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Tips to Improve Yourself in Ramadan (the REAL New Year's Resolution)

Tips to Improve Yourself in Ramadan (the REAL New Year's Resolution)

Author Mohammad Faraz Ahmad by

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David DeHetre

Ramadan 2014 is upon us. I can’t help but feel the same nervous euphoric feeling I always feel when it comes to this time of the year. I am sure many others will relate to me when I say that Ramadan truly does decide the outcome for the remaining months of the year following. It’s like as the year drags on we slowly lose parts of ourselves. But when Ramadan hits BAM, we are reborn. Reenergized and charged for another go at life. And I don’t just mean spiritually. Of course Ramadan has many amazing spiritual benefits. However I also find that other things can be gained as well in Ramadan if you follow a fairly regular pattern in the coming days. Here are a few tips I've found helpful in making the most of Ramadan.

1) Create Goals for yourself in Ramadan

How many of us put important things off and procrastinate? How many of us put aside many things that are important to us because we lack the focus and discipline to work towards them?

Take small steps in working towards those goals every single day in Ramadan. The nice thing about these goals is that unlike other life goals they can be more easily focused on spiritual goals in things such as reading the Quran, finishing the Quran. memorizing parts of the Quran, making your daily prayers a habit, waking up for Fajr, applying more and more Sunnah into your life, changing your mannerisms towards others, helping out more in the community during Iftar or in cleanup, etc. The list is never ending. There is so much we can all do to improve ourselves and focusing on your spiritual goals, which is made easier in the month of Ramadan, and working towards them every single day really does a lot for your confidence. By establishing a set routine, and by regularly working towards your goals, you develop valuable life skills that can be applied to other goals such as relationships with family and friends, educational goals, health and fitness goals, or career oriented desires.

2) Sleep and Fitness Routines

I am no doctor, so I can’t really give complete detailed advice in regards to your health but here are some things I find helpful. Many of us generally have a set schedule we follow and now with Isha and Taraweeh prayers for some of us in the mix along with work and other life pursuits we have to now find some ways to fit in sleep. I recommend taking some time after work or perhaps even utilize your break to fit in a quick 30 minute power nap for a small boost of attentiveness and energy to further prolong your day. If you have some more time than a three hour nap definitely is the way to go. I wouldn’t recommend anything past three hours for a nap though because you may end up becoming a bit disoriented and even more exhausted.

For working out I have to say PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DO NOT make the mistake of working out while fasting. Not only is it very dangerous to work out while dehydrated, it is also kind of counterproductive if you are trying strengthen up and build muscle and aren’t properly hydrated/ energized for a workout. Check out this article many others have found useful in years past.

3) Self Discovery, Values, Expression

One thing I have found in years past to be pretty helpful is writing down my thoughts and what I’ve learned. Granted nor everyone likes to write so I encourage you all to find some medium in which to express yourself that you can possibly look back on. The value in this is that you can look back and see how much you may have improved over the course of time. Also by simply expressing yourself you can find out a lot about yourself and dive deeper into what you want to achieve in life. More than any other time of the year Ramadan really offers you an opportunity to look inside and really create or reapply your values and habits, and discard bad habits/values therein. Also an amazing time to reflect, forgive, and start anew with people in your life.

Ultimately depending how you approach Ramadan, you can improve your discipline on so many different things in your life and develop a pretty solid foundation towards working towards your goals. Not to mention if you do find a good way to express yourself you can potentially make some significant progress on discovering yourself and improving your character (if needed/ desired). 

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