Click here for your goal-setting Ramadan Quran Bookmark.
Nothing beats sitting down and writing out your goals in hopes of achieving them. In our preparation for this blessed month, let’s take out 15 minutes today for ourselves, in the quiet of our rooms, to think about what we want to accomplish during this Holy Month and what we want to carry over for the rest of the year. Let’s get introspective, let’s do some soul searching, let’s identify our faults, and let’s move forward with SMART goals that we are determined on achieving this Ramadan, with the help of Allah.
SMART goals are clear goals which one sets for one’s self and is determined to follow through on them.
SMART goals are
They are also that much SMARTer if you set them in front of you and look at them daily. In hopes of helping you achieve your goals this Ramadan, we would like to share with you a method which worked for us last Ramadan. In one of our pre-Ramadan 1429/2008 events, a group of our MYDC workers presented us with a Ramadan bookmark for our copy of the Qur’an. Above, you will find a link to your copy of this Ramadan Qur’an bookmark. Print it out on cardstock (thick paper will help it last longer) and write down your set of goals for this Ramadan. Stick it in your Qur’an or on your fridge, and with the help of Allah SWT, you will achieve your goals for this Ramadan, and carry over with your new habits throughout the year.
Now, back to those SMART goals.
Any goal that follows the descriptions above will be much easier to accomplish, because it is specified, measurable, and realistic.
For example, let’s say you plan on completing one reading of the entire Qur’an during Ramadan. One of your goals would be: “Read one juz’ a day.” Or let’s say you are lax in your sunnah prayers during the year, but know that you will reap maximum reward for praying them, especially during this month. Your second goal could be, “Pray 2 raka’s of sunnah prayer for fajr, thuhr, maghrib and isha prayer.”
You should also set goals for yourself during Ramadan that do not include ‘obvious’ acts of worship. For example, you know that there is great reward in feeding a fasting person, so one of your goals could be, ‘Invite my family and in-laws over for iftar once this month.’
Points to Ponder
· One should aim to reduce the amount of x one does during the day, if it is a time-wasting habit. If you are a TV or internet addict and spend 4 hours a day on them for non-work related items, you should make a goal to limit your TV/internet time to a specific amount each day. Remember to remain realistic.
· Work on a character trait that needs to be fixed within you. If you are a gossiper, and most of your gossiping occurs during phone calls, reduce the phone calls you make during the Holy Month to work-related calls or calls to ask about your relatives. Since you’ve identified your problem, you have power over it and controlling yourself will be that much easier.
· Turn ordinary actions into acts of worship! The quality time you spend playing with your kids is a way of bringing happiness into their lives and the suhur you eat in the wee hours of the night is your way of following the Prophet pbuh’s teaching.
· Remember that Ramadan is the month of da’wah, too! Make a goal out of presenting your neighbors and co-workers with a Ramadan introduction kit that you put together with your kids or purchased in a hurry. It could be something as simple as a small dish of dates or baklava with an attached note on what Ramadan is about.
Examples of SMART Goals for Your Ramadan Qur’an Bookmark
1. Suhur, daily!
2. Stay up after fajr until the sun rises twice a week, reading Qur’an. (If you can do more, power to you! Otherwise, you have a set minimum for yourself to achieve).
3. Pray two rakats of Duha prayer every day.
4. Call my Aunt __, Uncle ___, Great Aunt ___ during first three days and last three days of Ramadan.
5. Pray at least 2 rakats Qiyam once a week during first two weeks of Ramadan, twice a week during the third week and every night during the last 10 days of Ramadan. (Notice how specific and measurable this goal is, a minimum amount of rakats, a minimum number of times during the month.
6. Check email no more than three times a day.
7. Watch three episodes of Amr Khaled’s ‘In Thy Name We Live’ series every week.
8. Read the tafsir (exegesis and commentary) of Surat Al Kahf by the end of the month (3-4 verses a day).
9. Pray my five daily prayers within the first 30 minutes of its time span.
10. Spend at least 15 minutes a day playing with my kids.
11. Send in my children’s submission for GrowMama’s Ramadan Spirit Contest by September 1st.
Don’t forget to make your intention purely for His sake and to seek His aid in all your goals and acts of worship. And remember to use these goals as a spring board for your life after Ramadan. Share your goals with us for inspiration!
This article was adapted from a series of short khatiras and activities presented by a group of MAS Youth of DC workers. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.masdc.org.