This year I really thought that I would start planning for Ramadan early. I even planned how I would plan for Ramadan, not realising that all my planning was futile when Allah, the best of planners had decreed otherwise!
Life often throws trials at us when we least expect them. My beloved father in law passed away just a few weeks before Ramadan, may Allah shower him in His Mercy and grant him Alfirdaws al-A’laa and eternal rest and bliss. I learned countless precious lessons from him during his life, and even in his passing away, he taught me so many invaluable things. I realised that life begins and ends in the blink of an eye and that before I know it, I will have only my good deeds as companions. I realised that there is no time to waste, and what better opportunity is there than the month of Ramadan to remind ourselves of our purpose and to get closer to our Creator?
It is better to show up late than to not show up at all.
With time running out, I racked my brains to think of a really simple, quick and easy to put together Ramadan Journal.
By the time you read this, two-thirds of the beautiful month of Ramadan has passed. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t start now! Quite the contrary, what matters more is how you finish and not how strong you started! This is especially true in Ramadan because we believe that Laylatul Qadr lies within the last 10 nights, and the virtues of this night are unimaginable.
The main idea behind this Ramadan Journal is habit tracking. I decided to use the Sean Wes habit tracker because I fell in love with its simplicity and ease of use. The way it works is that you make a list of 5 habits you want to track daily and colour them in on the chart when you accomplish them.
By confining the habits you’re tracking to 5, you are more likely to be mindful of keeping those habits during the day. It’s also a good way of forcing yourself to choose only the things that will actually make your life better if you implement them every day, which is a great way of practising self-restraint!
You can find a link to the printable habit tracker here. It’s super easy – just print out the month (you can erase the name of the month and write Ramadan instead) and stick it in your journal.
How to build your Ramadan Journal:
What you will need:
- Any notepad
- Pencil or pen
- 5 different coloured pens
The Habit Tracker:
1. You can either print off a page from the pdf version available online or draw the chart yourself, depending on what aesthetic you prefer!
Tip: If you began Ramadan on Thursday 17th May, then the best month to print off is November 2018
2. Next, choose 5 habits you want to track and assign a different colour for each habit. You’ll be colouring in the things you accomplish every day. It’s literally that simple!
For the rest of the notebook, I have labelled each page with each day of Ramadan. On these pages, I like to write down something new that I learned or experienced. This can be things like reflections from the Quran, quotes from a lecture or book, or a new hadith learned. I also really enjoy using this space to write down something I feel really grateful for, like the beautiful weather and the opportunity to spend time with family.
At the bottom of the page, I have put a small section on what I feel I’ve done well and what I could improve for the following day. I feel like this really helps me to reflect on the day, and on things I’ve been doing that have helped or hindered my progress.
It only takes a few minutes every day
Make sure you set yourself a few minutes every day dedicated to writing in your journal. A good idea is to make this the last few minutes of your day before you sleep, and then take a quick look at the journal every morning, to remind yourself of what you’re working towards.
I hope this simple structure encourages you to make the most out of Ramadan and helps you to leave this blessed month as a better person than you were before it started. Ameen!