The best way to make the most out of something, is to prepare for it beforehand. Ramadan, is no different !
As the most spiritual month of them all, Ramadan requires so much preparation and dedication than any other month in your life and by that, I don't mean buying lots of food from the store, as if you were going in to hibernation mode! Not at all. I am talking about, doing the little things that will Inshallah bring you further to being a better person, a better Muslim and of course being closer to God.
So here's my top tips to making the most out of this month :
1) Ramadan is a time where you reflect on your past actions, your habits and your personality as well as relationships. Its the time to repent, regroup and refocus. So I really advice you guys, to get a notebook , get some time to yourself and just think back at all your habits that you'd like to change, things that you've done that you're not particularly proud of or you know you could have done better and just think and write everything that comes to your head. Then, on a new page , write down all the things that you'd like to be (or do) it doesn't matter how big or little they are, how far-fetched or down right simple just write . it . down. think forward. On, the third page write down a list of all your future & present plans and all the traits that you'd like to have and be. I personally like to focus on my personality during this excersice simply because I am always focusing on my career and my outer-self on regular days, so I like to spend Ramadan on changing my inner self.
2) Start thinking of ways of reaching your goals. Put your plans to action straight away e.g. if one of your goals is to spend more time with your family , start by offering to help your parents or one of your siblings with something. They'd appreciate it and you'd start to see the results of your goal in no time! Also, don't forget to make loads of duaa's in order for your goals to come true and also to have Allah's blessing.
3) Ramadan is about having a fresh start. So get rid of all the extra baggage before the month starts - by making amends with those who you are not talking to ( if you can't just make a duaa for them ) Forgive those who have hurt you or done you wrong and don't just tell yourself to forgive them really think about it and mean it (again if you can't just say 'hasbee allah wa ni'im el wakeel' and leave it for Allah to deal with) This is also a really good time, to stay away from bad friends (those who have the wrong influence on you) try to keep good company ( the mosque is a good place to start, maybe your family too?)
4) Get your Quran ready & arrange a little plan that will get you reading the Quran every night.
5) Get your prayer timetable ready.
6) Thank Allah for the year you've had and for everything. Ask for forgivness for your past mistakes. Start now.
7) Shower and wash away the year you've just had because you're about to embark on your best year yet . Starting from this month.
Are you ready ?