The month of Ramadan is the month in which the Quran was sent down,
a guidance for the people, and clear verses of guidance and criterion.
[Quran: Chapter 2:183]

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Preparing for Ramadan 2009: Setting Goals and Planning



We are all very busy in our lives with many responsibilities to meet. We go to school, study, work, take care of the home and the family. While we desire to set time aside to prepare for Ramadan, it is often easier said than done. Today's article sets out tips to help you do just that and to overcome the lack of time complaint.

1) Declare your commitment

The first thing to do is to declare your intention to commit to "Preparing for Ramadan". This has been shown to effect changes in behavior. For instance, people who want to lose weight are often told to declare their intentions. Similarly, we should declare our intention to set time aside to prepare for Ramadan. Say it aloud, and even write it down in your journal, or better yet on a big card and then paste it in an area you can see. That will serve as a daily reminder of your commitment to set aside time to prepare for Ramadan.

2) The Ramadan Objectives List

After your night prayers, or whenever you find some alone time in a quiet place, you should sit and think about what you like to achieve during Ramadan. If you are always bad-tempered, then perhaps learning to restrain your bad temper can be an objective to achieve during Ramadan. This is called agenda-setting. You list out the things you would like to acomplish. Some objectives could include doing good deeds, helping your family around the house, and reading the Quran.

4) The Dua List

If you perform your Ramadan well and you are sincere, THIS is the holy month that God has said he will answer our prayers. Therefore, this is the month for you to decide on what you wish for in this life and the hereafter. You may desire to be forgiven for any previous sins, you may desire to be a better human being and so on. If is all right to ask for earthly things, like success at work, as well as for spritual things, like desire to enter paradise. God listens to us, so we should speak to God.

5) Planning

Once you have created your Ramadan goals and duas, you should look make a plan on how to realize the objectives during Ramadan. Be realistic about your plan. The key to achieving your goals is to set achievable targets. Do not be over-ambitious.

For instance, you may think you can finish reading the Quran well before the 30 days so that you may be able to finish the Quran reading twice during Ramadan. Some people can actually do that. But if you feel you might not be able to do it, then be realistic and divide it into small bits. For instance, you can read 4 pages of the Qur’an after every prayer. 5 prayers a day with 4 pages read each time would lead to 20 pages read a day. 20 pages are equivalent to 1 juz. And if you did that for 30 days, you would have finished the Qur’an!

Reminder:

Small steps lead to big things.

Remember that The Prophet, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam told us:
“The deeds most loved by Allah are those done regularly, even if they are small.”

Be consistent. It would be beneficial if we could develop the habits during Ramadan that we can use throughout our lives!

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Special Ramadan Series

Dear Reader, Assalaamu’alaikum.

Ramadan Mubarak. We wish you a blessed and productive Ramadan! Make no mistake about it - keeping the fast and increasing our acts of worship during this blessed month is not an easy task. The physical demands of balancing work or school with fasting all day, feeling fatigued and less effective than you normally are, waking up for Suhoor, praying Teraweeh and Tahajjud prayers, dealing with sleep deficits.

But the last thing we would want is to let Ramadan pass us by without doing all that we aim and desire to. Do not allow yourself to feel guilty or regretful when Ramadan passes.

The Ramadan Series will send you emails with practical tips on how to gain and maintain the physical and spiritual energy necessary to embark on increased religious oligations so that you will reap the benefits from this blessed month. This includes special Ramadan duas to say during the month. Do sign-up today!

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1 Comments:

Anonymous PersistenceUnlimited said...

In order to achieve any goal, one must think positively. Then be realistic with your goals by writing down steps that you can do within a given time frame. Be dedicated and don't let distractions worn you down.

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Goal Setting Tips

August 17, 2009 at 10:22 PM  

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