1. Remember The True Purpose Of Fasting
It’s easy to lose sense of purpose when we don’t nourish it regularly. Purpose is like a toddler. It needs constant unrelenting care and attention or else Shaytaan’s persistent efforts to make us lose our sense of purpose will take over. So what is the true purpose behind fasting in Ramadan? In one sentence? It is to gain Taqwah and become closer to Allah.
O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous. [Quran-Surah 2: Ayah 183]
And how do we gain Taqwah by staying away from food and drink? This is how:
• The Quran was revealed in the Holy month of Ramadan. With the devils chained down in this Holy month, the negative energy is replaced by positive energy and it becomes relatively easier in Ramadan to strengthen our Emaan.
• As humans we tend to take everything in life for granted and forget to thank our Creator for His many blessings. But in Ramadan, fasting instills in us a sense of gratitude. Fasting makes us appreciate the value of food and drink. Gratitude elevates our Taqwah.
• Consequently, we become more compassionate towards the poor and needy. We start giving charity in the way of Allah and that brings us closer to Allah.
• In Ramadan Allah has promised us forgiveness for all our past sins if we beg Him for forgiveness sincerely. It is the best time to repent to Allah, make duas and recharge our relationship with Allah.
2. Detailed Goal Management Approach For Ramadan
Finalise the goals you want to achieve for this Ramadan and make a plan.
The most important thing about planning is setting realistic goals for yourself.
For example, have a look at the goals for Ramadan below:
- Read Quran
- Read Dhikr
- Make duas
- Prepare Meals
- Pray Terawih
Do you notice how the plan above lacks some specifics? The list above specifies your intentions but does not specify the details of how exactly you are going to achieve the goals. So how would you correct the goal setting of the person above? Here’s how I would rewrite the goals above:
- Read 5 pages of Quran after every Salah
- Read Dhikr of Allhuakhbar, SubahanAllah & Alhamdulillah (X33) after ever Salah and read longer Dhikrs after Subuh & Ishak prayer
- Make lots of duas before Iftaar everyday and during Qiyyam at night
- Prepare Meals on Wednesday & Saturday night for the week
- Pray Terawih every night and in congregation when possible
Do you see the way those goals got a clear definition and frame now? That’s really important if you aim to reach your goals efficiently.
3. Prioritise Your Tasks
When you create your daily ‘to do’ list, prioritize each task based on importance. You can block aside intervals of time throughout the day for completing certain tasks if necessary. Knowing that you have a designated amount of time to work on a task can do wonders for eliminating distractions and increasing productivity.
Assign a letter to each task on a scale of “A”– “D” indicating priority.
• Wake Family for Fajr & Suhor (A)
• Folding the Laundry (D)
You may put an “A” beside the task of waking your family for fajr and suhor; and assign a “D” for folding the
laundry in the dryer because that task can be put off for the next day with no dire consequences. The next day, create a new list. You may decide to give incomplete tasks a higher priority than you did the day before.
4. Keep Your Family In The Loop
Sitting down with your family to discuss plans for preparing and participating in Ramadan is a great exercise to help everyone. For example, you can organize days and times where you would all be free to Terawih in congregation together. Or if you need reminders in case you fall into bad habits such as controlling your tongue and temper or not gossiping and backbiting, you can ask those around you for help.
Discuss the many scenarios that might come up and help develop strategies to avoid and/or navigate them. Getting everyone involved increases enthusiasm and reinforces the goals of each individual and the family unit.
5. Stop Procrastinating!
Time passes by so fast and there is no room for procrastination especially during Ramadan. We know you want to rest for a few more minutes, maybe scroll through your phone a little while longer, but we all know too well that if we drag it on, we will regret these minutes when we finally stop procrastinating and take a look at the time!
Block out some time to doing these steps to be mentally prepared for Ramadan and avoid the headache of wishing you had spent your time better during Ramadan.
- Break tasks down into smaller, steps so they don’t seem so insurmountable.
- Map out a timeline for each goal with a designated deadline.
- Spend time with others who inspire you to improve and take action.
- Share your goals with others – they will ask about your progress which helps keep you on your toes.
- Commit to taking action. Your goals mean nothing if you don’t take the steps necessary to reach the desired result.