For many of us, the years 2020 and 2021 have been fraught with mental, emotional, physical, spiritual, and financial challenges. In addition to living through a terrifying global pandemic, that is sadly still present in our beautiful land, we had to deal with losses of income, the tragic deaths of our loved ones, and many, many other devastations and travails.

For me, 2021 was one of the hardest years of my life. I fell from grace 99 times and needed to dust myself off and work hard, though my eyes were often filled with tears as I did so. It was a year that tested me more than any other, and sometimes the only thing that kept me going was my faith in the Lord and crying to Him on my prayer mat.

I’m not here to tell you to ‘get over’ whatever issues you faced in 2021, it’s not my place to do so. I’ve never been a believer in the ‘new-year-new-me’ hoopla anyway. I also never believed in that silly ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ platitude. Sometimes terrible things happen in our lives and we have no explanation about why they occurred or what our Creator wanted those lessons to teach us.

The only thing I want to communicate to you is that you have the power to change your life, not only on January first, but every day that you are blessed with existence.

Sure, the last couple of years have been tough, but if you’re looking for a sign to change your life, here it is… Get up. Get dressed. Go!

I have set a few personal goals for myself for 2022, nothing too hectic, but I want to see myself ‘glow-up’ and blossom into the self-actualised person I know I am destined to be. I am sharing these ‘mini goals’ with you, in the hopes that we can undertake this journey together, one step at a time. As I said before, there is no ‘right time’ to change your life and resolutions can be fleeting. Become the best version of yourself today, right this second.


Here are some changes I would like to make in my life this year, God willing:

  1. Gosh, my weight, let’s not talk about my weight!

If you, like me, have gained a ton of weight in 2020 and 2021 and haven’t had much time to exercise, or manage your diet, try and make a concerted effort to at least work out for ten minutes a day. Set small goals for yourself and create rewards every time you complete a workout.

I have a bad knee (yes, I’m an old, old lady) and I find that low impact cardio workouts are really enjoyable, especially when the instructor is positive, kind, and motivational throughout the video. I haven’t managed to complete a full 30-minute set yet, but I have gone beyond the 10-minute mark, which is a huge achievement for an extremely unfit young lady like myself.

I will lose weight and become a healthier version of myself in time, God willing. I will be happy and confident with my body. WE can do this!

  1. More planning, less panic!

I have a PhD in procrastination. No matter how tight my varsity or work deadlines are, I will find a way to waste time to avoid them. I have even, on occasion, found myself Googling, ‘do cows really have best friends?’ Yes, I’m that bad.

I always put myself under pressure and end up buckling under the stress of having to complete tasks within short periods of time. Before every varsity assignment is due, I always have a mini breakdown and existential crisis that could have been avoided if I managed my time well and planned productive ways to spend my day.

These days, I am trying to procrastinate less. I refuse to allow my ‘to do today’ lists to become ‘finish by the end of the month’ lists like they did last year, and I am trying to be less lazy and more accountable to myself.

If you’re as much of a procrastinator as I am, I would advise you to apply the ‘eating the frog’ principle in your daily life. Simply put, ‘eating your frog’ refers to doing the most horrible tasks that you dread, earlier in the morning. So, for example, if you struggle with science, wake up at 5am and tackle Newton’s Second Law. In so doing, you will be able to tick the task off your ‘to do list’ and you’ll have a sense of accomplishment that’ll carry you through the day. Completing the harder tasks first is also a great way of taking your power back and getting rid of the anxiety you may have had about a specific job.

I will no longer procrastinate. I will be productive every day, God willing. WE can change our routines and make good decisions to use our time wisely.

  1. More beauty, less binge

As I mentioned in a few other blogs, I wrote up my thesis last year and I am currently completing another post-graduate course (I’m a sucker for punishment). Even though I have never been interested in extensive beauty routines, before 2020 and 2021 I always used to make sure that I looked presentable before leaving the house.

However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic leading me to spend a lot of my time working and studying from home, self-care wasn’t a priority at all.

I used to sit, hovering over my laptop for five-hours straight without ever leaving my room to eat, or even comb my hair. Once I’d complete a ‘big task’, I’d binge watch all my favourite shows and eat everything in sight, with energy drinks, chocolate, and sugary snacks a commonplace post and pre-writing treat for me.

Even if I spend most of the year working from home in 2022, I will make an effort to look beautiful every day. Even wearing a bit of red lipstick and a crisp white shirt changes my mood and makes me feel good about myself these days, even if my articles are written up at the dining room table.

I hate how I treated my body in 2021 and how I felt about myself after binge eating. I want to change, I will change, I can change, God willing. WE can make better decisions for our bodies.

  1. More prayer, less ‘poor me’

As a Muslim, Allah is the centre of my life and the One who always guides me when I am lost, lonely, or just downright depressed.

I hate how much of a complainer I was in 2021. Yes, sometimes people hurt me and treated me unfairly, but I should not have allowed myself to marinade in that negative energy for such a long period of time.

God is great, I am grateful to Him and He has blessed me beyond my wildest dreams.

I will continue to show Him gratitude and complain less to others about matters of discontent. I believe that God has a plan for us all, we need to trust Him and allow ourselves to be led.


The year 2022 can either be the greatest year of your life, or the worst, it’s really up to you. Don’t wait for the clock to strike midnight on December 31st before you decide to improve yourself. Set small goals and try not to be too hard on yourself if you falter. Life is short, so let’s make the most of the time we have been blessed with!

Tell us: What are your dreams and goals for 2022?