedication and increases your likelihood of success. You can’t say that you desire something, but be afraid to put in the work.
b. It is imperative when seeking success, that you strive to stay in Allah’s obedience and pleasure, so that He will grant you what you ask. Sometimes we have things confused and think that we are owed success, or that we should expect that our duah will be answered – our station raised, yet we fail to fulfill our obligation to Allah – chiefly, doing those actions which He loves, and staying away from those things that He dislikes.
And be careful of trying to compartmentalize your deeds – everything affects everything else. For instance, if you give much sadaqa to the masjid, or the poor – you may feel confident that Allah will aid you in your personal affairs. However, If your money comes from a haram source – OR when earning that money, you aren’t conducting yourself with the principles and adab of a Muslimah, you may not be successful. Definitely something to think about.
Alhamdulillah, we have entered the Islamic New Year – and the secular New Year is coming soon as well. This is a time when many evaluate their lives and set goals for the future. When doing so, let us keep the above principles in mind inshaAllah, so that Allah may grant us success, Allahuma ameen.
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