• Hanaa Fouad

How I Made My New Years Resolutions Finally Work

Updated: Jan 2, 2019

Credit: Instagram @myblushcrush

If you're reading this then you've probably remembered the resolutions you've made at the beginning of 2018 and realized you didn't accomplish half of what you wanted to. You and me both, but that was me in 2017. This year is actually the first year I've ever succeeded in making some of my resolutions a reality. This is how...

It took me a two part system or really hone in on what I want my realistic resolutions to be. I really didn't want this to be another year where I'll say "Next year will be better".

Part one included a video I watched at the beginning of the year. It's called "How To Get Your Life Together" by Anna Akana (one of the few old school You-tubers still doing it right) and it changed how I see my so called "New Year Resolutions".

When you see the video it will show that Anna talks about getting her life together using a system she developed to help keep her accountable when it comes to evaluating how well she is living the life she envisioned for herself. That brings me to the first step.

Step 1

Envision the ideal you

I sat down and really thought about what the best version of Hanaa would look like. I took my time with this, made myself a cup of chamomile tea and imagined everything. From the moment I woke up to how I would spend my weekends. Then it was time for step 2

Step 2

Categorize your life

This was actually easier than I anticipated. I took my planner and went to the very last page and drew in a big "Life Goals" bubble. To me my life was categorized into 7 areas, like Annas'. But to you it could be less or more, depending on if you live alone, have kids, are studying, working or maybe traveling constantly. You'll find that I paid attention to some areas way more than I did others but that's normal. One of the biggest things I've learnt this year was being kinder to my self and that means understanding the beautifully imperfect state of my being.

Step 3

Set goals for each of your categories

Few of my goals were something like this.


  1. See friends once a week. ✔(not every week but It was way better than last year)

  2. Skin care self care x2 week ✔(this was a big deal to my emotional wellbeing)

Mental Health:

  1. Meditate 2x a day ✔ (only did it once a day but found mindful living)

  2. Do yoga daily. ✖ Wish I could tick it, but I wasn't able to do it everyday, not even close to what I wanted


  1. Read Quran every day ✖ One of the resolutions I didn't do at all practically all year

  2. Talk to God daily. ✔ Got back into this old habit of mine and my heart is better for it.


Paint once a week. ✖ Didn't make the time to buy new paint and brushes.

Practice the guitar x3 week ✖ Not even barely three times a week

Learn a new skill (Calligraphy) ✖ Only because I couldn't find a class for English calligraphy in Cairo, but that shouldn't have been an excuse.


Read 1 book a month. ✖ But I did start to make more time for reading. I read everyday now.

Read 1 MindBodyGreen Article daily. ✔ Hell yeah, more than just one article.

Learn a new language.✔ I started Italian and really took my French to a new level.


Exercise x3 at the gym. ✖ Found out that the gym was not where I belong. Took up Pole Fit instead.

Cross Fit x1 week.✖ Signed up to a class literally at the end of 2018!

Swim x1 week. ✖ The stars never aligned for this one and I truly couldn't make the timing work.

Yoga daily. ✖ I was good for maybe a quarter of the year.


Save 10% of my paycheck. ✔ This was actually easier said than done.

Donate 10% to charity. ✖ I didn't make the time but I plan to change that in 2019.

Invest 30% in my business. ✔

OMG! Looking at this now, I can't believe I set 19 resolutions for 2018, only 8 of which I feel like I actually accomplished!!

This is a prime example of the bullshit expectations we have of ourselves and how often we just set ourselves up to fail! I mean who in the name of everything that's holy would have thought I could pull this off?!

You see? You're not alone. Even though I only accomplished almost 50% of my goals, I know if I hadn't written them down and thought about the way I had I would have been saying " 2019 will be better"

Part 2 of my new year plan was to stop saying " I always wanted to..." You know how when you see someone doing something you've always wanted to do and you start saying those 4 words that subconsciously make you feel like shit about yourself for not ever making your own wants or needs a priority?!! Yeah, I wanted that crappy feeling to stop.

So, I filled up the "Goals" section of my planner to the brim with everything I always wanted to do. Although, this deserves a blog post of it's own but might I say I did a lot better on that than I did my resolutions.

If you're going to take away anything from this article let it be the lesson (we both) just learned. When setting your resolution, keep it realistic. It's okay if you go all out (19 freaking resolutions) only if you are not going to beat yourself up for not getting around to all of them. I'm actually laughing at how much I thought I could accomplish without a shred of guilt or regret in sight. Because to me, I came such a long way from the version of me that started 2018, and I'm so proud for showing up for myself this year.

At the time I'm writing this, I still haven't written my 2019 resolutions. I don't know if they'll be 19 but I do know that this time I'm drinking anything other than chamomile tea!!

Happy New Year <3

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