Author: Pure Matrimony
Ramadan is a time of intense spiritual worship…but the problem for many people is they start the month strong and lose momentum as the days go on. This happens because of two main reasons. Firstly, you set the bar too high for yourself and then feel deflated when you fall short of your goals. Secondly, setting big goals for yourself can backfire because you expect too much from yourself and ‘burn out.’
So here’s 5 ways to ensure you have a productive Ramadan, without losing the momentum:
- Do Small Deeds Consistently – Allah LOVES small deeds, as long as they are done consistently! Rather than commit to 10 extra acts of worship you want to do, focus on the smaller things that you KNOW for sure you can do daily without fail. Reading a Juz of the Quran a day seems like an amazing goal, but if this means that some days you are busy and won’t pick the Quran up at all, it’s better to commit to reading a few pages daily instead.
- Pace Yourself – Daily life still continues during Ramadan, so PACE yourself by identifying key times during the day when you have some time to yourself to worship Allah and then STICK to those times so it becomes part of your daily routine. Mothers for example may choose the time immediately after their children’s bedtime to pick up the Quran and read a few pages.
- Stretch Yourself Responsibly – One of the fastest ways to burn out is to do too much quickly and become overwhelmed and then do nothing at all. Instead, look at what you are doing right now and ask yourself ‘where can I do more of what I am ALREADY doing?’. Can you give more charity, do more dhikr, read more Quran, do all 12 sunnahs of the daily salah etc? This is much easier than adding in lots of new things that you’ll struggle to keep up with.
- Focus On Working On ONE or TWO Behaviour Changes – Ramadan isn’t JUST about worship, it’s ALSO about changing yourself for the better. Allah says in Surah Baqrah, verse 183 that fasting is prescribed for you so you may attain taqwa (some translations say so you learn self-restraint or ward off evil). This clearly indicates that fasting is designed to be a spiritual shield against the evil of ourselves. So work on changing one or two bad habits and actively work on them daily for the entire month. So if you have a habit of gossiping, restrain your tongue. If you get angry quickly, try to pacify yourself. Your aim is to improve your character one bad trait at a time.
- Make Dhikr Standard – Dhikr is one act of worship that doesn’t require ANY additional effort, since you can do this while working, cleaning, driving and without having to move your body! Dhikr is extremely powerful and each time you proclaim the greatness of your Lord, a tree or a flower is planted in Paradise for you! Dhikr is the fastest way to design your own garden in the hereafter, and in the month of Ramadan, Allah SWT multiplies your efforts abundantly. Dhikr is therefore one of the easiest yet most rewarding acts of worship you can do.
Ramadan is not the time to go ‘all out’ when you know you’ll fall short and lose the motivation to move forward. No deed is small in the sight of Allah SWT, and Allah prefers small deeds done consistently rather than doing one big deed just the once! So go easy on yourself and aim to be consistent in your worship with your main goal as being a BETTER version of yourself. By the time you exit Ramadan, you should have improved in both worship AND character. No matter how small these changes are, Allah will still reward you abundantly.
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