Alhamdulillah, Ramadan is almost here! I'm so excited, and as always, a little worried even though it's always fine. A little hungry and tired times, but nothing I can't handle, alhamdulillah :) I appreciate when others remind me that there were people who assumed they would make it to Ramadan but didn't, so we musn't forget to treat it as our last and do our best, and also be grateful to have been blessed to make it to another Ramadan.
I have a couple tips to help you attain a beneficial Ramadan. These are by no means conclusive, just some ideas to get you going!
• Create a Ramadan goal list + tracker
Physically write out your goals for this Ramadan, be as specific as you can, it'll help you keep yourself accountable! After you do this, create a habit tracker where you can keep track and check off your goals daily. This makes it easier to remember what you've already done and what you have left to do instead of keeping it all in your head. It's also a fun way to see how you're doing as the month progresses!
*Bonus: If you keep up this tracker in the other months or future Ramadans, you'll be able to see your progression!
• Renew your intentions
Remember the reason you're fasting and performing other forms of ibadah. It doesn't have to be limited to fasting and taraweeh. Whatever you're doing to improve, whether that be watching less/no TV, focusing on lowering your gaze, speaking less, remind yourself why. Islam is a religion that rewards for intention as well as action, so even if you slip up, you'll still be rewarded inshAllah.
• Take advantage
There are a lot of easy sunnah's you can do day to day, like breaking your fast with dates. Find which are easy for you to include in your day to day, and reap the rewards.
Good deeds are multiplied by 70 or more, so pray that nafl, donate to charity, help someone out, feed someone fasting, anything!
This is the month of the Quran, each letter of the Quran we recite, we get rewarded 700 good deeds (or more!) Anything you can read is beneficial. Like I say to younger kids, this is the insane bonus level in video games where everything good is multiplied, it's time to take advantage!
• Stay connected
Ramadan is also about the community, there is baraqah in jama'ah (congregation). If you can, invite friends over for iftar (Bonus: you also get the reward of fasting for feeding them!), or go out together. It's important to be with community and friends, and it'll also help create fond memories of Ramadan and being together with people you love.
If you have any ideas, feel free to share so we can all benefit!
Wishing you all a blessed Ramadan,