Not a 'planner' person? This one's for you! (Getting started with using a Ramadan planner)
As salamu alaikum!
Towards Faith here. You may have seen us on social media, at workshops, stalls or events. You may have even loved the idea of a Ramadan planner but perhaps thought to yourself… “you know what… I’m not really a ‘planner’ person”. Well here’s a blog post just for you, on the importance of using a planner for Ramadan and how to get started.
Using a Ramadan planner that lets you quickly learn the essentials of Ramadan, allows you to effectively plan, assess yourself and capture your thoughts, feelings, ideas and behaviors as you go through Ramadan, is one of the best ways we can make the most of the blessed month and keep the momentum going throughout the year. In essence, the purpose of using the planner is to help you document the transformation you’re going through each Ramadan and help you prepare for the next.
“Keep reflecting on your special moments and changes during Ramadan and hold on to those. Keep nurturing these feelings, habits and practices. Continue to fast, pray, read Qur’an, and forgive. Continue to shine with love, patience, and empathy. Give a little more than before, and don’t give up on yourself or on God’s mercy. Remember that Satan wants to take you away from God’s remembrance and bury you under layers of darkness and fleeting pleasures, but God is calling you to purity and peace, and to what gives you life”− Naiyerah Kolkailah
For every Ramadan, we suggest having a planner you go through and refer to in subsequent years. For example, this year, you may refer to your Ramadan 2019 planner and realise it was the starting point for a truly transformative experience.
Sometimes It’s hard for us to remember what we did in Ramadan. And remember those special moments where we felt really close to Allah. Having a planner helps us document those meaningful moments so we can build on them and keep the momentum going rather than forgetting them as we get busy during the year.
Here are our three steps to help you get started and build a Ramadan planning habit:
1) Keep the planner with you.
Keep the Ramadan planner with you at all times and write in it at least once. Ideally for a few minutes at the start and the end of the day. Also, whenever a thought crosses your mind that you want to capture and never forget, write it down. In case you have forgotten or don’t have your planner with you, you can record it in a message/ email/ or even a voice recording. You don’t want to lose this thought, they are precious and you may forget them.
2) Don't overthink it!
Overthinking is actually a form of fear. Don’t spend too much time perfecting what you write. The most important thing is to write. It doesn’t have to make sense to anyone but you and you don’t have to share it with anyone either. The purpose is not to frame your pages to display it in a poetry exhibition but rather to capture your thoughts, to set, and assess your goals and work on yourself to be the best version of you this Ramadan and to keep this going so that you have the most spiritually fulfilled and barakah-filled year in sha Allah!
3) Use pen and paper
According to research, pen and paper is shown to be much more effective than a keyboard for capturing and retaining information. Handwriting iftar to-do lists, ideas , Ramadan goals and even your dreams creates a different experience altogether than typing and text messages. Using a planner will let you develop a relationship with its pages. The page space will start to feel like a home that you can return to gather your thoughts, gain greater creativity, reflect and brainstorm. Pen and paper can also reduce screen time and improve your focus since distractions like social media are a click away on your laptop or tablet.
And last but not least. Work hard and be sincere. For indeed, “Allah does not allow the reward of the doers of good to be lost” (9:120).