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Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Last Sprint – Ways to Keep Yourself Motivated

The race for good deeds starts with huge momentum at the beginning of Ramadan, but somewhere down the race some of us slowed down. With only few days left till end of Ramadan, we need to make that one last sprint in order to finish strong and be among the winners! Nothing more disappointing that an athlete who had a good run for the first 400m then messes up the last 100m sprint!
In this article, you’ll learn about ways to keep yourself motivated in the remaining few days of Ramadan.

Productive Muslims know how to seek motivation and use it to spur them on in their actions. Below is a list of top tips to stay motivated during the remaining of Ramadan.
Keep Intentions Pure: Intentions are the key drivers for a Muslim, and as Muslims we should have one main intention and that is to serve Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) and attain the best destination: Jannah.
Overcome Obstacles: Acknowledging internal and external obstacles that are stopping you from continuing on a productive path. Destroy internal obstacles with the tools and techniques Islam equipped you with; concepts such as patience, trust in Allah, and Ihsaan are great concepts to help you overcome psychological and emotional barriers. For external obstacles, such as timing, work, political issues, etc don’t let them bog you down and just keep going!
Take it one step at a time: One of the reasons that some people get tired around this time of Ramadan is that we almost unrealistically expect to change overnight during ramadan whilst it takes the remaining 11 months of struggle to adopt to the new habits. Change won’t happen in the space of a few days, even world class athletes can’t physically do a sprint without plenty of advance training sessions. For every daily act of ibadah, we must treat it in the same way as athletes do with training. Each day in ramadan is a build up to the finale [The Last 10 Nights] where you aim for peak performance.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately and know that your deeds will not make you enter Paradise, and that the most beloved deed to Allah’s is the most regular and constant even though it were little.” [Bukhari]
Treat yourself: We’re not suggesting that you should go for an all out 5 day holiday package! We refer here to a small treat (nothing extravagant) to reward yourself with for meeting a target at regular intervals in Ramadan. For example, if you were able to pray your night prayers for example – treat yourself to a new book you have perhaps been eager to buy. These treats provide a motivational booster to facilitate your actions.
Finders Keepers: Which new good deed have you found during this Ramadan that you want to keep after Ramadan? Perhaps it is the night prayer or the recitation of at least a page of the Qur’an. Whichever good habit that you’re starting to enjoy, keep them! (similarly, whichever bad habits you’re relieved to have stopped them, never go back to them again!)
Be in good company: Companionship plays a fundamental role in motivation. Finding good company might be hard in our surroundings, but choose those places and times when you are likely to be amongst pious people of knowledge, understanding, humility, modesty and those conscious of Allah (Subahanahu Wa Ta’la). Join circles where you may find such brothers/sisters to befriend and most importantly – make Dua Allah Subhanhu wa Ta’ala grants you good companionship. I often supplicate: ‘Oh Allah, guide me towards righteous company’.
Don’t be over confident: One of the reasons we slow down after 15-20 days of Ramadan is we feel that we’ve done ‘enough’. However, we must remember that any action of worship we perform is dependant on Allah (Subahanahu wa Ta’la) and we are not capable of performing these acts without His Mercy and Guidance. As narrated in the hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him) – our deeds alone will not save us.

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