Ramadan comes and goes in the blink of an eye, and we are left wondering what we can do differently this time around. We pile up thoughts on how to make up for our missed Ramadan goals from last year, right?

It’s quite clear that every believer hopes to improve during Ramadan. Many of us indeed find ourselves setting goals but give up in the middle of the month or sooner. Until we take proper measures, we will not reach our targets easily and may end up missing an invaluable opportunity.

The following measures can help us better execute our goal-driven strategy not just in Ramadan but in all the future months to come, Insha’Allah.

1. Make a list of your desired accomplishments

Jot down all your goals on paper. The list can include goals and tasks such as reciting the whole Quran, staying consistent in Tahajjud, refraining from abusive language, etc. It is important to list everything in order of importance, with an estimation of how long it will take you to achieve these. However, you will realize that not all goals can be time-bound.

2. Create a daily to-do list 

A daily to-do list will turn your desired goals into action plans.

You may create two of these since the schedules of weekdays and weekends differ. You can also classify according to the three Ashrahs. It’s all up to you!

This list should be specific. For example, if your goal is to finish reciting the entire Qur’an within Ramadan, try to read a set amount of verses or pages at particular times in the day. List it like: “Read 20 ayah after Fajr prayer.” Being specific will help you stay on track and ensure that you are 100% committed to your goals.

3. Make a modified list with discrepancies

It is possible that your schedule might not work for you sometimes and needs some adjustments. However, this should not be an excuse to give up altogether - revise, do not quit. You must make sure you are going back and re-strategizing your plan if you find something that is not optimal. 

Instead of decreasing your deeds, readjust them and use your time wisely. Place the lists everywhere; your desk, kitchen table, or wherever you feel it should be easily accessible for you. Encouraging and forcing yourself to read it repeatedly will serve as a constant reminder.

4. Make it easy for yourself to attain goals

For instance, if you want to wake up for Tahajjud on time, keep a prayer mat, relevant clothing material, tasbeeh close to your bed, and sleep on time at night. You will fail to get up early if you are up late, so make adequate preparations for your goals. 

Similarly, if you are trying to refrain from doing something, make it harder for yourself. For instance, for backbiting, staying away from the company of people who encourage this bad habit will help. 

5. Regular evaluation of your performance

Spare a few minutes every night to write and think about whether you are on track or not and how you can make room for further improvements. This way, you know what you need to work on more the next morning, and you would be able to monitor yourself efficiently. 

There will always be days when you are not as energetic as you usually are and not as productive as you should be. Through evaluation, you can help prevent this from becoming a pattern and save yourself from missing out on Ramadan opportunities.

Let’s hope this Ramadan we achieve more than we planned, and Allah (SWT) helps us in our journey to garner maximum rewards. Ameen.

The author

Rida Ghaffar