The sadness of post-Ramadan is pretty anti-climatic wouldn’t you say? We have to work super hard for the next eleven months to get another one month of extra blessings and mercy to come again, inshAllah. Nowadays, when Ramadan ends, I feel truly sad.
I did not feel like this many years ago though. When I was growing up, I considered Ramadan to be fun, exciting, different, a more religious time, of course not eating – yet having better breakfast, dinners and a lot more treats! And I was also more excited for the festivity of the Eid, ticking the days off the calendar. I never knew about the essence of Ramadan, so as you can tell, I didn’t have the most productive thoughts.
It is only as a mother with older children and a seeker of Islamic knowledge, have I come to realize what a blessed time Ramadan really is. I can actually feel my heart and soul having more mercy, kindness, and forgiveness during the month. I feel an increase in patience, perseverance, and stamina, and I look forward to the discipline and the connection I feel to Allah SWT and His Creation. Subhanallah, maybe it’s because I’m getting wiser with age – all I know is that I love it!
Unfortunately, my past Ramadan months have still not been the most productive! Nor am I pleased with myself by the end of Ramadan when I have failed to accomplish the goals I’ve set. I get really tired of hearing myself say that I have six kids, it’s hard, circumstances happen, or I will get to it next year inshAllah. I end up sounding like a broken record, beating myself up, and left feeling hopeless.
This year on the night of Eid, I was praying to Allah SWT to please help me, to please forgive me, and I begged Him to let me live to see many more months of Ramadan to accomplish the goals I had set. Then I had a hopeful thought which could only be from Allah SWT. I thought to myself,
‘Why do I aim to accomplish these goals mostly in Ramadan, and set so many goals only in this month?”
I know this is pretty obvious to some, but it really was an ‘aha’ moment for me. Actually, many of us make these big goals for ourselves, hoping to achieve closeness to Allah SWT, while trying to take advantage of the blessed month of Ramadan, but really, shouldn’t we be making these goals all year round as well?
Alhamdulillah my epiphany really brightened my outlook and gave me more hope. I immediately bowed my head and asked Allah SWT to forgive me for not accomplishing what I had intended, and then I committed to Him, that I would work on the goals I had set for myself – post-Ramadan as well!
I literally started making a list on my smartphone’s notepad to remind myself to achieve these goals over the next few months. I started small, just added 3 -4 goals at first, as I was aiming to work on formulating those few goals into a habit, before I added the next set of goals. If you’re wondering what kind of goals to set, here a few ideas to get you started on your own.
25 Post-Ramadan Goal Ideas
1. Add Sunnah or Nafl Prayers
Even if you start by adding the shorter sunnah prayers at first, say at Fajr and Maghrib salah, you’re still doing more than when you prayed your fard prayers alone, make it a habit, then move on to the next prayer.
2. Allocate Time For Quran
Even 1/2 to 1 hour in your day for Quran recitation – tell yourself it is as important as cooking for your family each day, and that you have to do it as nourishment for the mind. You should include your kids in this endeavor as well.
3. Read At Least One Hadith a Day
A lot of Hadith are short and won’t take much time. Read it with understanding and share the message with your family.
4. Learn a Name Of Allah SWT
Learn one Name of Allah SWT at a time, and learn it in-depth, in order to understand His Divinity.
5. Learn About the Prophet SAW
Learn something about our beloved Prophet SAW to appreciate his fine example and duplicate his impeccable character.
6. Perform a Charity
Even just to smile when you don’t feel like it, or a word of praise to someone when you’re out doing your errands.
7. Call Long-time Family Members
Ring-up those family members that you never get a chance to call. Strengthening family ties is highly recommended in Islam.
8. Make dhikr as part of your day
That does not take any extra time, only commitment! Say it when you’re driving, waiting at appointments, trying to go to sleep at night, or when your kids are crying and you are stressed out. I have experienced much calm from it.
9. Become less materialistic
Resist buying something you don’t really need. Avoid shopping for your wants and start shopping for your needs. Less is more and more rewarding too.
10. Help Out a Friend
Especially when you’re too busy to help, that is when it counts the most. Don’t tell yourself that you’re busier than them, everyone is fighting their own battle.
11. Compliment Your Family and Friends
Tell them how great they look and how glad you are to have them in your life. Do this often.
12. Appreciate and Express More Love To Your Parents, Spouse, and Kids
Acknowledge the efforts they do instead of harp on the things they don’t. And say thank you for the hard work they perform day-in and day-out. Express your love for them, forgive them easily, life is too short and we don’t do this enough.
13. Wake Up a Little Early For Tahajjud
It isn’t that tough! If you’re waking for Fajr, then a few minutes earlier won’t make much of a difference. Fit in some tahajjud and see a world of difference in your life and in your way of thinking (I am talking from experience here, I have felt the benefits).
14. Improve What You Already Do
Whether it is improving your wudhu and realizing it is more than a cleansing of body, but a cleansing of sins. Improve your khushoo in salah, work on perfecting what you already do, and do it better.
15. Become More Modest
Whether it is to lower your 3/4 sleeves and wear less fitting clothes, or lower your gaze and lessen unnecessary chatter with the opposite gender, we all can improve our hayat, because Allah SWT is Pure and Likes Purity.
16. Memorize a verse of a Sura
You could do this even every week, it is do-able and improves your memory as well!
17. Forgive Any Grudges
If there is a friend or family member that you haven’t spoken to, or feel resentment toward, free yourself from the grudge, don’t judge, just let it go!
18. Declutter your home
Learn to give, give, give! The Prophet SAW did not have many things, he lived a simple life, learn to live with less stuff and teach your kids to do the same.
19. Give Something You Love
The Prophet SAW tells us to give of what we love. It is not an easy thing to do, but oh you will feel so good when you overcome your nafs, and the reward is immense Inshallah.
20. Talk to Allah SWT About Everything and Anything
Before you call a friend, moan to your spouse, or drown your troubles in front of social media, TV or internet, talk to Allah SWT. Bow and ask Him SWT for help first.
21. Control Your Bad Emotions
Reign in your anger and become more understanding. Develop patience and find peace and tranquility in this fast-paced and stressful world.
22. Don’t Judge Anyone
Look at people with eyes wide open and remind yourself that no matter how guilty they look, you’re just not in their shoes and you don’t have the right to judge anyone, that is really between them and Allah the Most Merciful and the Most Compassionate.
23. Eat healthier
Your stomach has shrunk, your body had a detox, don’t start loading it with another year of junk food, be aware of what you’re putting in your body, and pick up some exercise goals along the way.
24. Listen To a Scholar Online
Even if it is just 15 – 30 mins at a time. Become a seeker of knowledge. You can gain so much just by listening to a scholar of knowledge. I cannot express how I have benefited from this.
25. Unplug More Often
Resist the need to check your phone too often or browse social networks as a time waster. It can cause stress! Use your time wisely and set specific times to read unimportant emails and texts, control your device, don’t let it control you!
Try it dear sisters, it can be done! Why limit your goals to Ramadan alone? If you start now, it won’t seem so daunting. Maybe by next Ramadan inshAllah, your goals can go much smoother, leaving you feeling less hopeless. I know I’m excited to see it through too!