Back to School? 5 Tips to Help You Achieve your Goals
~ The ultimate goal of all human endeavours is the hereafter ~
”…and to Him you shall be raised”
(Quran 67: 15)
Its another back to school season.
Countdown is in full gear to the start of a new school session.
Excitement, anticipation, joy or even anxiety may cloud your daily activities. You know that feeling, right?
You can’t wait to be back to recount those holiday adventures in person, although you’ve exchanged about a thousand chat messages and shared updates through social media already.
Or it could be gosh… ”Subhan Allah, I’m not ready to go back yet” – ”I’m enjoying time with my family, friends, dawah activities or the non academic events around me”. ”There’s still so much networking to do”.
You may also feel stressed thinking about the financial struggles you face when going back to school, health issues, separating from family and friends to travel long distances for your studies, cultural barriers, parental expectations etc
Phew… It doesn’t get easier, does it?
Whatever state you are in, do not be tricked into starting your school year without solid tips for setting and achieving the right goals.
Yes, first you must set your goals. Then you must work hard towards achieving them with intentionality and laser focus.
After all, nothing in the life of a believer is done without a purpose. Your studies and interactions must be done for a purpose, starting with the correct intention.
Getting Started with your Goals
I remember back to my Uni days as a newbie, a friend (let’s call her Hiba) recounted a piece of advice her father gave her before leaving home for school. She was a Daddy’s girl and still is, about 20 years later and now married.
He told her to fit her Uni activities into a triangle-like pattern; with lectures, hostel and masjid at the three points. What this means is that Hiba must always go from her lecture/ study halls to the hostel or masjid and the other way round. Her focus must be within those 3 axes. Hilarious, isn’t it?
Ha, do I need to tell you if Hiba stuck to the recommended triangle lifestyle?
Obviously, I do not recommend such a lifestyle for any young person or even the older ones. It should be more of a circle. What I call a success cycle; a cycle that incorporates elements for your spiritual, mental, social, emotional and physical success.
This cycle serves you beyond school, through future careers and passion projects to running your own home. And it comes from knowing what your life aspirations are (10, 20 or 50 years) beyond school In sha Allah.
Here are 5 Tips to help you achieve your goals.
1. Create your life vision
Start with your vision and aspirations laid before you. Your aspirations may be daunting but you can progress towards them with Duas and consistently seeking guidance from Allah (swt) every step of the way.
Whatever He Wills will come to pass even if it seems impossible and unthinkable.
Acknowledge the pain you will feel, the struggles and difficulties you will encounter, the fear and frustration that will cripple you time and time again. Then go for it.
Go for your dream and aspirations. Make the intention and commitment to keep advancing towards it.
Your intention is critical. It is the foundation for achieving your goals. Make it clear and pure. And directed towards Allah’s Pleasure and earning Jannah.
2. Brainstorm and break your vision into goals for the year/ semester
When you know your aspirations and acknowledge them, you can define what success means to you in life.
Take time to brainstorm and clarify on those goal posts leading to your vision. What type of goals do you come across? Are they short term or long term goals?
What will success mean to you regarding those goals
- Is it getting A pluses in your finals?
- Is it completing your course work diligently and submitting term papers before due date?
- Is it spending a focused xxx hours on research, reading and making notes every semester?
- Is it putting into practice what you are learn everyday – benefiting yourself and others?
3. Plan for your goals (as targets)
Put a date and deadline to those goals to make it super real.
Pool together resources that will make your plans easier for you to accomplish. Establish a network of like minded people that will support and accelerate your goals achievement. They will also pray for you and care about your success. Handpick those with similar or higher standards and goals. Aim for nothing but great success.
“The Believer to the Believer is like a solid building, one part supporting the other.”
[Bukhari and Muslim]
The Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “The Believer is a mirror to a Believer. The Believer is a brother to a Believer. Guarding him against loss and protecting him in his absence.”
[Abu Dawud and Bukhari]
4. Deliberate practice
Create daily productive habits that support your goals. Such as prioritising on your activities, cutting down distractions and rewarding yourself.
Develop your mental capacity so you can improve yourself and your practices. You may discover newer and better ways to develop and maintain your habits.
Stay intentional as you practice daily to ensure you remain on the right path to your goals.
5. Celebrate milestones and little successes
Do this even before you hit your big goals.
Be thankful for all of your blessings and especially the blessing of reaching an important milestone.
Say Alhamdulillah and mean it.
Supplicate, then take the means to your goals.
Allah (swt) will assist you with the right resources and people to aid your steps
Now you have these tips, you can visualise and get started on your own success cycle.
Just like my friend Hiba did. She didn’t stick to the triangle model – it was too unstable. She added a few points to the recommended one and found success with her goals. She graduated in the top ranks and made her dad proud while modeling excellence as a Muslimah.
She maintained her Islamic Identity while dealing with Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Her success cycle was in full swing. And this helped her achieve her top academic goals as well as other life goals.
Now its over to you, are you back in school? What will you do today to help achieve your goals in a purposeful manner?
Image via Pixabay