Ring in the new year.

2021 is full of opportunities and chances to grow. But you need to take advantage of those opportunities.

One way is through making a New Year’s resolution. You can develop your Muslim faith, grow your skills, and strengthen your finances. Yet many people struggle to combine these goals together.

You can live an ethical and productive year with the right information. Here are ten New Year’s resolution for Islamic investment and living.

1. Perform More Du’a

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “Du’a is that act which is worthy of being called true worship.” If you submit to Allah, He will grant mercy upon you and your loved ones.

Make sure you perform your daily prayers at the right times of the day. Be sincere with your prayers, putting your full heart behind your words. Remain patient, for it may take time for your prayers to be answered.

Whenever you are in need, turn to prayer and supplication. Even if you have performed salah, pray again. The more you turn and thank Allah, the more mercy He will grant you.

Be specific while making your du’a. Show physical signs of supplication, bowing down while facing Mecca.

Pray for forgiveness, give thanks, and ask for guidance. Pray before meals and before going to sleep. Lead others in prayer, and encourage those around you to perform more du’a themselves.

2. Focus on Impactful Goals

Many people fail their New Year’s resolutions because their resolutions are not specific. When you are crafting your resolutions, use the SMART system.

Keep things specific. “I want to donate more” is imprecise, decreasing your motivation to achieve your goal. “I want to donate $10,000 every month to a nonprofit charitable organisation” is more specific.

Be able to measure your goals. You need to track your path toward reaching your goal, and you need to have a firm benchmark to reach. Open a spreadsheet that you update every day with the numbers you are hitting.

Create an attainable goal for yourself. If your goal is unrealistic, you will lose your motivation to reach it and you will be disappointed when you don’t. Break this year into steps that you can perform every day to reach your goal.

Make sure your goal is relevant to yourself. You can connect your goals to principles like sadaka, or you can connect your goals to your wealth and business. Your resolution should improve your own life in some way.

Make your goal time-based. Many cap their resolutions to one year. You can make your resolution last longer, but you need to set a clear end for it.

3. Show Your Love for Your Family and Community

2020 tested our connections to each other. For 2021, spread as much love as you can. Here’s the resolution 2019 – 2020 that we put together 

Eat meals and share activities with your family. Tell them how much you love and respect them. Have conversations with your children, and listen carefully to what they have to say.

Reconnect with friends who you haven’t spoken to. Share articles and media with them that you think they will like.

Visit local community centres like libraries and food banks. Talk to the workers and visitors there. If you can volunteer there, volunteer whenever possible.

Learn to appreciate your surroundings. Go out for walks in your community. Visit natural wonders in your area.

4. Take Responsibility for Your Intentions and Actions

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “Actions are but by intentions, so each man will have what he intended.” Set your mind on right intentions, and your actions will prove productive.

Tell your family members when you intend to do this year. Ask them for their thoughts and suggestions. Adapt your resolutions and plans for the year based on what they say.

When you make a mistake, own it. Apologise for what happened and then take steps to avoid the mistake. Provide a remedy for what you did.

Do not expect forgiveness. Earn forgiveness by taking ethical actions that will keep you from making another mistake.

Remain focused on your goals. If intrusive thoughts come into your mind, take note of them and let them pass. Practice mindfulness, staying attuned to your environment and right intentions.

5. Look at Behaviours, Not Outcomes

The saying, “It’s not about the end, but the journey,” applies well to goals. If you are focused on the end result, you will always be disappointed. Focus on the behaviours you adopt that get you to your end.

Sit down and draft behaviours you will adopt to reach your goal. If you want to give more money to charity, consider the charities you will give to. Consider how you will cut back on your spending so you have more money to give.

Go online and find resources related to your goal. Contact experts and ask them questions about what you can do better.

Write down good behaviours and put them in a place where you can see them. Every morning, think about how you can practice those behaviours. Break your day down hour-by-hour, considering what you can do better.

When supervising other people, assess how they solve a problem. Someone may not be producing good results, but they may have a good work ethic. Focusing on behaviours allows you to work with them, rather than berate them for failing.

If you don’t reach your goals, but you improved as a person, you have succeeded.

6. Check-in With Your Superannuation

Superannuation is Australia’s long-term saving plan. Your employer pays 9.5% of your salary into a fund that you monitor. You control how your fund gets invested, so your savings can grow for retirement.

Check-in with your super as it stands. Ask your financial advisor about how they plan to grow your savings over the next year. Ask them any questions you have about your savings.

Check-in with ethical investment frameworks like the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI). Tell them about how your super is doing. Ask them if they feel like your super is conforming to ethical standards.

7. Build Your Emergency Fund

You can lose your job or suffer an accident at any moment. Save at least six month’s worth of expenses so you can cover any unforeseen incidents.

Open a savings account that you can access easily. Keep this account separate from your daily bank account.

Set weekly and monthly savings goals. Transfer funds into your savings account every time you get paid.

Check your savings account every few months. Adjust how much you’re saving.

If you have too little, put more money into the account. If you have too much, look into different investments you can make.

8. Revisit Your Spending and Investment Plan

Sit down and consider how much you spend on a weekly basis. On a separate sheet of paper, write down how much you invest. Include stocks, real estate, and hard assets.

If you spend money on something that you don’t use, cut that out of your budget. If you can shift to a less expensive option, shift to that option right away. If your investments aren’t working, withdraw those investments.

Diversify your investments wherever possible. Assets respond differently to economic downturns and upturns. Mix high-risk, high-reward ventures with low-risk, low-reward ones.

Consider different ways of supplementing your super. You may have a lost super that you can find. You can pursue a growth investment option, pursuing high rewards over a five-year plan.

9. Focus on Halal Wealth Management Ideas

Direct your financial advisor to follow Halal living principles. You can ask your advisor not to invest in companies that deal with weapons, alcohol, and other prohibited sectors. You can direct them to invest in health care, infrastructure, and innovative industries. The investment choices we make and where we spend our money has an impact on our future. That is the founding principle of why Crescent Wealth Super exists to provide Australians with an alternative way to invest their retirement savings for a kinder and more unified future.

Try to eliminate interest-based investments, and stocks in companies with high debt. You can pursue sukuk investments, which generate profit from underlying assets. You can also invest in Muslim-run businesses, which are more likely to follow Halal rules.

10. Give More Zakat

Zakat is based on the wealth of your possessions. Most Muslims give 2.5% of their disposable income, which can total thousands of dollars per year.

If you have more money to give away, give it away. Diversify the charities that you give your money to. Consider local charities in your area and large national ones.

Diversify the people you give your charity to. Give to the poor and needy, but give to travellers and collectors of zakat.

Consider savings plans that will let you save money to give away. Talk to your financial advisor about steps you can take to give zakat.

Crafting a New Year’s Resolution for Ethical Living

A New Year’s Resolution is a terrific way to fuel your ethical Muslim life. Consider ten goals you can hit, and you can be on your way to a great year.

Perform more du’a, focusing your mind on impactful goals. Increase your love for your family, taking accountability for your actions and focusing on your behaviour.

Check-in with your super and build your emergency fund. Revisit your spending and investment plans, especially while considering Halal principles. Give more zakat however possible.

Improve your financial performance with expert help. Crescent Wealth Super is Australia’s premier Islamic investment fund. Contact us today.

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